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Digital Textbook Access

The two main goals of Digital Textbook Access

  • Reduce the overall cost of course materials by offering below market rates on the resources you need for your courses.
  • Provide access to the digital resources on the first day of class to support academic achievement.
The Process is Simple:
  • The instructor of the course elects to include the use of an e-text or interactive courseware platform in their course through this program.
  • Students are notified prior to the start of classes, by email that their course is participating in the Digital Textbook Access model.
  • Access is provided automatically for every student enrolled in the course on the first day of class.
  • Students can access the digital resources for 2 weeks at no charge, during which time they can opt out if they choose wish to source the resource elsewhere through My Learning Space or through the links in the e-mails we send participating students.
  • Students who choose to use and continue to access their digital resources will have the digital textbook access charges billed to their student account (LORIS).
  • Students who drop the course prior to the opt-out deadline are automatically opted out and are not billed.
Why we did it & Why it works
  • The price of printed textbooks has increased astronomically over the last 10 years, surpassing almost all other economic indexes.
  • An alarming percentage of students choose to forego acquiring their course materials altogether, putting their academic success at risk.
  • Over the last 8 years, the Digital Textbook Access program at Laurier has saved students over $10 million.
  • The Digital Textbook Access program offers students 40-55% lower pricing than the equivalent price for print.
Benefits to students
  • 40 – 55% lower than the equivalent pricing for printed textbooks, and below market rates for equivalent digital access.
  • Course materials are conveniently available on the first day of class through MyLearningSpace.
  • You are able to work offline and online using the Bookshelf e-reader application, accessing your resources anytime, anywhere.

The Model
  • This is a digital only initiative, there will not be print copies available for purchase through the Hawk Shop.
  • This functions as an opt out model. By enrolling in the course you are enrolled in the resource. If you wish to source access to the content elsewhere, please ensure you opt out by the deadline each semester.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Digital Textbook Access?

    What do I do if it shows a DTA resource on my booklist?
    What are Interactive or Adaptive Courseware Platforms?
    How much does Digital Textbook Access cost?
    How do I gain access?

    The process for accessing resources is different for the various resources and publishers. For publisher specific information, please refer to the Vendor section further down this page. Instructions will also be provided in the content section of your course on My Learning Space.

    For Vital Source Bookshelf resources:

    You will find access to the digital resources in your course on MyLearningSpace. The access and instructions are in the Content section.

    Be sure to download your Digital Textbook, which is the required resource for your course. Follow these easy steps:

  • On the first day of class go to your course in MyLearningSpace
  • Go to the Content section of your course
  • Find and click on the link to the resource
  • Create your Bookshelf account using your Laurier log in credentials and start using your required resources!
  • Download the Bookshelf app to access the resources and printing features when you are working offline
    How does the Bookshelf e-reader work?

    There are a number of advantages to using the Bookshelf e-reader:

  • Anytime, anywhere access
  • Listen to your e-text using text-to-speech capabilities
  • You have the ability to load your e-text on up to four of your personal devices
  • The ability to print select portions of your e-text if you prefer hard copies (you have to claim/download your e-text in order to print
    How do I obtain technical support for the Bookshelf e-reader?
  • The Vitalsource support team is ready to assist you. Phone and email support are available 24/7
  • Email support@vitalsource.com
  • Call +1 (855) 200-4146
  • If your course is not using the Bookshelf e-reader, contact digitaltextaccess@wlu.ca

    What if I am a student from another institution (University of Waterloo) taking a Laurier course?
    How do I pay for accessing the digital resources?
    What does it mean to opt out?
  • The opt-out deadline for all 12-week Digital Textbook Access courses is the 10th day of instruction (for the 6-week courses, the deadline is 5 instructional days).
  • When you opt out, access to all online content (e-text and courseware platforms such as Mindtap, Mastering and Connect) is disconnected and you are removed from the billing schedule
  • You must opt out if you choose to purchase your access through a different source
    I opted out by mistake and realized that I still need access. Can I opt back in?
    I dropped the course. Do I still need to opt out?
    Who should I contact if I am having trouble accessing the online content?
    I added the class late. Do I still have 10 days to opt out?
    I didn't get an email about my course but other students in my class did. Was I sent an email?
    I have further questions that were not addressed. Who do I contact?

    Textbook 101 Videos

    Accessing Your Digital Textbook Access Resources



    How to Opt Out of Your Digital Textbook Access Resources


    Publisher Guidelines for Digital Textbook Access Resources

    Top Hat

    For questions or more information, please contact:

    The Digital Access Team at digitaltextaccess@wlu.ca