Reducing cost and optimising lifestyle choices for University of Wolverhampton students
Known for its focus on ‘innovation and opportunity’, the University of Wolverhampton serves over 20,000 students learning across four main campuses in the UK and was ranked in the top 10 universities for social mobility by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) in March 2021.
To support its strategic vision for 2030, the university is running a one-year pilot of Kortext Complete – our interactive learning content and engagement platform – across its entire student base as part of its commitment to “create flexible and personalised learning routes that enable students to study in ways that best suit their life.”
With a significant number of students impacted by digital exclusion, and access to resources restricted during the pandemic, the university was seeking a solution to re-engage its students with their learning content.
Jo-Anne Watts, University Librarian, said: …accessibility and digital inclusion were key factors in the decision to pilot Kortext Complete.”
Another key driver highlighted by Jo-Anne was Kortext’s ability to address the challenge they faced with restrictive licenses for their existing eBook provision. During some months, the university saw over 1,000 students turned away from accessing eBooks when all licenses were in use. Unlike [our] existing eBook provision,” Jo-Anne said, “there are no usage limitations on [Kortext’s] eTextbooks, no caps on numbers of students that can read texts at any time, and no restrictive licenses…”
The university’s Kortext pilot has been running since September 2021, providing all taught students at the University of Wolverhampton with unrestricted digital access to core texts on their reading lists through their individual bookshelf, at no additional cost to the student. This includes students undertaking all modes of study, from those on campus to TNE students, partner students and distance learners.
The university chose to integrate Kortext Complete into their virtual learning environment (VLE), Canvas, enabling students, academics and librarians to visit the platform through their existing university login. Additionally, we have been able to offer BDS quality MARC records to enable discovery through wider routes such as the library catalogue.
Within their digital bookshelf, each student can benefit from interactive, smart study tools – like in-book annotations, group collaboration and easy exportable referencing – enabling deep engagement with their course content.
Whilst still in its infancy, the pilot is already creating more opportunities for students studying at the University of Wolverhampton as well as benefiting them financially.
After just one month, the university has seen significant student engagement with Kortext. Of the 6,799 students registered on the platform, 96% are actively using the platform to study, with the university recording:
◎ 1 million pages accessed
◎ 22,000 searches
◎ 26,000 in-book annotations
◎ 29,000 study sessions
Providing essential resources, such as textbooks, to our students can cut the cost of university by up to £500 per year, removing hidden course costs and ensuring no student is disadvantaged in terms of access to essential reading.
Luke Fowler, Kortext’s Projects and Accounts Manager for the university, said:
Through close partnerships with leading education publishers, Kortext was able to work with the university to assess their requirements for content and access, and offer them a solution that resolves their issue with restrictive eBook licenses,enabling them to provide fair and equitable access to all essential reading across their student base.
Kortext’s smart study tools allow students to learn in a new, immersive way that connects them with each other, their academics and their course content for a more collaborative, research led approach to learning.
This move will support a key pillar of Vision 2030 enabling students to reach their full potential and helping staff to deliver a highly engaging learning experience.
As the university continues its journey with Kortext, they’ll be able to see the success of the platform and of their learning resources in real time with our analytics dashboards. As part of their implementation, the university can access global and module analytics, showing them which titles are being used, on which modules and by which students. This data will:
- Enable the library to review return on investment against each core textbook and make informed decisions on future acquisitions; and,
- Enable academics to provide more tailored support to students and drive outcomes.
We are continuing to work closely with the university throughout their Kortext pilot to collect feedback, refine processes and ensure their needs are being supported every step of the way.
 Figure provided by University of York: https://www.york.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/fees-funding/living-costs/