At this time, Mizzou supports the following methods of using OER Textbooks through Canvas: 

  • External Links - in some cases deep linking to chapters and sections may be possible. 
  • MERLOT - search for OER materials, some textbooks, and link (embed options do not work correctly with Canvas).
  • Importing Content - this works well with a few resources available through Canvas Commons, but is not an effective way for most OER textbooks without considerable work. 
  • VitalSource Bookshelf - VitalSource will provide easy access to OER textbooks through our AutoAccess program at a cost of $5 to students. No additional materials are added, but texts are delivered in a convenient ebook format. 
  • Lumen Learning - Lumen offers deep and comprehensive integrations for a number of OER texts with additional content, test banks, and other tools. Their three product lines are Candella (with extra content and test banks) for $10, WayMaker (with extra content, test banks, outcomes, etc.) for selected textbooks for $25, and OHM (Online Homework Management with mathematical/statistical tools) for selected texts for $25.

For more on finding, evaluating, and adopting OER texts, as well as information on the University's A&OER Initiative, please visit: https://oer.missouri.edu/

For help in adopting texts through VitalSource or Lumen Learning, and getting them set up through AutoAccess, please contact Amy Mosley (mosleyaj@missouri.edu) from the Mizzou Store.

Link Textbooks in Canvas:

  1. Locate the URL for the textbook or portion of the textbook you wish to link.
  2. In a Canvas Module, click the button.
  3. In the dialog box that appears, choose External URL from the Add dropdown menu.
  4. Paste the URL in the URL box.
  5. Give the link a descriptive name. We suggest either the full or a shortened version of the textbook name and, if you are linking to a specific chapter, the chapter number or title. 
  6. Check Load in a new tab. While not strictly necessary, this results in a better reading experience for students in most cases, particularly on phones and tablet. 
  7. Click the blue Add Item button. 

Tip: In addition to linking to the text of the book, you may also wish to provide your students with links to the text in different formats. For instance OpenSTAX provides books in HTML, good for deep linking, but also in the accessible DAISY and BRF formats, as well as PDF, Kindle, and EPub, which some students may prefer.

Using MERLOT

Merlot provides curated open educational resources including textbooks. 

  1. In your Canvas course, go to Settings and select the Apps tab. 
  2. Click on the tile labelled Merlot.
  3. Click the +Add App button. 
  4. In the pop-up window, click Add App.
  5. In a course module, click the button.
  6. In the dialog box that appears, choose External Tool from the Add dropdown menu.
  7. Scroll down until you find Merlot Search. (There are two scroll bars, which can make it difficult to scroll down sufficiently to find the app.)
  8. A dialog box will appear. Enter your search term. 
  9. Once you have identified an item you wish to add, click the Add Link to this Material  link for that item. (The Embed this Material links to do not work with Canvas.)
  10. You will be returned to the External Tool dialog. Scroll down and give the link a unique Page Name
  11. Check Load in a new tab. While not strictly necessary, this results in a better reading experience for students in most cases, particularly on phones and tablet. 
  12. Click the blue Add Item button. 

Import Textbooks into Canvas:

For working with OER materials in Canvas Commons, please see: https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides/commons-guide

Tip: We recommend doing this in a blank production or development site, as importing these materials into an existing class can create a badly merged course needing heavy editing. 

In some cases, where individual chapters or sections of a textbook are provided by an OER repository (see for example: https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/books/1/), it is possible to import the desired chapters as files into Canvas and build modules around them. Please contact Educational Technologies for assistance. 

Use VitalSource Bookshelf with OER Textbooks in Canvas:

As far as setting up an OER integration with VitalSource Bookshelf in Canvas, the instructions are the same as for regular textbooks. Please see: https://etopics.missouri.edu/solution/articles/11000030728-creating-links-to-vitalsource-bookshelf-in-canvas

Lumen Learning - Candela

Once you have adopted a Candela course from Lumen, you will be given a download link for a course cartridge. Download the cartridge, then follow these instructions: 

https://lumenlearning.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/219248397-Instructure-Canvas-Import-a-Candela-Course

Please note that Candela course imports may show a large number of issues after the import. It is safe to ignore those that are in the form: The account External Tool for module item "[X]" must be configured before the item can be launched. These are self correcting. 

Lumen Learning - Waymaker

Once you have adopted a Waymaker course from Lumen, you will be given a download link for a course cartridge. Download the cartridge, then follow these instructions: 

 https://lumenlearning.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/219329027-Waymaker-Canvas-Course-Cartridge-Import-Process

Please note that Waymaker course imports may show a large number of issues after the import. It is safe to ignore those that are in the form: The account External Tool for module item "[X]" must be configured before the item can be launched. These are self correcting. 

Lumen Learning - OHM

To create a course cartridge for OHM and import it into Canva, see: https://lumenlearning.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/219257017-Generate-and-Import-Lumen-OHM-Course-Cartridge-Canvas


Email canvas@missouri.edu or call (573) 882-3303 with questions.