What is publisher content?
Textbook publishers are increasingly likely to offer electronic resources to accompany their textbooks. These could be as simple as banks of test questions, but might also include e-Packs (fully developed courses that can be imported to an eLearn shell) or even complete courses hosted on the publisher’s website with their own activities, practice exercises, testing resources and gradebooks.
How can I tell what content is available for my text?
The best way to determine if extra content is available for your textbook is to check the publisher’s website. Textbook company representatives are also happy to talk with you about your options, and make frequent visits to the on-campus office buildings. Your Program Chair will also be familiar with available publisher materials for your course.
How do I get access to publisher content?
The fastest way to get access to publisher content is to contact your local publisher’s representative. The instructional secretary at the office where you collect your mail will have a list of publisher reps and contact information. They usually respond quickly. They can supply a username and password so you can view available content.
The other option is to work through the publisher’s website. This usually takes longer and involves submitting an application with some verification of your status as an instructor.
Won’t students get confused if I’m sending them to a website outside of eLearn?
It’s possible. In your course orientation you should clearly explain to students how you will use a publisher site. Clear directions (perhaps with screen shots or other visuals) for accessing the publisher site are also critical.
How do I decide whether to use publisher content?
Questions to consider include:
- Is the publisher material better for students than what I could develop myself in the time I have available?
- Does publisher content augment my own material in useful ways?
- Does the material match the outcomes for my course?
- Do the materials look like they would be relatively easy for students to access and use?
- Does the publisher provide instructor tutorials? Technical support for students?
- How much extra work will be needed to monitor a publisher site, export grades, etc.?
I’m mostly interested in the publisher’s test bank. How do I get the questions into my eLearn course?
If you’re lucky, the publisher has test questions formatted specifically for eLearn. These might be labeled as being for WebCT8, Campus Edition 8, or Blackboard Campus Edition 8. Question banks for Campus Edition 6 and Blackboard Vista may also work. Download these to your computer, then import them to eLearn using the Manage Course/Import function. eLearn will automatically recognize the import as test questions and will place them in your question database.
Some publishers provide test questions in Word (.doc or .docx) format. These can be imported into eLearn using a third-party program called Respondus. Please see the links below to learn about Respondus.
Below are some support options to choose from including links to support pages and training opportunities.