The Hub Changes to learning resource delivery

Changes to learning resource delivery

The global response to COVID-19 has disrupted the distribution channels that Athabasca University (AU) relies on to ship resources to our learners.

In alignment with AU’s strategic plan Imagine, and to continue our mission to remove barriers to post-secondary education, AU is taking steps to replace physical resources with digital versions wherever possible as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This transition will begin immediately and is expected to take several weeks to complete. Over the coming weeks, you may see one or more of the following changes in your courses:

  • Digital copies of mandatory course resources, including resources from publishers and other third-party providers, will be purchased by the Library and be made available in your courses.
  • Some print textbooks will be replaced by eTexts accessible through VitalSource or directly from publishers.

By transitioning from physical resources to digital ones wherever possible, AU will reduce the impact that any shipping disruption might have on your studies (now, and in the future). This new process will also help us to become more environmentally friendly, and is one way we are trying to reduce our environmental impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

What prompted this change?

Responses to COVID-19 in Canada and around the world have led to supply chain disruptions and shipping restrictions. To be proactive in these circumstances, AU is replacing physical resources with digital versions to ensure an uninterrupted learning experience for learners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future.

Will courses with print resources that are replaced by digital resources be eligible for the reduced learning resources fee?

No. These mandatory course resources must be purchased by AU from publishers and other third-party vendors, and therefore the learning resource fee applies.

I'm a student who wants a physical textbook? What can I do?

Some textbook publishers offer a direct-to-student option in which you may purchase a print version of your eText. You may also print sections of your e-text if you choose. Learn more about your eText.

I'm a student who needs accommodations, who can I contact?

Accessibility Services is committed to providing students who have disabilities with reasonable, individualized accommodations. If you would like to request alternate format course materials, please visit the Accessibility Services’ site.

Will AU ship me my book once the COVID-19 crisis is over?

If the mandatory resource is replaced by a VitalSource eText or a Library eBook, then you will not receive a physical copy of that resource.

How can I access the eText?

A link to the eText will be available in your course’s site. Learn more about accessing your eText.

I am currently enrolled in a course and have already been provided with a physical resource. Will I be able to keep it?

Yes, you can keep any resources that have been shipped to you. If one of your resources is replaced by a digital alternative, you will also have digital access through your course’s site.

Filed Under:
  • April 17, 2020