Hero User Guide
This is it -- this is the big one! If you're a Hero user looking for a fully immersive quest, then this is the page for you.
If you'd rather consume the Guide in sections, you can read the separate Faculty, Coordinator, Bookstore, or Student sections at those links. Or if you'd like to skip ahead through this document, you can jump to the Faculty, Coordinator, Student or Bookstore sections of this post at those links. Otherwise, here we go! Click any title to skip around. Click any picture to zoom in!
Let's kick things off with a letter from Alan Martin, Sidewalk's Founder and CEO.
Faculty User Guide
This part of the guide is tailored just for faculty users. If you're a faculty member (or you're curious about the lives of faculty members) then this is the section for you. Otherwise, you can read the Coordinator, Bookstore, or Student posts.
Here's everything we'll discuss in this section. Click any title to skip around. Click any picture to zoom in!
- Putting Faculty and Students on the Same Page
- How Single Sign On (SSO) Works
- Creating an Adoption
- Adopting Something You’ve Not Used Before (or Need to Search For)
- Adding Comments to Your Adoption
- Adding a Second Item to Your Adoption
- Creating a Second Option Altogether
- Saving and Submitting Your Adoption
- Adopting Something You Have Used Before
- Digital Negotiation
- Inclusive Access
- Attaching Videos, Files and Links
- Accessing Publisher Resources
- Adopting Non-Textbook Items
- Adopting a Custom Book
- The Cost Wizard
Faculty User Guide
Putting Faculty and Students on the Same Page
The challenge with the bookstore’s role in content today is that it is only involved in part of the conversation. And it’s the part that is shrinking every term. Faculty tell the bookstore what textbooks they need. But what about everything else? What about open educational resources? What about alternate editions of the core textbook? What if they’re working with the publisher to use a digital item and it doesn’t occur to them that the bookstore can help? If the bookstore is only viewed as relevant to physical textbooks, it will become less and less relevant over time - just like the physical book. There is a very robust and growing content conversation happening between faculty and students, and Hero puts the bookstore into that conversation. It is indeed the platform where that conversation happens. So, the secret to Hero is this: it is a platform for faculty to communicate their content requirements and recommendations directly to students. Period.
So, the secret to Hero is this: it is a platform for faculty to communicate their content requirements and recommendations directly to students. Period.
It also happens to manage the full adoptions workflow front to back. But it is positioned for faculty to have the content conversation directly with their students. You can think of Hero as a visual and interactive syllabus which puts faculty and students on the exact same page as it relates to course materials. It is designed this way to drive the most accurate, thorough, and responsive behaviors from faculty.
How Single Sign On (SSO) Works
Hero is a Single Sign On (SSO) application, meaning it integrates seamlessly with your campus and doesn’t require a separate username and password to log on. It consumes both the course file and student enrollment file from the registrar's office, and when faculty and students click to visit Hero, it uses your campus’ own authentication credentials to perform a match on Hero, which results in faculty and students being greeted with a personalized experience. When they visit Hero, they see only the classes which pertain to them by default. Of course they can view any classes on campus. But thanks to SSO, users gets a personalized experience and don’t even need to remember a username or password. As long as they can log in to the campus network, they get to Hero. Voila!
Creating an Adoption
Upon logging in, you’ll arrive at the course materials page, which displays the courses you are teaching. It’s here that you’ll select materials for the term. You can find something you haven’t used before, find items you have used before, or add videos, files and links for your students. And importantly, if no learning materials are required, it’s still very important to let your students know that. Simply check the box in the middle of the page and they’ll know no materials are needed.
We'll walk through each of these options one at a time.
Adopting Something You’ve Not Used Before (or Need to Search For)
The Adoption Editor is super powerful, as you’ll see. But in simplest form, if you’re searching for an item, simply key in the ISBN or search by title, author, or keyword.
Your search brings back results, and a lot of data and options with each title returned. There are several pieces of information present with each book. You’ll see front and center how much the book costs students on average, and you’ll see the list price right underneath. Some books are available digitally, and those are marked with an "H" logo, and will have a Negotiate option. If there are publisher resources available, you’ll see a purple View button. And at any time you can click on Research Title to learn more about the book. But at its simplest, you can simply click Add or drag and drop the book into the dotted box.
Adding Comments to Your Adoption
When you click the Add Comments button, two comment windows open below the item. The box to the right is for you to tell students anything you’d like about the content. This can be as short or long as you’d like. There’s no limitation on the length of comment. Keep in mind, though, that whatever you type in the Message to Students box will be displayed alongside the content when students are registering for classes and acquiring their content.
The Message to Bookstore box shows up only for the bookstore staff in one of their back-end processes as they prepare to source your materials.
Once you’ve selected your requirement level and added any comments, this item is ready to go! Now, let’s talk about adding another item to the adoption.
Adding A Second Item to Your Adoption
To add another item to the same adoption, simply perform another search. Here I’ve searched for “biological science lab manual.” Of course you can just enter an ISBN to arrive at the exact item. From here just click the item you want in the search results and drag it over until it meets the item that is already in the adoption container to the right (or click the Add button). You’ll see a green arrow appear once your item has been dragged to the correct spot. At that point, just release it and it will join the existing item.
Here's how it will look.
OK, now you've dropped a lab manual into the adoption to accompany your core biological science textbook. All the same things apply to this lab manual as they did to the core textbook. You can mark the requirement level (we've marked this one Recommended), and you can add comments to students or the store.
And with that, the adoption is complete. You have a book and lab manual and notes to the student to have this by the first day of class.
Creating A Second Option Altogether
Now, what if you're OK using an older edition of the textbook? Well, that would be an Option in Hero. Let’s build one. Maybe you've moved on to the new edition of this textbook (6th), but you're OK if your students still use the 5th. So we'll add it as an option. Note here - at the bottom of each adoption there is a gray bar and a plus sign in a box that says Drop Item or Click to add new Option. OK, here we go:
Two things to notice here. First, we've clicked on the plus sign to add a new option. And second, we've searched for more textbooks on the left hand side.
From here, drag and drop the book you want into Option 2. You can search and find other items and drop into Option 2 just like we did with Option 1 above.
Here's what it looks like:
For Option 2, we've selected the 5th edition of the same book as the first option, we've marked it as Required, we've added a student note, and we've included the same lab manual using the same method as adding the lab manual to Option 1. You could repeat this process as much as you want. Maybe you're OK with the 6th, 5th and 4th edition of the same book. Hero loves it. You can build as many options as you’d like.
Hero loves it. You can build as many options as you’d like.
