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Tech Reviewing Access Codes for Textbooks

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Arkansas Tech University has temporarily halted the use of electronic homework/quizzes/exams administered through “access codes” in determining a portion of a student’s course grade. 

The action is in response to the increasing burden of cost placed on students in purchasing their textbooks, several of which are bundled with access codes. 

The national scope of the problem was evidenced by a Sept. 3 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “With ‘Access Codes,' Textbook Pricing Gets More Complicated Than Ever."

Arkansas Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown has commissioned a task force including the Student Government Association president, college deans, a faculty representative of each undergraduate college and the director of academic computing to investigate the issue.

The task force is co-chaired by Dr. John W. Watson, vice president for academic affairs, and David Moseley, senior vice president for administration and finance.

"The issue is not whether the material presented electronically through access codes promotes learning," said Watson. "Students may continue to benefit from these electronic resources, using them to prepare for in class quizzes or exam. The issue has to do with cost. Many students now pay $700-$1000 per semester for required course materials. As Dr. Brown told this committee at its first meeting last Friday, the future we plan together is better than the future that just happens to us." 

The task force plans to meet weekly and present a report to President Brown near mid-semester.