Faculty adopt required and optional course materials, and students may purchase these materials, through the Soonerbooks.com portal, operated by Akademos. Soonerbooks is OU’s official bookstore and course material provider, and it is an online experience for faculty and students.
- sources all materials adopted by faculty;
- maintains the portal for adoption and ordering;
- ships purchased print material directly to students;
- sends digital materials and codes to students.
OU is one of the few higher education institutions that does not accept commissions from course material sales for the specific purpose of keeping costs lower for students. Instead, Soonerbooks provides OU with $50,000 in course material scholarships annually, distributed through OU’s Student Financial Center.
All course materials should be adopted through Soonerbooks.com exclusively. Many students rely on book scholarships and scholarship/financial aid vouchers, and these can only be used through Soonerbooks.com.
Submitting adoptions through Soonerbooks.com is a quick and easy process. Faculty simply visit the portal and use the 4+4 to login and submit adoptions for the courses they are assigned to teach. Soonerbooks is integrated with Banner, OU’s Student Information System. If any changes need to be made to course assignments, a department administrator or Classroom Management staff will need to make those changes. Staff members who coordinate adoptions on behalf of their academic units can also use the portal to enter adoptions.
Even if the course does not require any materials or uses Open Educational Resources (OER), it is important to log in and provide this course material status for your course. When students log in with their 4+4, they see a personalized landing page with each of their enrolled courses and the required and recommended materials. It is important students know which courses do not require materials to be purchased.
The Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA) requires higher education institutions to provide the complete list of required and recommended textbooks (including ISBN and pricing information) to the bookstore in time for student registration. Faculty assure the university complies with this law by adopting their materials through the Soonerbooks.com portal according to this timeline:
Summer and Fall
Portal Opens: February 15
Adoption Deadline: March 15
Portal Opens: September 15
Adoption Deadline: October 15
OU supports faculty in adopting the highest quality course material and when possible, to select a no cost or lower cost option. There are several approaches that faculty can take to select material for their classes. Regardless of the choice, all adoptions should be submitted through Soonerbooks.com.
University Libraries (UL) supports faculty and instructors who wish to transition from commercial textbooks to Open Educational Resources (OER) and other no cost materials. OER are educational materials that are distributed at no cost with legal permission to use, share, and enhance. Since OER materials are free and available online, students have access to their learning materials before the first day of class and in perpetuity.
OER give faculty members the power to customize content or pedagogy specifically for their courses while providing cost savings to students. UL offers an Alternative Textbook Grant to incentivize instructors to make the switch to no cost course materials. The Open Educational Resources Librarian can provide guidance on finding openly licensed materials, adapting existing OER, and creating new openly licensed materials. Please contact Morgan Briles, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
OU has a contractual agreement with TopHat, a digital course material provider and publisher, to lower the cost of classroom response system technology and provide a platform to access a library of course material resources, including OER materials. A variety of options exist for faculty to adopt lower cost off-the-shelf materials, enhance materials in the TopHat library, or develop custom low-cost course materials. Please contact Matt Hamilton, email@example.com for more information.
Inclusive Access (IA)
Publishers partner with Soonerbooks and OU to lower course material costs and provide access to digital material through Canvas to all enrolled students on or before the first day of class. The student cost is guaranteed by the publisher to be the lowest cost available. Here are OU’s current IA classes with cost savings estimates.
Course material links are directly integrated in Canvas by faculty in consultation with their publisher representative prior to the beginning of class. All enrolled students will have access to the material during the add/drop period, and their student account will be charged for the discounted digital material; however, every student is offered the opportunity to opt-out of the IA program. Academic success is often dependent upon accessing the course material and quiz banks, so opting out must be carefully considered, or it could be an academically and financially costly decision. There is a process through which a course must be vetted and approved to be included in IA. Please contact Matt Hamilton, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Traditional Print and Digital
Adopting traditional print and digital material is the choice of many faculty. Publisher representatives are typically eager to work with faculty to secure excellent course material options designed to meet the needs of teachers and learners. You can usually locate contact information for your OU publisher representative on each publisher’s website.