Press Center > VitalSource and UC Davis Win 2021 IMS Learning Impact Award

June 16, 2021

VitalSource and UC Davis Win 2021 IMS Learning Impact Award


June 16, 2021

The 2021 Gold Medal from IMS Global Learning Consortium was awarded for scaling an Equitable Access program

RALEIGH, North Carolina (June 8, 2021) - VitalSource® and the University of California, Davis, have been awarded the 2021 IMS Learning Impact Award for their groundbreaking Equitable Access program, an initiative designed to support equity and affordability in higher education. The annual award from the IMS Global Learning Consortium recognizes transformative, high-impact solutions in K-12, higher education, and lifelong learning.

“All students deserve to have access to the resources they need throughout their education, no matter their major,” said Kent Freeman, VitalSource CEO. “UC Davis wanted to provide a solution to the unpredictable cost of course materials and help alleviate financial barriers that can prevent students from pursuing their learning goals. We were honored to work with UC Davis to build this program and are grateful that an industry leader like IMS has recognized these efforts with this prestigious award.”

Equitable Access is a subscription program that delivers digital course materials through UC Davis’ learning management system (LMS) for a flat, per-term fee. The program’s mission is to reduce inequity among students by eliminating textbook access issues while also ensuring costs are predictable and uniform for all undergraduate students.

Jason Lorgan, who oversees UC Davis Stores, said his team is honored that Equitable Access has been acknowledged with the award. “This program has significantly increased our students’ access to required course content,” he said. “We look forward to leveraging the efficiency of this program to further drive down textbook costs over time.”

All UC Davis students are automatically enrolled in Equitable Access for $199 per term. Should students prefer a different method to obtain their course materials, they can easily opt out of the program. During the first term of Equitable Access at UC Davis, students who opted into the program were 17% less likely to drop a course than those who opted out, suggesting that having immediate, streamlined access to more affordable digital course materials helped support academic persistence.

When asked about their reason for choosing to participate in Equitable Access, 60% of UC Davis students said Equitable Access was “easier and more convenient than finding textbooks on my own.” Nearly three-quarters (69%) of participating students agreed that removing worries about textbook prices allowed them to more freely choose the courses they were most interested in studying; in other words, students no longer allowed the cost of materials, which can be more expensive for fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), to inform whether or not they pursued a specific academic program.

The IMS Learning Impact Awards recognize innovative digital learning technology and strategies implemented in an educational setting to transform the learning experience and elevate learning impact. Finalists are voted on by a panel of institutional leaders who observe and evaluate presentations of each project and the EdTech community at large. From the 28 projects that advanced in this year's competition, expert judges and public voters selected those demonstrating the greatest impact on personalized learning, institutional performance, and the digital learning ecosystem.

To learn more about how about VitalSource is making course materials access easier and more affordable, click here.

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About VitalSource

VitalSource Technologies, LLC is the leading education technology solutions provider committed to helping partners create, deliver, and distribute affordable, accessible, and impactful learning experiences worldwide. As a recognized innovator in the digital course materials market, VitalSource is best known for partnering with more than 1,000 publishers and resellers to deliver extraordinary learning experiences to millions of active users globally—and today we’re also powering new, cutting-edge technologies designed to optimize teaching and learning for maximum results. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About UC Davis Stores
UC Davis Stores—a nonprofit, self-funded department at the university—is a recognized leader among college bookstores for innovation and affordability in the delivery of course materials. The bookstore won awards for its Inclusive Access program for delivering customized, digital course content and was the first college store in the United States to offer online price comparisons. UC Davis Stores serves a university of more than 40,000 students that offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

About IMS Global Learning Consortium

IMS Global Learning Consortium is a nonprofit organization that advances technology to scale and improve educational participation and attainment affordably. IMS members are leading suppliers, higher education institutions, K-12 districts and schools, and government organizations that are enabling better teaching and learning by collaborating on interoperability and adoption initiatives. IMS sponsors the annual Learning Impact program to recognize the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality while developing the leadership and ideas to help shape the future of educational technology.

Media Contact

Erin McCarthy, VitalSource