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Choosing learning materials for your course

In this section we will help to point you to where you can find different types of learning materials which you may want to incorporate into your course.​​

You may need to source literary works (e.g. books, journal articles, reports, manuals), audio (e.g. podcasts, music), artistic/visual material (e.g. maps, graphs, photographs), audio-visual (e.g. films), interactive content (e.g. quizzes, online activities), datasets (e.g. census data), just to name a few.

Note:The UniSC Library adopts an e-preferred model for books, as digital access to resources provides equitable access to our students, regardless of physical location or teaching delivery mode. All learning materials should comply with copyright legislation, license agreements and accessibility guidelines.

Open textbooks

These are textbooks which are released under an open licence such as a Creative Commons licence (e.g. CC BY 4.0). They are also sometimes called "open educational resources" or OERs for short. To find open textbooks see How can I find OERs? on the OER Library Guide.

While you will still need to check the terms and conditions, generally you will not have any issues saving a copy of the textbook and sharing it with your students at no cost to you, the Library, or your students.

Some open textbooks will have supplementary resources (e.g. slides, quizzes). If you would like support finding open textbooks, contact your Liaison Librarian for advice.


Some books are available online, usually via subscription agreements between the Library and publishers. eBooks can be accessed via different eBook databases including eBook Academic Collection (EBSCO) or ProQuest eBook Central.

You should be mindful of licensing limitations (such as 1 or 3 user licences) when selecting eBooks. DRM-free (i.e. can be downloaded by all students) and unlimited user licences (i.e. can be read online concurrently by an unlimited number of users) are the preference, if available.

Your Liaison Librarian can inform you of whether there are any limitations for eBooks you wish to use or can help to identify eBooks with DRM-free or unlimited user licences.


To find physical books in the collection, select 'Catalogue' from the drop-down menu on the library website and type keywords into the search box.

Academic staff can request for the Library to digitise 10% or 1 chapter, whichever is greater, for a course. These scans must be added to your Course Readings list - requests should be made to the Library via Course Readings.


Journals and journal articles can be found by searching the library website - there are step-by-step instructions on the Find Information Library Guide. If you are interested in open access journals and/or articles specifically, you can search the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).


News articles can be found by searching the library website - there are step-by-step instructions on the Find Information Library Guide. You can also go direct to the list of newspaper databases.

UniSC Research Bank

The UniSC Research Bank is the institutional research repository for USC. It provides an open access showcase of the University's scholarly research output ensuring that research is made available to the local, national and international communities.


To find statistics, see the step-by-step instructions in the Find Information Library Guide. You can also go direct to the list of statistics databases. This includes links to websites including the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). For statistics provided by the Queensland Government, see the QGSO website.


If you are looking for images there is a list of image sources on the Copyright for Students Library Guide. Staff also have access to this list on MyUniSC (login required). You can also see the Finding Images page on the OER Library Guide.


If you are looking for videos, including TV shows and films, then you can search the library website or browse the comprehensive list of video databases. The Library subscribes to video streaming platforms to ensure your students have access to the best quality scholarly video resources.

You can also check out the list of video websites on the OER Library Guide or go directly to websites such as YouTube or Vimeo. If you are looking for a video and cannot find it, contact your Liaison Librarian for advice.

Online courses

If you are looking for online courses there are plenty of websites including edX, FutureLearn, Coursera, etc. You should note though that there will be terms of use associated with these websites and some content will be behind a login or will require a registration process. There are also open courses which will offer more flexibility for re-use - see the OER Library Guide for more information.

USC-created multimedia

If you would like to record your own multimedia (including audio-only, video, interactive videos, etc.) see the information about Micro Studios available on MyUniSC (login required).

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