If you want to add another adoption to this course, simply find any other item using the search to the left, and click Add. It will put that new item into its own new adoption. You can also click the plus sign in the gray bar below the adopted items which says Drop Item or Click to add new Option. That will open up a new area for you to drag and drop new items from your searches to the left. Let’s save this adoption so we can see how it looks, and if we’re happy with it, we’ll submit it. Here we go...
Saving and Submitting Your Adoption
At the top of the Adoption Editor you’ll see an option to Exit Without Saving (don't do it yet -- though if you ever click that by accident, don't worry; we’ll ask you if you’re sure), and another option to Save This Adoption along with a little note reminding you that you’ll actually submit it on the next page. Let’s do that.
Once you save your adoption, you’ll be taken out to the Courses page, which is identical to what the students see when they’re registering for classes and acquiring their materials from the bookstore. It’s from here that you can review the adoption and make sure it looks right. You’ll see your options laid out. Our bright pink flags let students know if the item is Required, Recommended or Optional. Just below the price panel to the right, you’ll see your comment to students in a box that is highlighted in pink. You’ll see your lab manual below, and the complete second option. All laid out with strong visual queues on the page for the student.
Importantly, notice the message displayed above your content: it’s a reminder that the bookstore won’t receive this item to place it on order until you click Finalize. So if you’re happy with how things look, please click Finalize. You’ll get another message that lets you know the task is complete. Let’s look at that next.
You can be sure the store has your adoption at this point. And of course, if you need to return make changes after finalizing, that’s OK.
Ready to keep going? Alright! Now let’s look at adopting something you have used in a previous term.
Adopting Something You Have Used Before
When you click on Readopt on the previous page, the Adoption Editor opens up with your previous materials pre-populated. You can now select any or all of your previous materials, and add any new items as well. Everything from here is identical to all the workflows already shown for building and submitting an adoption. This is simply a shortcut to your previous materials.
Note: Hero attempts to capture three years of history, meaning you can find items which are further back than just the previous term. Also, you can look across your entire campus to see what other courses have used over the previous years, and all the way up through current. All you do is click on Past Department and Past Course to see materials across any department on campus. And it goes even further: if you click on School, you’ll be able to find materials used at any university which that uses Hero. This becomes a powerful transparency platform which will lead to the best materials being used for better student outcomes.
This becomes a powerful transparency platform which will lead to the best materials being used for better student outcomes.
Next let’s look at digital negotiation, adopting non-textbook items, and entering custom ISBNs.
One of the most important aspects of Hero is that is has the ability to lower the cost of content. Fundamentally, it just shows you the price students will have to pay, and hopefully makes the entire community a little more aware of the cost of textbooks. Keep in mind, 65% of students go without some of their required materials because of cost alone. And a full 50% of students actually select some of their courses just based on the cost of the textbook. Hero hopes to make that a thing of the past, and digital negotiation is one of the tools which is driving down the cost of content.
As you can see in this search result in the Adoption Editor, there is an option to get the book digitally for less by clicking Negotiate. Not all books have this option, but many do. Let’s use the next image to see what the Learn More link has to say, and then let’s actually kick off a digital negotiation!
Here’s the Learn More popup explaining what digital negotiation does. In a nutshell, it fires of an automatic negotiation with the publisher to reduce the price of this content in exchange for you adopting the digital (instead of physical) version of the book. All that is required to get this going, is for you to input your estimated enrollment and click Yes. This is massively simple, and there is no obligation whatsoever. Once you put in the estimated enrollment for your course and click Yes, Hero will add the item to your adoption container just like any other adoption. You still need to save the page, of course.
This looks familiar right? This book is ready to save, but notice it has the little digital negotiation badge (the “H”) alongside the item. It’s time to save the adoption which will initiate the negotiation process. We’ll show you how that looks in the next image.
Back on the Courses page you’ll notice this item now says Status: In Negotiation. This means it has been sent out for negotiation with the publisher. Expect an answer back in no more than 10 days. You’ll receive an email notification once your negotiation is complete. We’ll show you that next.
Now the fun begins! You can see the negotiation came back successfully. And all the durations and prices are displayed as well. From here, you can click See Prices for the Physical Book and the panel to the right will flip over to show you the prices on the market for the physical book (it’s a fun move; you should try it). If you’re not happy with the digital prices offered, just click Decline. The item will revert back to the physical pricing and you can simply finalize your adoption. But if you like the digital price, click Accept. Just like a physical adoption, you'll Finalize the adoption in the next screen. Here's what it looks like when you've accepted the negotiation and finalized the adoption:
The digital item is all loaded up and ready for students to access. Congrats! You might have reduced the price of this item by as much as 50%.
Even deeper discounts are often available when the publisher is able to work with your bookstore and registrar’s office to direct bill students for the negotiated content inside the LMS. Hero facilitates this behind the scenes, just like it does with digital negotiation. But when the item is loaded into the LMS directly, Hero simply provides the access point like this. Inclusive Access is a form of digital negotiation that can achieve even lower prices and is used by some campuses. If you think your campus might be a good fit for Inclusive Access, let us know!
Attaching Videos, Files and Links
Clicking Browse Options lets you cruise your computer for any files you’d like to attach. Clicking Add Videos and Web Links opens up a modal that allows you to directly enter URLs.
You can enter links to anywhere and describe them, and enter videos from YouTube or Vimeo. Just find the video you are looking for at either of those sites, copy the url, and paste it into the field.
YouTube links look like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfR_gJQgdRk
Vimeo links look like this: https://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks/201795592
Note: these end up playing right within Hero which is pretty neat and easy. Let’s see how it looks once you’ve added files and links and videos on the next page.
These items are now available to students. You can add more or delete any time. This is very fluid. The bookstore does not receive these as adopted items to source of course. These are just course material enhancements. Here's how that video looks when you play it:
Super simple and accessible, the videos play right within Hero.
Accessing Publisher Resources
Hero connects to the publishing community in really useful way. Any publisher can access Hero and essentially promote their content by adding lots of free and useful ancillary materials -- Powerpoints, videos, quizzes, other documents, etc. They can attach these useful items to any book they’ve published, and Hero will display it. In the shot above, notice one of the items indicates there are publisher resources available. You’ll notice an icon and a View button. Click that to see what’s available with the title.
Now you can see a description of the item, and any content offered alongside. You’ll also see a link to contact the publisher and to request a sample copy. Publishers aren’t required to fill out all areas of this form, so there’s a chance not all areas of this popup will be filled in.
And an important note: when you adopt a book that has publisher resources, you can share those same publisher resources with your students instantly! It’s very neat. We’ll show you that next.
Here’s your item saved to the Courses page. You can see it has publisher resources because…well, it says so right there in a big purple button. Let’s click that button to open the resources.
