I am debating if I should adopt the McGraw-Hill Connect system for my course next semester. On one hand, I am worried about the students' backslash because of the cost. On the other hand, after the pandemic teaching experience this fall semester, I want to utilize every opportunity to improve the students' grasp of the material.
The course in question is a quantitative one, taught to business students. It requires a lot of practice with problems, but in the current situation I cannot simply give a problem and circulate among the desks, helping to those who struggle. Another important feature: I have three sections for this course, each having about 50 students, so individual approach is problematic.
I have already coded quite a few "instant feedback" assignments in Blackboard LMS, but I feel that's not enough. Besides, even just importing and aligning them in LMS takes more time than I would spend lecturing in the classroom. Also, Connect allows me to monitor if the students actually read the textbook, and I expect that it would encourage them to actually read it. There is also an automatic text-to-speech narration, which is bad, but better than nothing -- they can listen to it while commuting, hopefully something sticks.
I will highly appreciate if someone shares their experience with me. Does Connect really improve student performance? If it does, how do you communicate to them that the hefty price is worth it?
Update: I saw some commenters concerned about the ethics of making the students pay for it, so I have changed the thread name to make my question more clear. More context: I work in a private US university, where the tuition is about $50,000 per year. Hence, the students are paying roughly $5000 to take this class. The publisher price for one semester access to Connect is over $100, which is outrageous, but if this allows the students to make the most of their tuition, I believe the right thing for me to do will be to adopt the system.
Of course, there are long-term consequences of this decision. A significant part of that ever-increasing tuition is what the universities have to pay to LMS and database providers: once their product gets adopted, they keep raising the prices, because switching to another textbook/system is very costly for the university. But I believe my responsibility is to do what is best for my students.