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VitalSource Grants Free Access to Digital Content

VitalSource is offering free access to digital learning materials through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, to aid those students attending colleges and universities that have closed in response to COVID-19. Beginning today and going through May 25, 2020, students may access "an expansive catalog" of digital content if they attend a participating institution.

Participating publishers, campus retailers and independent bookstores in higher education include:

  • The American Psychological Association;
  • Barnes & Noble Education;
  • Cengage Learning;
  • Elsevier;
  • The Independent College Bookstore Association;
  • Macmillan Learning;
  • McGraw-Hill Higher Education;
  • The National Association of College Stores;
  • Oxford University Press;
  • Pearson Education;
  • SAGE Publishing;
  • Taylor & Francis;
  • W.W. Norton; and
  • Wiley.

Students are limited to seven titles. Interactive content and content used for assessment purposes isn't included. To gain access, students need to log into the VitalSource Bookshelf app using a school e-mail address to view course materials from participating publishers via explore capabilities within Bookshelf, the company's platform for distributing, accessing and interacting with digital textbooks and course materials.

The company noted in a frequently asked questions list that any content students typically access through their learning management system will still be available there. Digital materials available through this new initiative can only be accessed through the Explore tab at and within all native Bookshelf apps.

"With colleges and universities making the difficult decision to move to online learning in the wake of the global pandemic, we join the community in a shared commitment to help provide students access to the immediate resources they need to adapt to a new way of learning" said company President Kent Freeman, in a statement. "At VitalSource, we know successful digital learning means that every learner can access the materials they need to succeed — anytime, anywhere."

More information is available on the VitalSource Helps landing page.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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