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Inclusive Access Digital Content FAQ

What is inclusive access digital content?
The Iowa Community College Online Consortium has partnered with VitalSource and several publishers to provide students with digital course materials for select courses. It is called “inclusive access” because fees for this material are included as part of registration fees for the course.   

Is my course part of the inclusive access program?
Not all online courses are part of the digital inclusive access program. You can find course materials information on the ICCOC textbook page at this link: https://www.iowacconline.org/textbook-information

What are the benefits of inclusive access?
There are several benefits to inclusive access but the two most important for students is cost and accessibility. The cost for digital content is significantly less than traditional printed materials and can save students upwards of $150. And since the content is embedded digitally students have access to the material on the first day of class.

Where do I access my digital content?
How you access your digital content depends on what type of content is being used in your course. In all cases you will begin by logging into your Canvas account and going to your specific course.  

For VitalSource digital textbooks click on “modules” in the left-hand side of the page. One of the modules should be labeled “VitalSource Bookshelf”. Clicking on this link will provide you with access to your digital textbook.

The first time accessing your digital content you will need to set up an account. Make sure to use an email and password combo you will remember so you can easily access your digital textbook on any device. VitalSource also provides an app which allows you to access your content on your phone or tablet. Search for VitalSource wherever you typically download your apps.

Other digital content such as courseware from Pearson, Cengage, McGraw Connect, or Sapling Plus will not necessarily appear as a “textbook” link. Instead, the content will be part of the course assignments within the modules. In these situations, clicking on an assignment within the modules will take you to the materials you need.  

Did I already pay for this?
If you are taking a digital inclusive access course you have already been charged for the digital content and do not need to pay any additional fees. The inclusive access fees were charged at the time of registration. If you choose to opt out of the digital inclusive access, the fees will be refunded to you after the census date (10 business days after the start of the term). When you will see the refund on your account depends on your school.

Do I need a code? It's asking for a code.
If you are taking an inclusive access course you will not need an access code. If you are being asked for a code that is likely due to an error in the setup. Reach out to your instructor for assistance.

How do I opt out of digital access?
Approximately 14 days before the start of class you will receive an email notifying you of your participation in an inclusive access course. This email will contain instructions about accessing your materials as well as information about opting out.   

Remember, if you opt out of the VitalSource digital content you are responsible for obtaining the course materials on your own.  

You will not be able to opt out of courseware products as access to this content is necessary to complete the course.

What if I want a physical textbook?
Some students like to have a physical textbook to go along with the digital version. All the VitalSource digital textbooks have a physical version as well. To find the physical textbook information please follow this link: https://www.iowacconline.org/etextbook-information. Please note that some publishers are making significant changes to the way they deliver course materials. Some textbooks are only available as a digital text or a digital text with a loose-leaf copy of the text. We have made every effort to indicate this on the e-textbook information page. In most cases your college bookstore is a great resource to help you obtain a physical version of the text you are looking for. The following link provides contact information for the consortium schools’ bookstores: https://www.iowacconline.org/bookstores

Troubleshooting
There have been very few issues with VitalSource digital textbooks. Most of the issues reported are related to the browser being used. Using Chrome or Firefox is ideal.

If you run into issues with courseware you should contact the publisher’s customer support first. In most cases we cannot help until the student has opened a case with customer support.  

Help! I’m still having trouble!
We are here to help! While most problems can be addressed rather quickly it can still be frustrating for students who are simply trying to get their work done.

First and foremost, contact your instructor! Communicating with your instructor about problems you are experiencing helps them know you are putting in the effort. Also, they might know about a quick and easy solution.

Second, reach out to your college bookstore. They are staffed by experienced and knowledgeable individuals who are eager to help you succeed.  And if they don’t know the answer they know how to find it.

Third, feel free to email Doug Sutton, the Online Resource Coordinator for the ICCOC. Doug’s email is dsutton@myiccoc.org.

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