Distance Learning | School of Professional Studies | Northwestern University

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Request Readings for Your Online Course

The process for requesting readings for your online course varies depending on the type of resource students will need to access. Students can order textbooks through the or an alternate vendor. The list of required or optional texts for the course should be on file with the bookstore each quarter. If your course includes Harvard Business Review materials, students will need to purchase them through Harvard Business Publishing. Students can access journal articles, book chapters, and streaming audio and video resources through the Course Reserves tool in your Canvas course site. The process for requesting each of these types of items is detailed below. 


Readings listed by Resource Type and Source
Resource Type Source Quick Explanation
Textbooks Abbott Hall Bookstore Students purchase textbooks through bookstore or alternate vendor.
Harvard Business Review Materials Harvard Business Publishing Students purchase coursepack through Harvard Business Publishing.
Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Streaming Audio, Streaming Video Course Reserves
Accessible through your Canvas site
Library procures copyright clearance, free to students.


Many students will prefer to purchase textbooks from an alternate bookseller. However, required textbooks should always be requested through the bookstore prior to the opening of the Canvas course site. This provides consistency for students across courses and programs, and ensures that students will be able to be reimbursed for textbook costs through some employer reimbursement programs.

  1. Go to abbotthall.bncollege.com
  2. Click Faculty Resources in the top right corner of the page to open the Barnes & Noble College FacultyEnlight website.
  3. On the FacultyEnlight website click Sign In or Create account in the top right corner of the page.
  4. Enter your username or email address and password to sign in. If creating an account, complete the form. After completing the form, you’ll be taken to the homepage.
  5. If you already know what textbook you want, click Adopt.
  6. Use the Find Your School menus to select your course and check the box next to your section, then click Continue.
  7. Add materials using one of the 8 options.
  8. Add the Abbott Hall bookstore link (abbotthall.bncollege.com) to your syllabus and direct the students to purchase the textbook. 

Some courses use textbooks with accompanying LTI apps. Northwestern University security policies do not support the integration of these LTI apps within Canvas as they provide student information directly to outside companies. Distance learning staff cannot implement textbook LTIs in Canvas.

Harvard Business Review Materials

If the required reading materials are HBR articles, not premium content, students can read up to 6 articles per month for free with a registered account. This should be noted in the course site. However, a course pack should still be made available to students so that if students prefer to use their free articles elsewhere, they can purchase the course materials with the education discount. For premium content (typically case studies), a course pack should always be created.

  1. Go to the Harvard Business Publishing registration website.
  2. If you already have an educator account, skip to step 5.
  3. On the registration website, choose “Educator.”
  4. Complete the form.
    1. In the University Affiliation Section of the form, enter directory.northwestern.edu in the “Faculty Directory URL” field.
  5. Log in to your account.
  6. Search for the item you’d like to add to your course.
  7. Click the “Add To” button on the item description page.
  8. Click “Coursepacks.”
  9. Complete the information for a new course pack.
  10. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for any additional items you’d like to add to the coursepack.
  11. When you are done adding items, click “Activate Coursepack.”
  12. Select “Student Pay” as the payment type.
  13. The activation process will create a Coursepack Link. Copy and paste this link to distribute it to your students. 

Here is standard syllabus text for courses that use HBR articles, where students can read for free or purchase:

[Number] articles in this course are from HBR.org. Students who register for an account with HBR can read up to six articles per month for free. A course pack has been created for those students who wish to use their free articles elsewhere and would like to purchase course materials with the education discount. From the course pack page, you may purchase any individual article or all of them together.

Access the course pack here: [insert link]

Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Streaming Audio, Streaming Video

Northwestern Library staff will procure items and obtain copyright clearance for journal articles, book chapters, and streaming audio and video that is requested through the Course Reserves tool available in each Canvas site.

  1. Navigate to the course site.
  2. Click on Course Reserves in the course navigation menu.
  3. The first time the Course Reserves page is opened, please choose the quarter in which the course will be active and click "Create Course."
  4. You will see the Course Reserves tool where you can request and view materials for your course.
  5. Click on "Add Reserve Items" under Instructor Class Tools..
  6. Select the reserve item type from the menu. Your choices are: "Book or DVD", "Book Chapter", "Article", "Streaming Audio" and "Streaming Video". (If you have items from a previous course you would like to import, see instructions for copying from previous quarters. If you are copying from a course you didn’t teach, complete steps 1-3 and then e-mail e-reserve@northwestern.edu to request that the reserves from the most recent version of the course be copied into your site.)
  7. Fill out the form for the Reserve Item choice you have selected. Pay special attention to the date format, which requires MM-DD-YY. Date needed should be a few days before the item is required for the course. Library staff triage requests based on this date.
  8. Click the submit item button once the form is filled out with all of the relevant information.

Links to library materials should not be used in online classes. Additional information is available at the Course Reserves site and the Main Library Reserve Team is available for assistance at e-reserve@northwestern.edu or 847-491-7681.If you are teaching a course you didn’t design, please use the following process:

  1. Click on Course Reserves in your course site.
  2. Click the “Create Course” button.
  3. E-mail e-reserve@northwestern.edu and request that the reserves from the most recent version of the course be copied.