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I Hate Required Access Codes! (JAWM)


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#1 Crimson Wife

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 06:21 PM

2/3 of oldest DD's DE courses this fall require access codes. The total is $230. The tuition for these two courses is only $368 so it increases the cost of taking them by more than 60%. :glare:


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#2 G5052

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 07:43 PM

Believe me, it's a mixed bag for the professors.

 

It can provide some positives beyond class. When I taught basic computer literacy, the students could do practice exercises and homework and get immediate feedback by uploading their work. No waiting for the professor, and I usually set it up for three tries so they could get it right. IMHO when that innovation came it was a positive.

 

However, I could count on 25% coming to class when we set it up without an access code. In some cases, they hadn't put it into the budget.

 

Ds bought an access code last fall that the professor swore he needed. I told him NOT to use it until the professor said. YUP. They never used it. I've had it for sale on Amazon since. I guess it's too obscure.

 

My freshman needs three access codes: computer literary, math, and Spanish. Her codes and books are going to be around $600.

 

DS is a junior, and some of his are actually rolled into a fee per class at the business school, so I have no idea how much they really are. Thankfully his books will be about $350. He's paying for his books, parking pass, a laptop, and incidentals.

 

CHA-CHING!


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#3 Kassia

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:03 PM

I totally agree with you.  Hate them because of the cost.  



#4 momofjep

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:54 PM

Agreed! 2/4 of my DS's say they are required. I'm going to wait until after the first day to make sure. 


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#5 katilac

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 10:35 PM

Over $1,000 on books and codes for dd's freshman year! Codes were as much as books, and I think they were actually more. Both of them needed some in DE, but that's a definite record. 

 

The beginning foreign language ones drive them crazy. It's super simple stuff that could be done with a $10 workbook. It's an insanely expensive way to spoon feed the students who won't study on their own. 

 

 


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#6 hopskipjump

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:12 AM

AGREED! ESPECIALLY those classes that SAY it's required... but when the class actually happens, they never use the [email protected] code. WTH?!?! We don't have money to just throw to the wind like that!!!

 

The cost difference for one of dds classes (anatomy) is a $17 used textbook vs $299 with the code. We're waiting to buy it at the school bookstore if she can find out if she really needs that code or not. We did buy the statistics book that was $250 with the code vs $45 without. :cursing:  For a MATH book?!? MATH DOESN'T CHANGE!!! There's no reason for a $250 MATH book!

 

I don't get it. DD says there are quizzes, etc that they are supposed to do. I have a feeling she didn't even bother last year (even though she used the codes, I didn't investigate how much she utilized the activities - but they really sound like "optional" or "enhancement" activities, which she usually doesn't need).

 

How did teachers manage to teach BEFORE this without these stupid programs? There used to be checkpoint quizzes IN THE TEXTBOOK! Why aren't those good enough??

 

growl. It makes the books ridiculously expensive and zaps the resale value to $0.

 

(obviously grouchy because we just finished paying for a whoppingly expensive semester as far as books go... :glare: )


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#7 Melissa in NC

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:30 AM

I strongly encourage everyone to go to the first class before buying the code. My dd had a class that listed the need for online access but the individual teacher did not use it. Grrrr.

 

Last semester we did have a Pearson Math book from her older sister and her teacher did use the on line access. She was able to log onto her class account as a guest (available as a guest for 2 weeks) then click on a link to buy the access directly from Pearson. It save us about $20 from buying from the bookstore.


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#8 elegantlion

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:50 AM

 

 

growl. It makes the books ridiculously expensive and zaps the resale value to $0.

 

 

 

:iagree: I hate this part. I've been fortunate that if it's required, it gets used, but then no one wants the book. Neither one of us have access codes required for this upcoming semester. 



#9 beckyjo

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:58 AM

I'm paying for 3 cc classes this semester (dd has 2 DE classes, DH has 1). 2 out of the 3 books have access codes causing books to cost well over $300 for 3 books, even though I found the non-coded book for $27. Last semester, dd took her first DE course, and it required a custom book with a code that cost us over $150 (and was worth $0 after the semester as they changed the custom text after the semester ended). Bleah!

 

I've purchased 2 of the 3 books so far, and this next paycheck will pay for the third. DD will probably will take DH's class at some point, and I will have to re-buy the dang code! Makes me cranky. 



#10 luuknam

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:02 AM

Not sure this needs a JAWM.  :lol:

 

But yes! I don't know anybody who loves access codes, other than publishers (and I don't know any publishers). 


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#11 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:06 AM

I hate this too.  The one I tried was quite lousy too!

 

 



#12 jdahlquist

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:19 PM

AGREED! ESPECIALLY those classes that SAY it's required... but when the class actually happens, they never use the [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script> code. WTH?!?! We don't have money to just throw to the wind like that!!!

