Course Content

Below you will find strategies for providing course materials to students. Often, you’ll be able to provide digital access to materials yourself. As always, keep in mind our commitment to provide an accessible and inclusive learning environment.

Use the Course Content Support Form for assistance with finding digital resources, putting physical materials on reserve, or any other course content questions:

Provide students with links to publicly available or library-licensed resources

The Library website is the portal to all of our collections and materials, digital and physical. Below is a list of helpful places to start in your search for instructional content. Most subscription content will have DOIs or other “permalink” options, all of which should work even for off-campus users.

  • Library Catalog for materials with online access including e-books, streaming audio or video, and other online resources.
  • Top 10 database list provides you with access to the top used databases on campus for accessing digital articles, videos, and more.
  • Research Guides include resources related to a specific subject, topic, or type of source.

If the libraries don’t already have digital access to the content your students need, they may be able to purchase it. You can place a purchase request using this Course Content Support Form.

Share copies of resources you have

Making copies of materials for students (by downloading and uploading files, or by scanning from physical documents) can be problematic for “all rights reserved” copyright-protected resources, but may still be acceptable practice as a “fair use.”

Fair use is a flexible limitation on copyright which enables use of copyrighted material without permission under certain circumstances. Determining whether or not a particular use is fair involves assessing four characteristics of the use and judging if, on balance, the use qualifies as fair. See the libraries’ resource on Deciding to Rely on Fair Use for more specific information.

At UW-Madison, instructors make their own determination about whether fair use permits them to copy and distribute materials. Library staff can help you understand the relevant issues. Contact Carrie Nelson or use the Course Content Support Form with questions or for more information.

Get help from library staff

If you are unable to find a way to link to a digital version, don’t have access to a copy of the material, or are unsure your copy would qualify as a fair use, the libraries can help! We will do additional searches for digital versions available online, may be able to purchase access for campus, find print versions of materials that may be scanned, or can suggest alternative open educational resources.

For help with this or any related question complete and submit this Course Content Support Form.