Adding the VitalSource Bookshelf link to a Module

UMKC faculty should use this method to add VitalSource materials to their Canvas courses. It can be used by faculty on the other campuses, but is not the preferred method. If you are using the MU ExecMBA and BA/PDP Bookshelf accounts please see Creating VitalSource Bookshelf Links for ExecMBA and BA/PDP.

Contact the Academic Technology team if you have questions about the changes.

  1. In a Module, select the + in the module’s title bar to add a new item. 
  2. Choose External Tool from the Add menu. 
  3. Locate VitalSource Bookshelf from the list of tools (See Fig. 1).
  4. Do not change the URL
  5. Change the Page Name if desired.
  6. Ensure that Load in a new tab is checked. 
  7. Select Add Item
  8. If ready, publish the link.
    dialog box showing options for adding the Vitalsource bookshelf link to a module
    Figure 1: Add External Tool dialog box

We recommend using the Student View to check the link; however, if it is more than one week before the start of the course, the materials will not be available to students. If it is less than a week before the start of the course please contact the Bookstore’s AutoAccess Team to make sure there are no problems with the order.


Use the Student View to test the link for students.

Students sometimes have difficulty locating the textbook link. We suggest you put it in a module by itself, or with other, explanatory materials, such as a note on AutoAccess. 

Clearly label the module as Textbook.

If students have difficulty accessing the links, they should contact the Bookstore for assistance. 

If students report problems using their VitalSource text on their phone or tablet, suggest they download the VitalSource Bookshelf app. 

Although the VitalSource link must be in modules, there are some workarounds if you wish it to also appear elsewhere in the course.

  • For the Syllabus, Announcements or Pages, use the Modules tool found in the sidebar of the visual editor. This will create a shortcut to the textbook link in Modules. Note: Do not try to copy and paste the actual Bookshelf link. This will fail.
  • If you would like to link it from the Course Navigation Menu, you may use the Redirect tool in Settings > Apps. Select the icon that looks like a blue, circling arrow (See Fig. 2).
    circling blue arrow
    Figure 2: Redirect Icon.
    1. Give it a short, descriptive name.
    2. In the URL Redirect field, carefully copy the link address of the Module Item (not the URL of the link).
      For example:
    3. Uncheck Force open in new tab (For External Links Only).
    4. Check Show in Course Navigation.
    5. Then select Add App.


Modified on: Fri, Jul 22, 2022 at 10:45 AM

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