Here it is. You can open and save any file or play any video. And with a single click, you can share any or all of these items with students. When you click Share, the item will show up instantly in your students Hero page. You can click Share again to remove the item. In this example, you can see we've shared two of the three items above with our students.
Adopting a Non-Textbook Items
Back to the Adoption Editor! Notice one of your options is to Create an Item. These are typically items out on the web that you want your students to buy or access. Very importantly, your bookstore will receive this information and attempt to source the items directly into the store, making it even easier for students to purchase.
Let’s navigate to this and build one together.
Here we are at the empty form. Just fill it out with required information...
...and click Compile.
Here is the compiled item. From here simply add the item to the adoption just like any other item. Select your requirement level (Required, Optional or Recommended) and add comments if any, and you’re done! The item will show up on the Courses page with an estimated price and a link directly to the item. This makes it perfectly easy and accurate for students to find exactly what you requested.
Adopting a Custom Book
Back to the Adoption Editor...again! One of your options is to Enter Custom ISBN. This is a very simple form to fill out and send to the bookstore with enough key information for them to order the book for you. Once you’ve compiled the item and added it to the adoption container, you can mark it with its requirement level and add comments for the store or students. The store will likely be in touch with you to verify all is correct in the ordering of custom books.
The Cost Wizard
The Adoption Editor has a very neat filter called Cost Wizard. You’ve probably seen it a bunch of times by now. It works simply like this: as you search for books, you can drag the dial of the Cost Wizard wherever you’d like, and it will filter out any items which are more expensive than your setting. So if you’re on a mission to adopt materials which will cost your students $50 or less, drag the dial to $50 and search with that filter in place. The next image shows a full search at unlimited price, and then we’ll dial it back to show how the search results change.
Here our search is returning the most relevant biological science books, regardless of cost, because the Cost Wizard is set to unlimited. Next let's drag the dial back.
Note: You can enter your search criteria once, and then just drag the dial as much as you’d like to change your results based on price.
We've taken the dial down to $50 to see what will return, and you’ll notice the top result is now less than $50. All subsequent results down the page are also $50 or less. Let’s drag it to OER and do another search.
In the OER position, Hero will now only return Open Educational Resources (OERs). By the way, if your friends are talking about OER and it's way too late for you to ask what it is, exactly, you can click the What's This? link to see this explanation:
What is OER and how is Hero involved?
OER stands for Open Educational Resources. In the movement to lower the cost of content, faculty are more and more looking to resources outside of mainstream publishing. These resources sometimes come in the form of low cost or free textbooks, but may also show up as articles, apps, learning modules, etc. It's a broad term to explain the search for content at a low price, perhaps even free, and often not published by the mainstream.
Your bookstore, through Hero, is building an OER database to bring more low cost content to students. By filtering on "OER" in the search feature, we'll attempt to return only results which fit the criteria of an open educational resource. Keep checking in as this will expand over time.
Pretty neat, huh? So there you have it! That’s the Cost Wizard. We hope it is a solid assist in keeping the cost of course materials in check.
You made it! Nice job! Want to keep going? Click below:
Student User Guide
This section walks through the student experience. Hero puts faculty and students on the same page -- literally. This section will be short and sweet, but give you a good idea what students can do with Hero.
Student User Guide
Accessing Courses Through Single Sign On (SSO)
Your institution's bookstore staff and IT team have linked Hero to key places on campus. You'll will likely find a spot to look for course materials on the bookstore website, inside your LMS and perhaps on the registration page. If Hero is set up using Single Sign On (SSO), once they click to see their course materials, you’ll be taken to a single page in Hero with all your courses pre-populated, which looks something like what you see below.
This page will contain your full list of courses, and return all course materials being used. There is a price comparison panel that displays the bookstore’s price both for the physical or digital book if they have it, and it displays the price of many online competitors as well so that you can make the best buying decision possible. From here you can check out right at your bookstore’s website, or on the website of another book seller online.
Notice at the top of the page you can toggle to a different term, you can browse the entire catalog, or you can print your booklist entirely. This is a neat feature that consolidates all your materials into a simple list for you to take to your bookstore and pick the shelves.
Accessing Courses as a Guest
If you're browsing the catalog, or if your campus doesn't have Single Sign On, you’ll see a page like this where you can rapidly select all of your courses at once to view all learning materials.
Nice job! On to the Coordinator Guide! Or another choice:
Coordinator User Guide
This section is dedicated to the dedicated. We’re talking about department staff, of course! On many campuses department staff (often referred to as Coordinators) perform the adoption work for faculty. So if this is you, please read up on the Faculty adoption portions of this user guide. It will teach you everything you need to know about the adoption work you’ll be performing in Hero (You can dip into the Bookstore or Student guides too, of course.).
Unlike faculty, however, Coordinators have a special dashboard to get them through multiple adoptions faster, and to give them a visual queue as to the progress of adoptions every term.
Here's everything we'll discuss in this section. Click any title to skip around. Click any picture to zoom in!
- The Courses Dashboard Overview
- The Courses Dashboard: Section Links
- The Courses Dashboard: Dot Colors
- The Courses Dashboard: Communicating with Faculty
- Endorsing and Creating Adoptions for Faculty
The Courses Dashboard Overview
We’ll show several versions of this dashboard to cover it all. But just note that as a coordinator, you should by default land on your course dashboard. If not, you can always navigate to it using the menu at top right. Once here, you’ll see all the departments that are assigned to you in Hero. If you are coordinating for a department, and you don’t see it here, contact your bookstore. They can add you to any department immediately.
The Courses Dashboard is a color-coded page to help you understand which sections have adoptions, and which sections with adoptions have been marked as complete (by you).
The most basic concept about this dashboard is this: it is a color-coded page to help you understand which sections have adoptions, and which sections with adoptions have been marked as complete by you. It also has shortcuts to every course and every faculty profile, and allows you to communicate with faculty in a few different ways. Let’s look at that same image again:
Up at the top you can see a bright blue department abbreviation and department name. We arranged this page by department so it's easier for you to get oriented.
Below the department name you'll see three buttons. Those buttons each let you communicate with faculty in a different way -- you'll like those a lot.
Then there are all the red links (they change color--more on that in a minute--but in this screenshot they're all red). These are links to every section being taught in the department. You can click on them to see their specific details.
Hero groups those section links by faculty member. The links in the uppermost container aren’t yet assigned to anyone. They will be! But they aren’t just yet. This can change daily as Hero gets more information from your registrar’s office.
As faculty are assigned, the links fall in line next to a faculty name and disappear from the upper container, as you can see in the row where it says Instructor, English.
Dr. English Instructor doesn't exist, of course -- this is a demo account. In a real account you'd see an actual faculty member's name. Next, let's talk about the link color code and other color codes.
