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Find Open and Affordable Course Content

Affordable Course Content @ JMU

JMU Libraries Collections

Library resources can also be a more affordable way to provide curated and accessible course content. Keep in mind that these are not free or open resources. JMU Libraries subscribes to licensed, copyrighted content for faculty, student, and JMU community use. There may be Digital Rights Management (DRM) limitations on the number of concurrent users, and our subscriptions are subject to change. Contact your Liaison Librarian for more details.

VIVA Faculty Textbook Portal

Looking for affordable content for your courses? JMU instructors can click here to authenticate (you will need your JMU e-ID and password) and search the 200,000+ titles from the Virtual Library of Virginia's (VIVA’s) shared library collections, open textbooks, and e-books available for purchase. If you are accessing the portal off-campus, you will experience multiple authentication prompts. You can reduce these prompts by using Ivanti Secure, but you will still have access if you prefer OpenAthens.  

Contact Liz Thompson ( for details about using VIVA's Faculty Textbook Portal.

JMU Libraries Resources as Course Materials

E-books: Not all e-books will be suited for course use. Below are explanations of restrictions publishers may require for e-book use. If you are using Libraries' e-books in your course, don't forget to remind students to Connect from Off-Campus.

Number of users: This can vary by publisher and subscription package agreement.

  • If use is limited, you'll see this note in the Library catalog "Access to this e-book is limited to one user/three users at a time
  • Some downloaded e-books expire after a checkout period, but can then be checked out again. 
  • Some e-books have no user limit

Type of access: This can vary by publisher and subscription package agreement.

  • Downloads by chapter or an entire book
  • Only online access

Digital Rights Management (DRM): This can vary by publisher and subscription package agreement.

  • Technological restrictions placed on electronic resources limit what users can do with the e-book.

Other JMU Libraries resources: In addition to e-books, the JMU Libraries also provide access to physical objects (like books and videos) or virtual materials (electronic journals and video playlists). Want to link to JMU Libraries' articles and videos from a Canvas course? Find detailed instructions at the Connect the Libraries to Canvas guide.

Free, but not Open

These sites have free-to-use content, which is NOT licensed to remix or revise. If you are looking for affordable learning materials, you may also consider these resources.

Online Interactive Open and Free to Use Resources

In an online class, it's hard to replicate the hands-on exploratory work. Here are links to some helpful resources for maintaining interactive elements in an online environment

Other resources

These sites offer a mix of open and copyrighted works. Check each item to confirm copyright status before use.