The University of Iowa

Teaching Best Practices

Inclusive access programs deliver significant savings to your students; however, there are steps that you should take to introduce the required purchase to your courses. See below for a list of Best Practices likely to result in stronger student engagement in the text, resulting in a greater opportunity to reach learning outcomes.

  1. Understand that every student registered for your course will be charged for the materials you select in the Ordering Tool, unless they opt out or meet certain exception criteria.
    • Do not order an eTextbook through ICON Direct unless it is going to be actively used in your course by your students.
    • Do not order a duplicate physical title at the local bookstores.  Students will be confused as to what format is necessary for your course and may make unneeded purchases.
      Note: Some publishers will offer a supplemental paper copy for students to purchase, in addition to your eText.  This is not a replacement for your ICON Direct content, but an optional additional purchase students may choose to make. 
  2. Communicate to your students on your first day of class why you have chosen the eText material for your course.  These reasons may include: the benefits of first day access to the correct edition of the texts, the duration of student access, and of course, the lower prices
  3. Use your book in the first week of the course in a manner that allows students to use the content tools and become familiar with their course content.

Suggested Syllabus Language

A minimal amount of advance instructor communication to students about ICON Direct makes all the difference in the world. Please consider adding this statement (or something similar) to your syllabus and posting it as an announcement to your students 1-2 weeks before the first day of class.


I will be teaching this class with electronic content. Your course material is available in your ICON course site. You may opt out of this content, but the consequences of doing so may affect your outcomes in this course.

  • You will lose access to any additional content your instructor might add to the eTextbook, such as links to other content, additional supplemental resources, highlights, annotations, and any study tips your instructor may add to guide your engagement and learning in the course.
  • You risk falling behind in the course if you have not acquired alternate versions of the same materials prior to the first day of the class.
  • Faculty are not responsible for providing you with alternative materials or waiving course/class requirements.

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