Akademos: Have you experienced any difficulties this semester? [Update]

Meanwhile, in “Noconfidenceindistrictoplis,” our heroes struggle to even be students…

Last fall, I actually expressed to my dean how surprisingly wonderful the Akademos user interface was for ordering books.

I should have known better.

My classes are currently plagued with students who do not yet have their books. We’re in week four, and students report they haven’t received their books. On the first week, a number of students claimed they had no way of knowing what books to buy. I’m sure the information was available to them, but they didn’t know where to get it. Today, I heard two reports in my smallest class of one student still waiting on his book (though he ordered it on week two) and another student who first experienced a delay in shipping, only to receive a book for a psychology class. And psychology is not philosophy (we often get confused by people or businesses that don’t understand academics).

Maybe some of my students are exaggerating their book woes, or blaming the system when it is in fact their fault. But it can’t be true for all students.

If we had a brick and mortar supply, I would know that they had a clear opportunity to get their books. Now? We’re in week four and some students may yet have cracked the cover of principal core texts.

Is anyone else having problems with Akademos? Good, bad, or weird, share your experiences in the comments.

UPDATE: Within twenty minutes of posting this, I received a phone call from an Akademos representative. The rep told me someone had alerted her about this post. They offered to provide information for any or all of my students on when they ordered the book and whether they’ve received it or not. This feels a little creepy to me. I accepted the information anyway, confident that I’ll use my knowledge of ethical theories to justify this some way or another. Utilitarianism usually works in such cases, but I’m screwed in Kant’s categorical imperative. Anyway, I learned that a grand total of 8 of my 15 students had ordered a book through Akademos. The two students I referred to above didn’t order their books until early February, despite reporting to me for weeks that their books were ordered and on the way. The story about receiving a psychology book instead of the philosophy book was confirmed. This is no less frustrating than before, but the fact that students waited until February to order books means that they must share in the responsibility.

2 thoughts on “Akademos: Have you experienced any difficulties this semester? [Update]

  1. I’m lucky enough to teach a subject that has lots of high quality open source options. It saves students money, but my initial reason for going this direction was simply to save myself from headaches regarding bookstores and publishers. But for all those who can’t viably go open source, I wish the best of luck that the process keeps getting better for you. 🙂

  2. The problems this term have been with the unwillingness of one of the bookstore employees at the HWC campus to help students. She just refuses to help them.

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