Here’s how the color code works. And take courage - once you understand the color code, you can pretty rapidly assess your departments.
The section color code has everything to do with your own workflow, and nothing to do with whether or not there are adoptions made for these sections.
The section color code (next to Courses) has everything to do with your own workflow, and nothing to do with whether or not there are adoptions made for these sections. As a coordinator assigned to a department, Hero gives you your own workflow to ensure the accuracy of adoptions. Remember, this page is for you. A red link indicates that you’ve not verified the adoption is accurate. A green link indicates that you have.
To show you what we mean, we'll show you what happens when you click one of the section links. You’ll zip through a shortcut right to the section in the Courses page itself without having to navigate.
By clicking the section link, you’ve arrived on the Courses page with this section pre-loaded. Notice there is a toggle here that asks Adoption Complete?. This is for you to track what you have and haven’t verified for yourself.
If you verify the adoption looks good and toggle to Yes, the section link will show up green in your courses dashboard. If a faculty member or anyone else comes along later and deletes this item and adopts something new, your toggle will reset to No, the link will revert back to red and you’ll know visually in the Courses Dashboard that you have a section to validate. If one section for a course has been marked Yes and one has been marked No, the link for both will turn yellow (we'll show you that in a minute). After checking an adoption and toggling (or not), you'll use the menu in the top right to navigate back to your Courses Dashboard. We'll click the toggle first -- here's what that looks like.
Neat, right? When you toggle Yes, the indicator turns green. With that done, let's go back to the Courses Dashboard and see what has changed.
The section link has changed from red to green. On the next page we’ll show you what it looks like when all sections have been verified by the coordinator.
We've gone in now and verified all adoptions in these courses. But wait…why is one course yellow? Notice, it’s because there are two distinct sections for the course, and we only verified one of the two. Hero alerts you any time that happens with a separate color designation.
In the image below we've gone in and verified the other section. Now all are green.
Finally, let's talk about Dot Colors.
These dots have everything to do with adoptions. They have nothing to do with your own process of validating adoptions.
Now, it’s time to talk about these weird colorful dots. They can be either green, red, or yellow. These dots have everything to do with adoptions. They have nothing to do with your own process of validating adoptions. They are simply indicating whether or not all of the courses and sections assigned to each faculty have adoptions, or not.
A green dot indicates that all courses and sections assigned to the particular faulty member have adoptions. Green = good.
A yellow dot means that some of the courses and sections have adoptions, but some are missing.
A red dot means that no adoptions have been made for the courses and sections indicated to the left. Red = bad.
So using the dots you can very rapidly assess which faculty are slow to adopt and what trouble areas you have to take care of. One of your most effective tools for addressing trouble areas is faculty communication, so let's head there next!
Communicating with Faculty
The action buttons just below the department abbreviation can help you communicate with faculty in two ways--by printing or emailing--and save you a bunch of time by flagging.
The first button will let you print off request forms for faculty who have not yet submitted an adoption. Maybe you just need to walk down to their office and hand them a form to fill in. We can do that.
By default, Hero will print forms only for faculty who have not yet completed an adoption, but if for some reason you want to print a request form for all faculty, just click the checkbox here, and you'll get a form for everyone.
The second button--the mail button--does the same as the print button, but sends an email instead of printing a form. Hello 1995! You can add your own custom message here as well.
The third button takes care of Instructor Flags. This isn't really a way to communicate with faculty, but since we're here, let's talk about it. We think you'll like it.
If a faculty member has told you that nothing they teach will have course materials required this term, Hero can save you (and them) a bit of time. Click the checkbox by the faculty member's name in your dashboard to select them, then click the Instructor Flag button. You'll see this popup:
Click the No Items Needed checkbox and then Save. This scoots every section for that faculty member to the Finalize stage of the process with No Course Materials Required.
OK, last thing: now let’s talk about the other colorful boxes that you can see in the image below. These indicate whether or not faculty have Endorsed the adoptions that have been made.
When someone other than a faculty member makes an adoption (i.e. a coordinator makes an adoption on behalf of a faculty member), it leaves the section unendorsed. There is a toggle faculty click to endorse the work you’ve done on their behalf. Some schools use this. Some don’t. But if you do, it would work like this:
- You’d go in and make the adoption (we’ll explain this next).
- The faculty member would get an email from Hero indicating an adoption had been made and asking them to verify it for accuracy.
- The faculty member would then access Hero and toggle their endorse button to Yes.
Once that happens it lets you know, right here in your dashboard, that the faculty member has verified that their adoption was accurate. It’s a check and balance to ensure that if someone other than the faculty member has actually made the adoption they can still check it for accuracy. Green means they’ve validated. Yellow means they’ve only validated some of the adoptions. Red means they’ve not validated any adoptions yet.
Want to see what this looks like for the faculty member? Great! That's next.
Endorsing and Creating Adoptions
We're logged in here as one of the faculty in the previous dashboard who showed a red box. You can see she has the chance to either say Yes or No to the Endorse Materials? question. Again, this is only applicable if the faculty member is not making the adoption herself. Clicking Yes here will change the box to green in your Courses Dashboard, and you’ll know this adoption has been verified by the faculty.
This is certainly not a requirement of the system, but has proven very handy in departments where very few or maybe none of the faculty make their own adoptions. It’s a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Next, let’s talk about creating adoptions on behalf of faculty.
From your Course Dashboard, you can accomplish the work of adopting on behalf of faculty one of two ways. You can either click on the link to the section, or click on the faculty name. Clicking on the link to the section will take you only to the section. Clicking on the faculty name will take you to the page as if you were logged in as the faculty which means all their courses load on a single page, allowing you to do all adoptions for a particular faculty in one shot.
That’s it! Creating adoptions is really neat. Please refer to the faculty section of this guide to learn everything you need to know about making adoptions.
One last thing: up at the top of your Dashboard there are a few links that we didn't talk about, because they're pretty easy.
These are all just useful tools which give you some reporting and remove some noise from the page to help you do your work. Click around for yourself--you won't break anything. Enjoy!
Congratulations! You've made it! Have room for one more?
Bookstore User Guide
Welcome, welcome, to the Bookstore-specific section of the Hero User Guide! In reality, this entire guide is for you. Having context on what each user experiences on Hero is critical to your ability to get the most out of this platform and give the most back to your users. There are a lot of tools here for you and we’ll do our best to make it all make sense.
Start by reading through this section, and then branch out to the Faculty, Student or Coordinator articles, or keep scrolling here. OK, here we go! We're excited to introduce you to Hero. Click any title to skip around. Click any picture to zoom in!
