The Heller Report: Bell & Howell CoursePacks offer online article collections for college courses

Bell & Howell CoursePacks offer online article collections for college courses – Brief Article

Bell & Howell’s Information and Learning business unit (Ann Arbor, MI, www.bellhowell. infolearning.com) is now enabling professors to create web-based collections of articles from Pro Quest, the company’s online resource of newspaper and periodical databases. The service is intended to make updated information available as a core or supplementary textbook. Professors can assemble their own articles or choose from more than 100 CoursePacks that have already been assembled by subject matter experts. Students will be able to purchase access to the Pro Quest CoursePacks online, and that purchase will give them unlimited access to the resources for a semester and the ability to print articles.

Barbara Zitzewitz, director of higher education applications, says that Bell & Howell is focused on the higher education market for the product, but they are getting requests from potential clients in K-12 and corporate training. She expects professors to assemble CoursePacks costing from $20 to $25, with individual articles ranging from one to two dollars. Professors can link to their own notes from the service, and Zitzewitz says that Bell & Howell is considering adding tools that would allow students to make notations in the materials. Many CoursePacks also include instructor aids and background information such as web links, writing assignments, key points of the article, study questions or bibliographic citations.

CoursePacks must be adopted at the beginning of the semester. Updates require the creation of Mini CoursePacks, and Bell & Howell encourages these additions by notifying professors via email of new, relevant articles. The offering currently serves courses in business, humanities and social sciences. It will be expanded to cover all subject areas.

Pro Quest CoursePacks are not a part of bigchalk.com, the recently merged business between Bell & Howell and Electric Library. (See p. 10.).

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