Curriculum support

The Library can help you find relevant resources, use eReadings, find open education resources, advise on eTextbooks, support program evaluation reviews and new program and course compliance statements.

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Finding Resources for Teaching

The Library can work with course coordinators during course development and refresh cycles to identify various potential resources for use in teaching. For example, we can assist in sourcing:

  • Whole volumes (textbooks / reference texts);
  • eReadings (articles, news or book chapters);
  • Open Educational Resources;
  • Interactive learning objects and Simulations; and
  • Videos and media

The Library will undertake all resource identification work and send through a list of potential resources according to the course's learning objectives or weekly topics. 


It is not mandatory to set a textbook – but if one is assigned, it should be used extensively throughout the course. By assigning a textbook, students may be required to purchase the resource. Other alternatives include listing reference resources, or uploading resources to supplement teaching directly into LearnOnline through eReading modules (eReserve).

The Library endeavours to purchase each assigned textbook as an unlimited-user eBook for student use. Library access to textbooks can be impacted by restrictive licensing from publishers.

If the Library is unable to acquire sufficient access, students are expected to purchase their own individual copies as per the UniSA Library collection policy. Library eBook copies may not include access to the textbook's supplementary instructor or student resources.

Before setting a textbook for your course it is strongly advised that you contact Ask the Library for textbook availability, access limitations and to arrange acquisition where possible.

Prefer to identify potential texts yourself? We’ve compiled a brief guide to help: How to Find Flexibly Licensed Textbooks

Textbook minimisation project

In late 2020 the Library and TIU commenced a 3-year project aimed to minimise course materials' cost to students'. The project has been added to the Academic Enterprise Plan 2021-2025 under objective 2.7.

Under the pilot, Program Deans nominate programs or suites of courses. The Library: 

  1. Identifies any textbooks assigned to the nominated courses that the Library can only acquire in print or as a restrictive/limited-user eBook;
  2. Liaises with the course coordinator to ascertain specifically how the textbook is being used in the course; and
  3. Identifies and proposes more flexibly licensed or open-access alternatives. The Library can also seek to replace the textbook with a suite of eReadings if preferred.

The course coordinator reviews suggested alternatives and, if these are suitable, replaces or de-lists the textbook on the PCMS (Program and Course Management System).

Individual course coordinators may self-nominate their courses for textbook minimisation. Please contact Ask the Library to discuss further.

Watch the video below (4:32) to hear student thoughts on textbooks, and get an overview of the project.

  • Textbook Minimisation Project: What our academic staff are saying minus-thick plus-thick

    Professor Craig Williams, Dean Programs: Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

    "The textbook minimisation project led by the UniSA Library is a fantastic initiative. Teaching curriculum, delivery modes and resources in higher education are constantly evolving. As such , the prescribing of a hard copy textbook that a student will carry around and have for years is becoming less common. Moving to portable, flexible, electronic resources is essential, and minimising textbook usage helps drive the development of new electronic resources.”

    Maria Chilvers, Lecturer in Nursing

    “Working with the UniSA Library, as part of the textbook minimisation project, we were able to conduct a comprehensive review of the textbooks and alternative resources available for the nursing program with the aim to reduce the overall cost of texts for students. We were able to reduce the financial burden for students significantly, and this was a really important outcome to promote equity and access for all students in the nursing program. In addition, we were able to comprehensively scrutinise the references and resources across the nursing program to identify the most appropriate and current references to improve the overall quality of the resources available for students.”

    Dr Sam Tuttle, Lecturer: Applied Physics

    “The textbook minimisation project is a great idea and approach to help reduce the cost of studying for students by reducing the number of textbooks that students need to buy. In place of textbooks, open access and other centrally licenced or free resources are provided to students to aid them with their studies. The library was very helpful in identifying suitable resources for a couple of more foundational physics courses, and we have now switched to using a free online textbook which the students really appreciate.”


eReadings are online resources that make up a reading list for a specific course. They can include book chapters, journal articles, websites, streaming videos, and many other media. They can be natively digital or copied from a print resource.

All online readings containing copyright protected works should be registered in your reading list to ensure that the University does not breach copyright legislation. Please see our copyright page for more information.

eReadings modules are easily accessed and managed in your LearnOnline course site in the content box on the left.

The eReadings Help Guide can help you compose a course reading list with step by step instructions.

The Digital Readings Service (DRS) supports the eReadings system by:

  • Sourcing requested resources from the Library's collections and beyond
  • Digitising print resources when appropriate
  • Ensuring all readings are accessed in compliance with copyright law

For more information and support, contact Ask the Library.

eReading Help Guide

Open education resources

Open education(al) resources (OER) can be used freely by both educators and students, without any need to pay royalties or licence fees.

Learn more about open education resources and how they can support your teaching using our Open Education Resources guide.

Online teaching resources

Find out more about online resources how they can enhance your course using our Online Teaching Resources Guide