- Department Dashboard
- Tools for Faculty Communication: Emails
- Tools for Faculty Communication: Email Configuration
- Tools for Faculty Communication: The Engagement Message
- Title Research: The Adoption Workflow
- Title Research: The All Items Report
- Title Research: The Deleted Items Report
- Adoptions Awaiting Finalization
- Stats Page
- Price Insights
- Department Summary Report
- Sections Without Adoptions Report
- Managing Sections
- Managing Users
- Managing Vendors
- Vendor Commission Management
- Supporting Users
- Using the Student Booklist Printout
- Terms Page
- Setting Control Dates
- Disabled Sections
This is the Department Dashboard, where you’ll land every time you log in. It’s a quick snapshot of the progress of adoptions across your campus, and it has a couple of tools embedded to help you communicate with faculty.
The three bars below the grey banner show how many adoptions have not been worked by your store (AKA the Store Backlog), how many adoptions are Complete, and how many adoptions are Endorsed (meaning the faculty have verified for accuracy - some campuses use this and some do not - it’s not a requirement of the system but we think it's neat).
Each department has its own summary as well. Click View Course Summary in any department to see a popup like this:
Now you can check up on an entire department's progress, course by course.
Tools for Faculty Communication
Back to the main page here, there’s a nifty little link which allows you to mass email faculty (or do it one at a time). We’ll show you that on the next page. Click Email Faculty in the upper right to take a whack at it.
Here's the popup that appears when you click Email Faculty. When you open up the email modal, there are two options - or templates.
The first is an Invitation to Endorse. This is an email asking faculty to double-check their adoption if they were not the ones who made the adoption (if, for example, a coordinator performed the adoption for them - read the Coordinator Guide for more on this). Only the faculty who meet this criterion (not having endorsed their adoption) show up in the list of Choose people to send email to, and you'll notice that it's alphabetized (by last name) for your convenience. From this list, you can deselect and reselect any you’d like. You can then add a custom message to the open message field, and once you click Send, Hero will email every checked name on the list.
The default message is quite generic, simply letting them know they have an adoption made, and to please check it for accuracy. Your custom message appends between that canned message and the thank you signature at the bottom. Here's how the basic message looks:
Here’s the auto-generated email for the Invitation to Endorse. Notice it pulls in the faculty member's name as the greeting, automatically inserts the course and section numbers and gives them a link to jump from the email directly to Hero.
Your (optional) custom message goes where we've marked it in the screenshot, and can be as long as you'd like. You can of course forego any kind of special messaging. It’s only there if you’d like to add to the canned template.
You'll likely use the second email template more often. It is the Invitation to Adopt. This one requires a Submission Date. And again, this will filter to only those faculty who have not yet submitted an adoption, though you can include Coordinators as well, if you choose. The template asks them to login to Hero and adopt and gives them the adoption deadline you select. As before, you can add any custom message you’d like before you click Send. Here's how it looks:
Here’s the auto-generated email for the Invitation to Adopt. Notice it pulls in the faculty name as the greeting, automatically inserts the course and section numbers, informs them of the date you selected, and gives them a link to jump from the email directly to Hero.
Your (optional) custom message goes where we've marked it in the screenshot, and can be as long as you'd like. You can of course forego any kind of special messaging. It’s only there if you’d like to add to the canned template.
Not a huge surprise here: when you head to the Email Configuration page you can instantly change communication settings for anyone on Hero. Here's what it looks like:
Everything's in one place, and we'll be adding more settings as Hero (and your communication strategy) develops.
Two things. First (this isn't new), Hero displays a message in an empty section to encourage a faculty member to either adopt or mark that no materials will be required. The default message is rather tame, like this:
Second (this is new), we've created the ability for you -- the Campus Admin -- to be able to edit this message to fit your institution's culture. It's in a new banner at the top of the Department Progress screen:
Once you click Set Engagement Message, you'll get a popup like this. Click in the box to edit it:
This message disappears once adoptions have been added and Finalized, or once someone's marked that there are No Learning Materials Required. It's just meant to motivate someone to start clicking.
Title Research: The Adoption Workflow
Hero is integrated with some of the mainstream point of sale platforms in the market, but not all of them (yet!). Once integrated, adoptions made on Hero flow directly into your point of sale, and this section on adoptions workflow won’t mean as much. But Hero does have a good adoptions workflow on a completely standalone basis, and there are even some benefits to not having a direct integration. We’ll assume for this section that Hero is not integrated with your point of sale as that is the best way to fully understand the adoption workflow Hero offers.
If you’ve read the faculty section of this guide, you understand how adoptions work. Once an adoption is made, it flows to a few different places from which you can manage it. The key places are:
- The Title Research page,
- The All Items Report, and
- The Deleted Items Report (to double check that you haven’t sourced any deleted items)
Lets start with the Title Research page. If you'd like to see a standalone version of this section (including a demo by Sidewalk Founder Alan Martin) click here.
Navigate to this page using the menu. It’s called Title Research.
This is a visual adoptions tracking queue which will only show you the adoptions you haven’t worked.
Once you’re here, you’ll need to select a Term, and then the Department you want to work. You can even dig deeper, down to the Course or the individual ISBN. And here is something to remember about this page: this is a visual adoptions tracking queue which will only show you the adoptions you haven’t worked.
Remember the pink Store Backlog progress bar back on your Department Dashboard? The adoptions that contribute to that bar are the same ones listed here.
This is pretty neat. If there are adoptions within a department that haven’t been worked, that department shows up in this list. Once you’ve worked the adoption (we’ll show you this in a minute), and if you’ve done that for every adoption in the department, the department disappears from this list.
So if you have course materials managers who are assigned to different departments, they can tend this queue very efficiently. If their work is done, their departments won’t show up. But the second a new adoption comes in, the department will be baaaack...and they’ll know there’s another adoption to work. Trust us, you’ll get the hang of it. Let’s take a look at it next:
If you want to look at the entire term at once, don't select a department. Just select a term, and by default, Hero will show you all adoptions for all departments within that term. This is a neat, because it means that the page works just as well whether your role is to manage all items (a classic Course Materials Manager) or if you just need to manage items for a department or two. Any adoption that has been Finalized by a faculty user will show up here in Title Research.
You'll also note a couple of filters at the top of the page. By default you'll be looking at Show All, and you can click your way through the rest.
Adoptions show up in this page in a series of cards, one adoption per card. Let's walk through one of those:
A lot of this probably doesn't need explanation. On the left, you can see the book's cover image (if available), the ISBN, title, edition, and author. On the right, there are a few actions we'll talk through in a minute, and two images at the bottom: an icon that lets you know that, in this case, the book is a new arrival and a number (in this case, "1") telling you in how many sections this book has been adopted.
