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Faculty Resources

The cost of textbooks and other instructional materials has increased to the point that they represent a significant portion of expenses that college students incur. Concern over the costs of course materials has led to both federal and state legislation and to Higher Education Policy Commission and WVU Board of Governors (BOG) policies concerning textbook affordability.

The intent of the legislation and policies is to ensure that appropriate, high-quality course materials are selected and that students are given timely access to the most affordable materials.

BOG Rule 1.12 prohibits profiteering by requiring the purchase of one-time use materials (such as worksheets) or receiving payment or other consideration as an inducement for requiring students to purchase particular course materials.

Selecting Course Materials

Faculty and instructors at WVU have a range of options and resources when planning their course curriculum and selecting materials for the course(s) they will be teaching. When planning a course, it’s important to consider the educational value of all required (and even recommended) course materials. Each should directly support the students’ learning outcomes for students.

As a student-first institution, WVU encourages instructors to consider the cost of all course materials and to identify more affordable options when possible. Various campus committees lead several initiatives across the WVU system to help support such affordability efforts. Details about the WVU’s Educational Materials Affordability efforts can be found on the Office of the Provost’s website. Information is available for students, faculty/instructors and administrators.

Visit the Course Materials Selection Process page on the WVU Faculty website for more information.

Understanding First Day Complete®

First Day® Complete is a course materials fulfillment program for undergraduate students that is designed to lower the cost of course materials and ensures students have access to their required course materials before the first day of class. Instead of purchasing materials a la carte, students will receive all their materials on a rental basis for a flat fee of $360 for full-time and $168 for part-time students, which will be added to their WVU MyAccount.

Physical textbooks will be conveniently packaged and provided to students on a rental basis, and digital materials will be delivered directly within eCampus. Any students with course materials outside of eCampus will receive a unique access code via email or a paper card (depending on publisher delivery method) to access their content. Students are automatically enrolled in the program and have the option to opt- out by a specified date.

Details about the program can be found on the First Day® Complete webpage. Faculty-specific FAQs are available on the WVU Faculty website.

Identifying Materials with the WVU Bookstore

Once an instructor has determined which textbooks and materials to use in a course, it is important to capture this information in all the appropriate places, including notifying the WVU Bookstore. With the First Day® Complete course material delivery program, students need to be aware of potential costs before choosing to remain in the program or to opt out.

It is imperative that all instructors submit their textbook information to the WVU Bookstores before or by the deadline – whether the course is new or the instructor is teaching the same course as in previous semesters. This information should be updated for each course every semester to benefit students.

Details about this process are outlined on the WVU Faculty website.

Incorporating Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning resources that either reside in the public domain or have an open license that enables anyone to reuse them. OER can range from images or worksheets to full-length textbooks or courses.

The WVU Libraries provide a range of support and services focused on OER. Details are available on the Libraries’ OER webpage. West Virginia’s Climb and the Open Learning WV program provide grants and awards as well.

Utilizing WVU Libraries' Resources

WVU Libraries offer a variety of resources for faculty and instructors when selecting their course materials.
  • Add personal, print or digital materials to the WVU Libraries Reserves site for copyright-compliant, no-cost use by students.
  • Request WVU Libraries to purchase an eBook option of course text. (Note: This is often dependent on the allowances offered by publishers or vendors.)
  • Learn about and access OER resources.

Utilizing the Course-Marking Initiative

In compliance with HB 2853 (now §29-1-8c. State Library Section) mandating expansion of open education resources (OER), the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission requires all West Virginia public colleges and universities to implement a course cost-marking system. A memo to provosts and registrars from November 2021 provides more detail on that expectation. Since fall 2022, WVU has publicized the availability of “no-cost” and “low-cost” course sections directly within the course schedule. OER data is being collected for reporting purposes only and does not indicate a University preference.

The available course section designations are defined at WVU as follows:

  • NOC (No-Cost Section) - All required instructional materials (with the exception of proctoring and lab fees) are available to students at no additional cost beyond tuition. These materials may include open educational resources, materials available through the library (including course reserves), access to content made available by the department, and other freely available and copyright-compliant online resources.
  • LOWC (Low-Cost Section) - All required instructional materials (with the exception of proctoring and lab fees) can be purchased for a total expected cost of $75.00 or less based on “University bookstore pricing.” This includes textbooks, academic technologies and access to publisher content expected to be purchased by the student. Unless the entire class is renting or leasing a book, please use the cost of a new textbook in your calculations.
  • OER (Open Educational Resources) - All required instructional materials hold an open license or reside in the public domain. For more information, see the WVU Library OER website. For assistance in identifying OER resources, please consult your subject matter library liaison.

To support this initiative, instructors offering one of the above options are now asked to disclose this information so that course sections can be marked prior to the course schedule release each semester. Instructors will receive an email query about their course affordability before the beginning of the semester.