 

The cost difference for one of dds classes (anatomy) is a $17 used textbook vs $299 with the code. We're waiting to buy it at the school bookstore if she can find out if she really needs that code or not. We did buy the statistics book that was $250 with the code vs $45 without. :cursing:  For a MATH book?!? MATH DOESN'T CHANGE!!! There's no reason for a $250 MATH book!

 

I don't get it. DD says there are quizzes, etc that they are supposed to do. I have a feeling she didn't even bother last year (even though she used the codes, I didn't investigate how much she utilized the activities - but they really sound like "optional" or "enhancement" activities, which she usually doesn't need).

 

How did teachers manage to teach BEFORE this without these stupid programs? There used to be checkpoint quizzes IN THE TEXTBOOK! Why aren't those good enough??

 

growl. It makes the books ridiculously expensive and zaps the resale value to $0.

 

(obviously grouchy because we just finished paying for a whoppingly expensive semester as far as books go... :glare: )

You may want to check and see if you can purchased the code separately.  Purchasing the code directly from the publishers and buying a used textbook without the code is often the cheapest combination.



#13 jdahlquist

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:50 PM

I am curious if anyone has used the codes for materials beyond what is required as a graded component in a class.  If so, was it helpful?

 

The codes that come with the finance and economics textbooks that I used have many additional resources than what I assign as required components.  There are videos that students can watch, assessment quizzes, adaptive learning exercises, and many other items.  The publishers claim that they are helpful and that they are especially useful with the "way this generation learns."  

 

However, the more I used the online materials for the classes I teach, the less useful I was finding them.  I did teach at a university where the codes (and online assignments) were a requirement set at the departmental level.  Now that I am at a school with smaller classes, I am not requiring students to purchase a code (and I am not aware of many using the online materials on their own.)


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#14 regentrude

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:15 PM

I despise the trend. I hate the entire textbook racket that forces high prices on students for little value. Basically, the college saves manpower in grading by having students buy access to automatic homework grading systems which do a much poorer job than human graders who would be able to assess complex problems.

 

I refuse to use the automatic grading system with my classes, do not require thea ccess code, and recommend that students use one of teh older editions of the text.


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#15 MerryAtHope

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:52 PM

2/3 of oldest DD's DE courses this fall require access codes. The total is $230. The tuition for these two courses is only $368 so it increases the cost of taking them by more than 60%. :glare:

 

I hear ya. I'm trying not to think about how much books with access codes for 2 students is adding up this year...and that's WITH saving some $$$ buying used/renting what I could!



#16 FaithManor

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:19 AM

I hate them too. Ds's school required them in four courses last semester and not ONE professor used them. GRRRRR.....I could have gone used without access code and saved a bundle of money. I swear sometimes college administrators are in bed with textbook sales associates.


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#17 DawnM

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:25 AM

I strongly encourage everyone to go to the first class before buying the code. My dd had a class that listed the need for online access but the individual teacher did not use it. Grrrr.

 

Last semester we did have a Pearson Math book from her older sister and her teacher did use the on line access. She was able to log onto her class account as a guest (available as a guest for 2 weeks) then click on a link to buy the access directly from Pearson. It save us about $20 from buying from the bookstore.

 

Yeah, we did that with DS's History class.  Book and code were like $180.  Turns out the professor told them the code AND book were "optional."  He ended up not buying either and still did fine.

 

We are waiting to find out about his new English class.  It isn't AS expensive but all professors have to use the book and code written specifically FOR his college......so yeah, they are trying to get more revenue.


Edited by DawnM, 11 August 2017 - 06:27 AM.


#18 jdahlquist

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:03 AM

I despise the trend. I hate the entire textbook racket that forces high prices on students for little value. Basically, the college saves manpower in grading by having students buy access to automatic homework grading systems which do a much poorer job than human graders who would be able to assess complex problems.

 

I refuse to use the automatic grading system with my classes, do not require thea ccess code, and recommend that students use one of teh older editions of the text.

What is find frustrating is the universities are saving some manpower, but the total cost to the students is more, with less benefit.  I taught at a state school with mandates to increase graduation rates.  One theory was that students did not complete college because of costs, so a number of policies were put in place to "decrease" cost--larger classes, fewer faculty, fewer TAs. My department which had over 2000 students a year in an introductory, problems-based course went to a required on-iine based problem product because of funding cuts.  So, you have 2000 students X $50 = $100,000 being spent on codes for that one class!   That is more than most professors at the school were making.  


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#19 G5052

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:15 PM

I went to buy DD's books this morning after I went to the gym. Three books and three access codes = $600. Sigh.



#20 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:36 PM

Yeah, we did that with DS's History class.  Book and code were like $180.  Turns out the professor told them the code AND book were "optional."  He ended up not buying either and still did fine.