Click that section number to get a bit more detail (and click Show All in the top bar to expand this section by default):
Click the section link to head straight to the specific section, or click the faculty member's name to email that specific faculty member. Or -- and this is what you might do initially -- just bask in the context. You can see if an item is Required (or Recommended or Optional), and over there on the far right, you can click a chat icon to see Student or Bookstore comments.
The idea is to give you enough context at a glance so that you can source accurately. If the item you're looking at is a problem item, you can see exactly where else it's adopted in Hero, and decide what you want to do about it.
Note: there's a POS Submission Complete? section of the card as well. If you click Yes to all of those questions right away, the item will head over to Needs Approval, where you can decide whether you're ready to source it or you need to do some further research. We'll talk about this a bit more near the end.
If you Approve an item, it looks like this. If you click it by accident, just hit the red X to go back:
If you need to place an item On Hold, it looks like this. If you click it by accident, just hit the red X to go back:
In either case, you might want to explain what you're doing and why. That's where you can Add Notes.
Type something into the blank text box and click Add Note to add it to the item. As you can see from this screenshot, every note is timestamped quite nicely. Click Close to return to the item's card.
If you want to browse through items by notes, there's also the Notes section of the Title Research page. Just click that section in the top right.
Now, any deletions that require you to take action will live in the Deletions section of Title Research.
Adoption cards in the Deletions section look a lot like the New Arrivals, with the addition of one little note:
Click the purple section number box to see what that note means. Here's the popup:
Again, the Title Research page is just for you and your workflow. When your point of sale system and Hero look exactly like you want them to (in this case, when the adoption has been deleted from CHEM 1122 101 in the POS), click Acknowledge Deletion to remove the item from your workflow. Add a Note first, if you like.
If you've acknowledged the deletion and you're still curious about something, check the Deleted Items Report.
Needs Approval / Approved / On Hold / Notes
Click your way through these at your leisure. They're filters. They'll let you look at specific subsets of items for the department you've selected, where you can adjust them, email instructors, or confirm that Hero and your POS display the same information.
POS Submission Complete
Note that each card in Title Research, for each course where the item's been adopted, asks whether the POS Submission is complete.
Title Research is for you to use however you like. One of the ways to use it is as a checklist. As you update your POS with the proper information, click the checkbox by Yes. Then, if you get interrupted you always know exactly where you left off.
Once you click check that your POS is up to date with every course where the item's been adopted, the item won't be a New Arrival anymore, and will disappear. You'll be able to find it again by looking to the appropriate subsection (Approved, On Hold, or even Show All) or by searching directly for the item by ISBN.
That's pretty much it! One more thing to note: each time an item is adopted to a new section, that item will show up in the New Arrivals queue. That's as it should be: you need to make sure that your POS has the item adopted to the appropriate sections, then check it off in Hero.
One way that Title Research saves you time is that you'll only need to research each item once. If you know that the item is Approved, or know that it's a problem, then each time it appears in New Arrivals an item's card will remind you of your conclusion the last time you researched the title. Simply make whatever adjustments you need to, and move on with your day.
Of course, items always reside on your All Items Report, which we’ll talk about next. But that’s how you work the Title Research log. It’s just a visual log of all incoming adoptions, and a methodology to remove them from your workflow once you’ve worked them. Let’s talk about the All Items Report:
Title Research: The All Items Report
On the Stats page (which we’ll talk about in depth later), there is a report called the All Items Report. It captures the whole story of adoptions on your campus. It shows the department, course, section, ISBN, title, requirement level, author, edition, timestamp, and comment to both stores and students for every adoption in the term. You can run and filter and sort this report in many different ways to produce important adoption information. Let’s talk about the Deleted Items Report next.
Title Research: The Deleted Items Report
As a backstop, Hero has a Deleted Items Report as well. Items that are deleted in Hero will no longer show up in the All Items Report since it’s only a snapshot of all current adoptions. But there may be cases where the item was adopted after you had reviewed and gotten ready to source it. The Deleted Items Report will show you every item that has been deleted from Hero as a failsafe. Just so you don’t source items you don't need. If you’re working your adoption log on the Title Research page, in theory this report isn’t needed, but it can offer good peace of mind and catch what otherwise could be costly mistakes. As you’ll see it has the same information as the All Items Report, minus the comment to stores and students.
The Title Research page, the All Items Report and the Deleted Items Report work together to give you a full picture of adoptions on your campus, and the tool required to work those adoptions.
There’s one last thing we need to mention for those who do have Hero integrated to their point of sale, and that’s the Adoptions Awaiting Finalization.
Adoptions Awaiting Finalization
For an integrated point of sale, Hero passes the adoption to the point of sale once faculty click Finalize at the end of their adoption process. But there’s always the chance that faculty might not click that button! So we’ve provided a page for you to see at any given time the sections which have adoptions that are not yet finalized. Just navigate to the menu and click Adoptions Awaiting Finalization.
Simply click on any link in this page to jump to the section itself. The only way for sections to disappear from this page is for them to be deleted from their course entirely, or for them to be finalized.
OK, let’s jump into the Stats page!
We’ll have to take this in pieces because this page is a bit intense. Hero does all it can to bring you data that can be useful not just to your store, but your campus leadership as well. It captures many valuable data points by term, and allows you to track this data over time.
The first part that we’re showing here captures the completeness of adoptions turned in. You’ll see very quickly how many sections have adoptions, how many don’t, and how many do not require learning materials.
Hero does all it can to bring you data that can be useful not just to your store, but your campus leadership as well.
To the right you’ll see four reports which provide a very comprehensive view of your adoption activity. We’ll go into the Department Summary and Sections Without Adoptions reports in detail, but we’ve already covered the All Items and Deleted Items reports in the Title Research workflow section above. Let's start with the numbers in the blocks at the bottom.
The pink block shows how many unique adoptions exist for the term (You can select the term at the top right.).
The cyan block shows how many OERs are adopted.
The yellow block shows how many times the faculty were shown the price of the content they were adopting.
Moving down the Stats page we come into some Engagement Data. Everything below the Engagement Data heading is driven by date range, but always still filtered by the term selected at the top of the page. This allows for any kind of refinement of engagement data for the term.
The Digital Adoption area shows how often digital negotiation was offered during the adoption process, and how many times it was selected and subsequently adopted successfully (or not). And after all is said and done, this section shows how much digital negotiation is saving students on average per title.
This data can be used to report back on exactly what you’re doing to lower the cost of content on campus.
The Price Increase Awareness area shows how many times Hero let faculty know that the item they are currently adopting is more expensive than what they used before. In some cases, faculty change their mind. When they do, we capture that. You can see that in 8 of 31 times, the faculty elected to stick with their previously adopted content instead of moving to a more expensive, often newer, edition. Fascinating, no?
