The Idea

We’ve been playing around with a way to measure how complicated an Institution’s course materials management process is to manage. When we talk to institutions – and we’ve talked to thousands in our careers – we see differences from campus to campus but we also see patterns that repeat. Some issues cause serious problems and burdens while others are minor. 

In many cases, a set of annoying issues grow to be a complex program to manage, simply because of the number of issues. 

Some examples of those patterns are:

  • Difficulty getting financially-strapped students access to their aid easily at the store
  • Large amounts of Sponsorship and Scholarship dollars that are hard to use, manage, and administer
  • Complicated methods to interface with the SIS
  • A growing IA program that is starting to really add some burden for billing students
  • Campus Store POS systems that are undergoing changes and make it difficult to optimize the student experience when it comes to making course materials purchases easy
  • Different processes for ecommerce vs. in-store purchases that make handing alternative forms of payments like FA or Sponsorships a challenge.


What’s the Point?

We wanted to find a way to help all of us understand how complex a campus course materials situation is and created this test scoring process. The score comes with following goals in mind:

  1. Give us all a reference point to talk about relative complexity within and between institutions
  2. Begin to build a picture of what scores look like across all campuses for comparison and so campus leaders can address issues
  3. Match Watchman services to identified problems better

How you can participate

The score is compiled from experiences working with a number of Institutions across the U.S. Your input will make the data set richer and we’ll share the results. We hope that alone is interesting.  

Better still is any insight we can gain from you – and you can share with your fellow participants. 






Stats and Results

 As we get submissions, we’ll compile summary statistics and and analysis including:
  • Enrollment

  • Semester overlaps

  • SIS types

  • Sponsorship types & stats

  • Financial Aid Stats

  • Campus Store Characteristics