UW-Madison eText Pilot - Opt-out Considerations and Guidelines
This document summarizes the UW-Madison Engage eText Pilot opt-out process and links to the corresponding opt-out request form.
One of the primary goals of the pilot is to reduce the costs of course materials for students while enhancing the student learning experience.
In order to substantially lower costs, and to make it as easy as possible for students to take advantage of the cost-savings and benefits of eTexts and digital learning tools (DLT, e.g., homework or lab software packages), the pilot was designed to automatically opt-in all students who register for participating courses. This also means that the costs of the eTexts and DLTs appear on students’ tuition bills, making it easier to apply financial aid accordingly.
While we hope that all students choose to take advantage of eTexts (and DLTs, if applicable), we understand that some may wish to opt out. To help students understand the considerations for opting out, we have put together the following information and guidelines. It is also important to note that students seeking certain accessibility accommodations can contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center for assistance.
Conditions for opting out of the UW-Madison eText Pilot
In compliance with Title IV regulations, students may choose to opt out of using an eText (and DLT, if applicable) in any course participating in the pilot in two main ways:
- Choose a different course section or course - In some cases, the easiest way to opt out is to simply select a different class section or course that is not participating in the pilot. If a student’s schedule or curriculum does not allow this, he/she should consult with his/her advisor as needed.
- Enroll in the course, but opt-out of using the eText - If selecting another class section or course is not an option, students may opt out of using the eText (and DLT, if applicable) if they are able to legally obtain identical course materials outside of the eText pilot. Note that this is not possible in cases where there is customized content. Some courses’ eTexts and DLTs (e.g., Cengage's MindTap titles and Pearson's MyLabs) have been created or customized specifically for UW-Madison only. In these cases, the content is only available to students who remain in the pilot.
- The preferred opt-out deadline is 30 days prior to the start of the semester. To opt out, please see the How to Opt Out section at the end of this document.
- All eText refunds follow standard tuition refund dates. Any refunds requested after the standard tuition refund dates have passed can be requested if they meet the specific criteria outlined in eText Pilot - About UW-Madison eText fees and appeals (UW-Madison)
- If you are an instructor or teaching assistant (TA), you will have access to the eText at no extra cost to you. You do not need to opt out.
- If you are a senior guest auditor, you must opt out to avoid being charged.
- If you are an observer, you will have access to the eText at no extra cost to you. You do not need to opt out.
Things to Consider
Before opting out, please consider the following:
- Opting for “all or nothing” - In courses using an eText and a DLT, you may not opt out of one or the other. By opting out of the eText, you are automatically opted-out of the corresponding DLT, which could significantly affect your success in the course. The same goes for courses using multiple eTexts - you may not opt out of one specific text.
- Loss of features and benefits - You will lose access to all features and benefits of the eText (and DLT, if applicable). Some of the specific features and benefits you will forfeit include:
- Significant cost-savings
- Additional content that the instructor might add to the eText, such as links to other content; additional supplemental resources; and highlights, annotations, and study tips to guide engagement and learning in the course.
- The ability to engage, interact, and collaborate with classmates and the instructor within the eText, which in some courses is factored into grading and could significantly impact your success.
- The ability to print up to 50 pages of the text at a time, for free (**This only applies for courses using an eText in Unizin Engage. Printing is not generally available in publisher DLTs, e.g. Cengage or Pearson)
- The ability to purchase a printed loose-leaf copy of the text at the UW Bookstore (**This is only applicable for specific courses. Pearson eTexts are not available for purchase in loose-leaf format.)
- Students responsible for obtaining alternative versions - As mentioned above, you will be responsible for acquiring legally obtained, alternative versions of all required course materials. (**Note: This is not possible in some cases. See above for details.) Instructors are not responsible for providing you with alternative materials or waiving course requirements. If you need specific accessibility accommodations, please contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center.
- Risk of falling behind - You risk falling behind in the course if alternative versions of the same materials are not acquired prior to the first day of the course.
- If you plan to drop the course, you will be refunded automatically and do not need to opt out. Refunds for course drops will follow standard tuition refund rules.
This list is not comprehensive as you may miss other benefits depending on the specific course and instructor.
How to opt out
The Spring 2020 refund period for course materials and tuition has now passed. For more information on UW-Madison dates and deadlines, please review the registrar's dates and deadlines website.