This data can be used to report back on exactly what you’re doing to lower the cost of content on campus. Pretty neat.
Moving down even further, this simply shows how many of each user type has visited Hero during the date range you have selected.
And finally, your Transaction Activity. As students shop on Hero we capture the stats. This shows not finalized sales, but the amount of dollars added to a cart. Since Hero doesn’t actually transact itself (it only passes students to your store and other websites), we capture only the amount of dollars that went to checkout. The actual sale amount is lower.
Alrighty, next let’s talk about your Department Summary Report and Sections Without Adoptions. Remember, both of these reports are found in the top section of the Stats page.
What sets your store apart from your competition in the long run, besides an innovative culture, engaging service, and a wonderful relationship with a vendor who loves you to pieces, is the precision of your data. Pricing analytics are a great way to start. With Hero, you have the ability to compare your store's pricing with pricing in the market, and adjust it down -- or up! -- as necessary.
It's all in a simple page we're calling Price Insights. Click your menu button within Hero to get there, then select a term. You'll be greeted with a simple dashboard a lot like our Stats page:
Up top here, you can see at a glance how your store's retail pricing compares to the market. Green is good, but not too much green. At a certain point, you're selling your books too cheaply. At the same time, if your pricing dips well into the red, nobody will buy from you.
Which, you might say, is all well and good. But unless you can see how each individual ISBN stacks up against the market's average pricing, this page is just a bunch of pretty colors so far.
You're right! Scroll down:
The rest of the page is a straight comparison. It's your ISBNs, your store's New and Used Pricing, the Average Market Price, and, for your convenience, the Difference, if any.
If you're overwhelmed, just click the Difference button. Look at those top offenders, adjust them, and you'll be doing yourself a ton of good.
If you want to slice the data further, you're welcome to! Click that Download Report button to export the full list to a .csv file.
Department Summary Report
The Department Summary Report is wildly valuable. There are many columns, so we’ll show this in two images. This report tells you the on-time adoption rate of every department on campus. That on-time designation is defined, per department, by the following statistics:
- Adoptions turned in by the Adoption Due Date
- Adoptions turned in by the First Day of Class
- Adoptions Never Turned In
These dates (Adoption Due Date and First Day of Class) are defined in your Control Dates page, which we’ll visit in a bit.
Here’s the second half of the report, showing adoptions in by the First Day of Class, and those which were Never Turned In. This is massively valuable. This can be taken to any department on campus, or given to the provost to help understand the HEOA performance on your campus.
Let’s move on to the Sections Without Adoptions report:
Sections Without Adoptions Report
The Sections Without Adoptions Report is organized by department, and is simply a way for you to quickly see all sections missing adoptions. Note: if a section is marked as No Learning Materials Required, it counts as an adoption, and isn’t reflected on this report. This report is just for sections that haven't received any attention, and should have.
Let’s move to Managing Sections, which may be important to the accuracy of reporting on your campus.
The better name for this page is probably “Mark Sections as 'No Learning Materials Required' in Bulk.” So why didn’t we name it that? We don’t know!
Navigate to this page by finding Section Management in the main menu. You’ll come to a page which requires you to select your Term and Department, and will then open up a list of all courses and sections for the department. Here's how that looks:
The reason this page exists is this: there are often many sections on any given campus that will never have learning materials. Maybe they are PE classes or labs. They never require adoptions and faculty will never log in to mark them as No Learning Materials Required. However, it is important that every single section on campus indicates whether or not materials are required. This is key to meeting the requirements of HEOA.
So, rather than begging faculty to login and mark sections as No Learning Materials Required, and rather than you logging into each section one at a time to do this, you can use this shortcut page. Not every campus will need this shortcut, but if yours does, you've probably already said, "Aha!"
Opening up any Department will list every course and section in the department.
Sections with black squares have learning materials adopted already and can’t be changed here.
Sections with empty blue squares mean there are no learning materials yet, and you can in theory check the box. If you check the box it is exactly as if the faculty had clicked No Learning Materials Required on the Course Catalog page. This will mark the course as No Learning Materials Required, which counts as a completed adoption, fulfills requirements of HEOA, and relays the information to any student looking at the course. It’s just a shortcut, but a super handy one.
Sections with checked blue squares are sections that you've already addressed in this page. If you want to undo what you just did, just click them again to uncheck them (or head to the Course Catalog page).
As a Campus Admin you have the power to establish user levels within Hero through the Users page. And you’ll need to use this. Once Hero is implemented on your campus, it will contain the name and email of every person on campus. It’s from here that you can assign people to different roles. Those roles are:
- Student: No kind of assignment needed. Hero can tell a user is a student via the enrollment file from your registrar’s office.
- Faculty: No kind of assignment needed. Hero can tell a user is teaching classes via the course file from your registrar’s office.
- Coordinators: You do need to assign these users.
- Campus Admin: You do need to assign these users.
To assign a Coordinator, simply search for the user using the search bar at top left. Use an email if at all possible. If not, just use their name.
Once you’ve located them, click on the user. This will open the information you see to the right. To make them a Coordinator, simply click Coordinator, and then select any departments you want to assign them below. You can assign multiple people to the same department. If you want to understand the value of Coordinators, read the Coordinators' section of this user guide. This is a powerful role. On the Users page here, you're designating which departments belong to these great department staff. You can change and modify this at any time.
To assign a Campus Admin, simply click Campus Admin. This is designed for people on your store staff who need access to everything we’re going over here in the Bookstore section of the Hero user guide. The primary Admin user on campus can modify these permission levels at any time.
That’s about all you need to know about users. Once you fiddle around in here a little, it will all make good sense. The reset password link is only for campuses which are not implemented with Single Sign On (SSO). It allows you, as the Admin, to assign new passwords to users, though most won’t have to do this because your implementation is more likely to include Single Sign On.
Navigate here through the main menu by selecting Vendors.
Students and faculty see the price of your competition as they perform adoptions and seek to acquire content. This page dictates who does or doesn’t show up in the price comparison panel for faculty and students. In order to fulfill the spirit of HEOA, we encourage campuses to keep all vendors toggled on, but it’s up to you.
As your students shop, and if they purchase items from your competitors instead of your store, you do earn a commission of 4% of the transaction amount. So your store still benefits when students choose a competitor. Hero also gives you an indication of how transparent your price strategy is. As you toggle vendors off, your transparency score may be reduced. If you toggle off Amazon for example, your transparency score will fall by a large margin. This of course is just an internal indicator.
Note: You do need to have Vendors enabled for two other reasons:
- First, enabling RedShelf as a vendor also enables the possibility of Digital Negotiation at your store. So you might want that turned on.
