Textbook Affordability Program Faculty FAQ

Will the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program affect textbook selection or academic freedom?

No. Faculty retain complete academic freedom under this program. Any required title with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is included in this program. Additional items that may not have an ISBN but are included in the program include campus custom coursepacks and lab manuals. Whether you are assigning paid publisher content or free and open educational resources (OER), all your textbooks remain available for adoption. Only required titles are included; recommended/Optional, out-of-print, and hard-to-find titles are not included in the program. If you want a title to be offered within the scope of this program, it must be requested on your adoption as required.

Do I need to use Canvas for instruction?

Faculty are not required to use Canvas for instruction to participate in the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program. All courses will have a Canvas shell created. Canvas is a single access point for students to access their course materials. Faculty do not need to use Canvas in an instructional capacity. Courses utilizing alternate Learning Management Systems (LMS) may add a URL somewhere in course content that provides access.

How do I adopt materials?

The current adoption process remains the same. 

After I submit my adoption, what happens?

The OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program is a digital-first program; titles will be researched for their available digital options. After submitting a textbook adoption, items on your adoption will be reviewed for digital availability. Titles available in digital format will be offered in Canvas as an ebook. Titles that do not have an ebook available are further reviewed for print options in new format only. Titles available in new print will be included in the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program. The program will not include titles without new print or digital availability. The program will not include titles that are only available via used marketplace vendors. This includes out-of-print, rare, and any title otherwise unobtainable in new print or ebook format.

How do I get a desk copy?

This process remains unchanged. You will contact your publisher representative to request a desk copy. When you speak to your publisher representative, ask them about the VitalSource Faculty Sampling Service. Canvas course users with the role of Teacher, Course Admin, or TA receive complimentary access to ebooks provided by VitalSource. For ebooks or courseware provided directly through a publisher's content platform (such as McGraw-Hill Connect or Pearson MyLab), please get in touch with your publisher representative or osuitbookstore@okstate.edu  for further assistance.

If I cancel my adoption, will my students still get charged?

The OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program is a flat-rate, term-level program that covers all required textbooks for every student. The charge is not based on individual classes. Therefore, if you decide to cancel an adoption for your class, there is no additional cost or reduction for the student.

Digital course materials are not suitable for my course. How can my students participate in this program? Will exceptions be made to accommodate print?

Yes, but it depends. It is understood that a one-size-fits-most model may only meet the needs of some course formats, curricula, or modes of instruction. During an extensive risk assessment, the program has reserved limited space for titles remaining in print format. However, in pedagogical mismatch where the required course materials are impractical, unfeasible, or unavailable in digital format, print options may be considered on an individual title-by-title basis. For situations where digital greatly outprices print, the program's success assumes the most significant risk by deferring to print format when digital options are available.

Additionally, if required titles are out-of-print the program cannot provide copies in any format. Please contact the bookstore at osuitbookstore@okstate.edu if you wish to review your required course materials.

I use content from resources other than a textbook publisher, such as third-party software, a library resource, OER, etc. Can I continue to do so?

Yes. You may continue to request the same content as prior terms. Many third-party software/courseware providers may already be integrated partners. Library Reserves may be offered in Canvas in addition to, or included with, this program. For questions regarding non-publisher content's fit within the program, contact osuitbookstore@okstate.edu

We should strive to use free or low-cost course materials rather than paid publisher content. My course(s) will use Open Educational Resources (OER), Open content, or Creative Commons (CC) licensed materials. Why would my course participate in this program?

The OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program as an initiative is designed as a "both/and" environment. We applaud any adoption of OER alongside the program's paid publisher content. Scalable OER solutions at OSUIT are still several years ahead, and the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program is bridging this transition. Additionally, providing free or low-cost content will reduce the associated costs that the University incurs, a primary goal of this program. As program costs continue to decrease, the program flat rate charged to students is also expected to decrease.

Why would my course participate in this program if all my course materials are freely available in library reserves?

The OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program includes all courses. Students taking courses besides your course may find that their other courses require paid content. Library reserves may be limited in some items, so be sure to check with the library to ensure the items on reserve have adequate capacity to accommodate all your students' access. Additionally, you may have your reserve items displayed in the student dashboard. Hence, students only need to access a single page to view all their paid and free content.

Who do I contact for more information or assistance?

For help with the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program, osuitbookstore@okstate.edu

My course does not require textbooks—why would students in my course benefit from this program?

The OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program includes all courses. Students taking courses in addition to yours may find that their other courses require paid content.

How do students access their course materials?

All digital course materials will be provided through your Canvas course. You do not need to use Canvas for instructional purposes; however, a course shell will be created to distribute the course materials for every participating course.

Students initially access ebooks directly through Canvas. After initial access, students may continue to access ebooks through your Canvas course or by logging in directly to their Bookshelf account. eBooks provided by VitalSource can be downloaded to any device and across devices for offline use. After a term, ebooks may be accessed through Bookshelf until the e-book's duration expires.

Publisher courseware (such as McGraw-Hill Connect or Pearson MyLab) is accessed through an integration in Canvas or with a provided URL. Most publisher courseware is integrated with Canvas to connect to the publisher's content platform, and students will use the Canvas link to create their initial courseware login. After an initial login, students may go directly to or bookmark the login page of the publisher's content platform.

For non-digital course materials (only those titles offered as new print), copies will be distributed to students through The OSUIT Campus Bookstore at the start of the course.

How long do students have to access these ebooks or courseware?

It depends. Some publishers do not offer more than 6-month access. However, for most ebooks, a 5-year online or lifetime duration is usually selected, which would allow student access beyond the courses' end. After the course ends, students can continue access by logging into their Bookshelf account. Post-course access will not be restricted unless courses adopt courseware (e.g., MyLab, Connect, Achieve, etc.). Publisher courseware is extremely expensive to create and maintain, so access is restricted to a 1- or 2-term limit.

Can my students decline access or opt-out? How do they do so?

Yes, students can choose to opt-out by semester. When advising students on the opt-out process, it is important to consider a student's full-term course enrollment, not a single course. Single-course opt-out is not permitted; students who opt out will have program access removed for all courses in that term. Please view the Student FAQs  for complete details on the opt-out process. 

How do students acquire their textbooks if they opt out of the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program?

Students who opt out of the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program are expected to self-source the required course materials necessary for your course. However, The OSUIT Campus Bookstore will help students acquire the correct course materials.

For ebooks: Students may purchase individual ebooks and other digital course content directly within their Canvas Bookshelf or through VitalSource. For courseware (depending on the publisher), students may purchase an access code through VitalSource or the corresponding publisher's website.

For printed textbooks: Print textbook inventory held at The OSUIT Campus Bookstore is explicitly reserved for participating program students. Students who opt out of the program for the term may special order a print copy of a textbook by contacting osuitbookstore@okstate.edu .

Can students download ebooks? Or use without internet access?

The VitalSource e-reader is fully device-agnostic and scalable. It allows simultaneous usage across two mobile devices and two desktop devices. Further, content downloaded to the reader app can be accessed offline if it was downloaded before the loss of internet connection. As for saving as a file, copyright laws can restrict licensed content from taking form as re-distributable files. Allowing content only to be downloaded within the ereader puts the onus on the provider to protect copyright and relieves the University of associated risks.

Will course materials still be available at The OSUIT Campus Bookstore?

Students that choose to opt-out the OSUIT Textbook Affordability Program will be responsible for obtaining the required materials. The OSUIT Campus Bookstore will not stock course materials for participant opt-outs. To search availability of individual digital course materials, students may browse: https://osuitbookstore.okstate.edu/