Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The University of Iowa’s inclusive access program, ICON Direct, hit a new achievement with a total of over $10 million in student savings to date.

ICON Direct is the University of Iowa's initiative for ordering digital content from specific publishers and delivering it to students to address rising textbook costs. To date, 22 publishers have content available through the program. During the 2023–2024 academic year, 1,030 course sections with 20,507 students used ICON Direct to deliver course content, with the average amount saved by students during that academic year being $200.

“We are excited to see the program continue to grow and provide benefits to students,” says Valerie Henessee, ICON Direct eText coordinator in the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology (OTLT). “Beyond the cost savings, students have also told me they appreciate the digital nature of the materials as it keeps their backpacks lighter and enables studying on-the-go.”

Open Educational Resources (OER) are also available through ICON Direct at no cost to students. Adopting OER through ICON Direct allows students to use the same eReader, with features like text-to-speech and flashcards, as the paid publisher eTexts without any cost.

“Instructors tell us how much they appreciate students having their digital textbooks in the ICON classroom on day one,” says Vicky Maloy, assistant director of OTLT Academic Technologies. “The publisher platforms are extremely popular because they encourage student engagement.”

Recent Teach and Learn sessions, sponsored by the Office of the Registrar and the Course Materials Advisory Committee, focused on textbooks and course material resources. Attendees were given demonstrations and information on MAUI, HEOA requirements, the ICON Direct Order Tool, and the Follett Discover tool. The Q&A portion of the sessions provided further opportunities for attendees to learn more about the textbook ordering process. View a recording of the session

Orders for summer and fall now open

The order period for summer 2024 ends Monday, April 15, 2024, with fall 2024 ordering available until Monday, July 29, 2024. You can place your textbook orders using the ICON Direct Order Tool.

Have more questions about textbooks? Please email ICON-Direct@uiowa.edu for assistance.