- Second, Hero pulls its market pricing through the vendors. So if you have all vendors turned off, you won't see any pricing for your adoptions.
If you want to hear more about Vendors and the Transparency Score, we thought it was important enough to give the subject its very own post a few months ago. If you're at all scratching your head right now, then we'd bet dollars to donuts that we know the question you're asking. That article answers it, so click away.
Vendor Commission Management
Remember: every time a student adds items from Hero to a cart and checks out with your store online, you get the money. That's easy. But sometimes students will add items from affiliate marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, etc.) to their cart, usually because the item has a better price than your store offers.
Back in the Dark Ages of eCommerce, this was a problem--it meant you'd lost a sale. With Hero, it's not a problem at all. You can use Price Insights to track how your store stacks up against the national textbook market, for one, and affiliate marketplaces will pay you a commission for any customers you send them, for another. That means that instead of glaring at the back of a student's head while she wanders your shelves with her phone out, buying books on Amazon that are literally six inches from her face, you can now rejoice: if your student uses Hero to comparison shop (and trust us, nearly every student is comparison shopping), you capture the commission off anything she buys at that marketplace. If she went to Amazon for a textbook and ended up buying a jet ski, you get a commission from the entire sale.
So Lesson One: turn on those Vendors. You get zero commissions for vendors that are disabled. And Lesson Two is similar: send students to Hero. You get zero commissions for sales that don't pass through Hero.
So let's assume that sales are cascading into your Stats page. Back behind the curtain, your commissions flow to you this way: each affiliate marketplace pays Sidewalk for all clickthrough commissions for a given month. Sidewalk tracks what portion of the commissions are from your store, and gets you a commission check quarterly.
It used to be that only our accountants could see this information, and only then if they were wearing their official green visors and sleeve garters. But Sidewalk's watchword is "Transparency," so we're bringing this information to you, and we've put it on your Vendors page. Want to see?
To get to your Vendors page, click the Hero Menu in the top right hand corner of your screen and click Vendors. Then, scroll to the bottom of the page. You'll see a spreadsheet like this, and if you've been with Hero for at least one fiscal quarter, you'll see it filled in. Click on this picture to see it zoom a bit:
•On the left, you can see all the possible affiliate marketplaces that you could have sent customers to.
•In the black text, you can see the total Sales you sent to each marketplace, each quarter.
•In the blue text, you can see your Commissions from those sales.
•If you've been with Hero for ages, you can scroll the table left and right.
•At the bottom, you can see your total sales and commissions for each quarter.
•And finally, in the top right you'll see a link to download the report, if you like. From there, you can slice and dice the data any way you choose.
Neat, right? This is all part of Sidewalk's commitment to do to things. We want to remove barriers between your store and raw, excellent data, so you can see what we're thinking and (maybe of greater importance) you can communicate your store's value to anyone who needs to see it.
Because you see that black number there? It was going to happen either way. Students comparison shop. And that blue number? If you hadn't chosen to implement Hero, that number would be exactly $0.
As the bookstore, you're the resident Hero expert on your campus. And since everyone knows how to contact you, it's likely that you'll be the first call when a Hero user is confused.
Thanks to this User Guide and your own innate intuition, you'll be able to answer most questions offhand. And for anything that stumps you, you have access to your very own Customer Success Manager (or email@example.com, if you prefer).
For those questions in the middle -- you don't know what the person's talking about right away, but you bet you could figure it out yourself -- then you might consider Proxy. Proxying as another user allows you to see the world through their eyes.
To get there, click the Proxy button in the upper right of your screen and start typing in a user's name or email. Hero will return a prioritized list of users at your school:
Once you select the user -- this is particularly helpful if they're on the phone with you, and you want them to walk you through Hero from their perspective -- you'll see what they see.
Once you're in, click around! Any changes you make will be noted in the Change Logs as you, not the person you're proxying, so no one has to worry about ghost users proxying in and messing data up, then leaving without a trace.
Using the Student Booklist Printout
There’s a nifty little feature atop every student’s booklist. Whether they login via SSO or as a guest to build a course list, from the Courses page, there is a Print button. This is to make life easy inside your store. You can print this summary for students and help them find their books quickly. It’s great.
Navigate here by finding Terms in the main menu.
Terms and Control Dates are partners in crime. Unlike Control Dates, however, with a proper POS integration you’ll never really visit the Terms page. It should populate automatically by virtue of the files Hero consumes from the Student Information System (SIS - we refer to this casually as the “registrar’s office” at times as well). This page will show you which terms have come across the system (and when they last successfully imported, in case you're worried), meaning they are available in Hero. But the magic really happens with Control Dates, so let’s go there.
Setting Control Dates
Navigate here by finding Control Dates in the main menu, then select a Term from the drop down in the upper right.
Control Dates basically tell your active terms when certain events should happen, and how your term should report certain data. They used to be a little confusing to manage, so we've cleaned up the language quite a bit. See how easy it is now?
If you don't set anything for the first set of dates (or if today is outside of the date range you set) then the term won't appear to students (or anyone). Otherwise, these dates affect Hero's reporting, and drive fields to help you with HEOA compliance on the All Items Report.
And finally, Disabled Sections. Since Hero is consuming information directly from the registrar’s office, it may reflect sections open for adoption one day, and then your registrar will delete a course, section or handful of sections altogether. Well, that’s just fine, but we want Hero to let you know when that happens. So, Hero captures all the disabled sections. Come to this page whenever you want to know which sections were active in your student information system, and now are not.
Well, what more can we say. We hope you find this user guide helpful. Most of all, we hope you’ll embrace Hero. It’s an incredibly inexpensive piece of software that we believe will change the world. That might sound little over the top, but hear us out: 65% of students are going without some course materials today because they are too expensive. 50% of students are choosing their courses based on the cost of content. The cost of content is fundamentally altering student career trajectories and impacting student success. Hero addresses this head on.
Hero is a comprehensive course materials discovery and adoptions management platform. It brings objectivity and transparency to faculty to help them make good content decisions while considering the cost to students, and we’ve watched it consistently change faculty behavior as they’ve become more exposed to the cost of the content they’re choosing.
Hero has the power to nudge the cost of content downward. And if content costs less, more students will use it. If more students use it, their chances of success will increase. And if the content is more affordable, they might stay on their intended career path or chase the thing they’re most interested in. That just has to matter. It does matter, and over the long term, we think it matters to a lot of people. Maybe even the entire world.
- The team at Sidewalk
PS: If you want to keep reading, don't forget our Faculty, Coordinator, or Student User Guides. If you have any questions, grab your nearest Customer Success Manager or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll be glad you did.