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Textbooks and alternatives

Publisher supplementary resources

In addition to textbooks, publishers provide instructors and students additional supplementary materials. For instructors this can consist of: 

  • Slides 
  • Test banks 
  • Lecture notes

Instructional supplemental materials are usually provided at no cost if the related textbook is adopted for a course.   Often these materials come with specific limitations, for example slides can be used in class only but cannot be posted to a D2L course site. Make sure you read terms of use provided by the publisher.  Don't assume what a permitted use might be, each publisher sets different standards. 

For students supplementary materials are usually digital and are accessible through an access code.   Supplementary materials for students include:

  • Homework sites
  • Quizzes and tests 
  • Interactive material and videos

Some supplementary material is available with purchase of a textbook, others are at an additional costs.  It's important to note, accessing publisher content often requires sharing of some personal information. Any time personal information is shared to a 3rd party, we have an obligation to meet the requirements of BC privacy legislation. 

Can I integrate with D2L?

Publishers often encourage instructors to request that  textbook content and supplementary materials be integrated with D2L.   These integrations are  "LTI integrations".  At this time we are not pursuing any of these requests.   It's important to note publisher materials can always be used independently from D2L. 

There are many reasons for our decision not to integrate publisher resources into D2L: 

  • Privacy considerations
  • Technical and support capacity
  • Extension of costs for students cost, will the required use of supplementary materials represent an additional cost to students?  Are there costs to completing any activities that are assessed
  •  Accessibility, will students with disabilities be able to use the material without an additional accommodation?  
  • Ease of use, will students be able to access the content on the wide range of devices they use, often with limited bandwidth and with limited technical support in our current working reality?
  • Considerations on how we maintain an "arms-length" relationship with publishers, and keeping D2L as a Camosun space, free from commercial influences

In addition, keeping publisher material outside of D2L  provides clarity to students in the virtual context of what is instructor designed and supported and what is not.  When it's integrated within D2L, students see the instructor  (or college supports) responsible for the technical issues, content questions etc.  The "arms-length" approach appropriately keeps this content within its native information ecosystem. 

Students can access publisher supplementary material on their own  with  a key acquired when they purchased the textbook. Sometimes this cost comes with the price of textbook, but often it's an additional fee. Use of this supplementary material could be required by an instructor, or a choice a student made on their own.   

The decision to use the publisher content is an instructor decision. If you ask students to access digital content in addition to the textbook, it's important to consider: 

  • accessibility -- will students with disabilities be able to use the material without an additional accommodation?  
  • ease of use--will students be able to access the content on the wide range of devices they use, often with limited bandwidth and with limited technical support in our current working reality?
  • cost--will the required use of supplementary materials represent an additional cost to students?

BC Campus, is a leader in the development of open education resources.  This year there is shift in the development priorities away from textbooks to supplementary resources similar to ones publishers have typically provided.   Earlier this year  BC Campus released the Virtual Lab and Science Resource directory and over the next months will be launching a new portal to homework resources.