 

We are waiting to find out about his new English class.  It isn't AS expensive but all professors have to use the book and code written specifically FOR his college......so yeah, they are trying to get more revenue.

 

Special campus editions really frustrate me, especially when they are required for all sections, but then some instructors only use them once or twice.  

 

DS1 had a system specific book for English 100 that was loose leaf on top of being unusable for other schools.  I ended up just giving it to another student this year, hoping that she could avoid having to buy a new one.


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#21 FaithManor

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:41 PM

What is find frustrating is the universities are saving some manpower, but the total cost to the students is more, with less benefit.  I taught at a state school with mandates to increase graduation rates.  One theory was that students did not complete college because of costs, so a number of policies were put in place to "decrease" cost--larger classes, fewer faculty, fewer TAs. My department which had over 2000 students a year in an introductory, problems-based course went to a required on-iine based problem product because of funding cuts.  So, you have 2000 students X $50 = $100,000 being spent on codes for that one class!   That is more than most professors at the school were making.  

Exactly. For that price, could we please have another professor or a couple of super great TA's!

 

Some of these decisions are so short sighted.


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#22 Crimson Wife

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:13 PM

Special campus editions really frustrate me, especially when they are required for all sections, but then some instructors only use them once or twice. 

 

Yep, one of the bundles DD had to buy this semester was a special campus edition. Looseleaf even :cursing:  She has been warned not to open the package until after the 1st class in case she doesn't actually need it.


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#23 ClemsonDana

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 06:58 AM

Back in the 90s when I went to college, my freshman year I spent more than $600 on books because we 'needed' new editions for everything (biology, chemistry, and calculus) - the paperbacks for lit were cheap. When I taught at a CC, we were given the new editions. Every other year we got a new book, and there was almost no change. I started telling students that I'd keep a copy of the current edition at the front of the classroom and they could check before/after class to see if there was anything that was rearranged or missing because there was very little change between editions. I always write my own assignments and tests, so I never needed/required the code. My syllabus probably said that it was required, though, since the entire department used a common syllabus.

With my high schoolers, I tell them that any edition of the book is fine. Mitosis hasn't changed, so mostly what they need is a reference with good drawings and I don't care what chapter it's in. There are so many excellent animations of complex processes on utube that students can watch, so even access to videos doesn't make it worthwhile to my students. So, I second the advice to wait to use it until you talk to the instructor. I have always told my students not to bother and get a cheap book.
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#24 G5052

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:16 AM

The college I work for now is better than the previous one that way. One course I teach has a $40 text, and the other lists the books for $150 new, but you can buy them used or rent on Amazon for less than $50. No course codes.

 

They actually have an approval process for course codes -- it has to be really necessary.


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#25 MarkT

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:30 AM

My son's B&M charter uses WebAssign for it's AP math classes.  It is only $10.50 for whole high school year.  Last year the school absorbed that cost but this year the parents have to buck up the money.  That's really cheap so no complaint.

My student likes the instant feedback part but sometimes you have to wrestle with the desired input such as the number of decimal points etc.

 

============================================================================

 

WebAssign seems a little cheaper on the price scale versus some of the access codes out there.

https://www.webassig...ors/purchasing/

 

You can also get a refund if "returned" within 14 days:

http://www.webassign...t/access-codes/

 

There are a few "free" online homework checking programs but not many colleges seem to use them.



#26 jdahlquist

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:26 AM

I just looked at WebAssign and it is $22.95 for collegiate use.  That is for basic, "free" content.  To have content tied to the book being used, increases the cost. The content is limited to math and sciences.



#27 KarenNC

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:01 PM

Yep, one of the bundles DD had to buy this semester was a special campus edition. Looseleaf even :cursing:  She has been warned not to open the package until after the 1st class in case she doesn't actually need it.

 

We have two of these this semester---Am govt ($154) and stats ($212). By contrast, we can rent used books for Am lit ($30) and world civ ($16). At least the college bookstore pricematched Amazon on the rentals and the stats book (which brought it down to $189). Definitely a racket!



#28 happysmileylady

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 03:29 PM

My oldest just got home for a few days before her classes start.  She told me that only one of her classes has an access code and it's of course the most expensive "book" she has for the semester at $100.

 

The name of the class?  Walking.  Redonkulous


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#29 regentrude

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 03:41 PM

Ouch ouch ouch!

DS is taking biology, chemistry and calculus, and all three require books with access codes  - for three different platforms. This is going to hurt.


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#30 emzhengjiu

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 07:17 PM

I hate access codes as well!  For  couple of my daughter's classes  the access code made sense, but for most it's just crazy.  Thankfully, her biology class this year will use the same text and code for both required semesters.  Her French instructors used the same text and code for a year as well. 



#31 dmmetler

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:26 PM

Me too. 2/3 classes have them this fall. I swear half the textbooks in the bookstore come with "MyXLab". Her high school chem also had one.