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Student Success and Survival Guide: VitalSource


VitalSource is a platform that allows you to access electronic textbooks for your courses. These can be downloaded for long-term access. This guide will help you understand where to find your textbook, and how to download and access the textbook.

VitalSource App

Download the app for your mobile devices.

Download the app for your computer or laptop.

You can download VitalSource on up to 4 devices!

Flash Cards

VitalSource can create flash cards to help you study for exams.  See this guide for more information.

Note:  The flashcards are now available in the app!

VitalSource tutorial

This video will show you how to access your textbook, and give you a tour of how to use VitalSource.

Note:  Video is compatible with Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, but it may not work in all internet browsers.

Finding your textbook

Go to the Modules view, and in Course Information/Resources module and look for the section called Course Textbook.    

Creating your VitalSource account

After you click on the ebook link, you'll come to a log-in page:

Enter your student email.  

Make sure you enter it correctly!  It ends with

Now you'll have to create your account.  Enter your information.

There are two check boxes.  You do have to check the bottom one to agree to the Term of Use.  The top one, about updates, is optional.

**  Please note that the password requires a letter, number, and a special symbol.  The exclamation point (!) works as a special symbol.  If VitalSource doesn't let you move past this page, you may need to change your special symbols.  **

Now you're all set up!

Navigating the app

VitalSource has created several videos to help you with the app.

The videos use the Apple/iOS version of the app

  • Navigating the app  Shows a quick overview of the setup of the app.
  • Inside the book  Shows the features available when reading a book.
  • Highlighting and notes  Shows how to take notes in an ebook.  Sharing notes is only available on the desktop version, but all notes and higlights sync between your accounts if connected to the internet.

Downloading your ebook

In your Bookshelf app, simply tap on the arrow to download the book.

Long-term Access

Did your textbook disappear about halfway though the term?

When you first click on a new VitalSource course textbook, you are granted temporary access for about 2 weeks- this covers the add/drop period at the beginning of the term.  To make sure you have the long-term access to the book, you need to click on the link in your course shell during the third week of the term. 

If you have downloaded the book and then it disappears, this is usually the problem.  Go to Canvas and click on the textbook link again.  

VitalSource Access Issues?

Password: Before you attempt to reset your VitalSource password, make sure you know your account email address.  If you made a typo when you created your account, you won't receive the password reset email.

1.  Access a book from Canvas (it should automatically sign you in). 

2.  Click on the Home page icon in the top left corner.

3.  Click on the Account Settings in the top right corner.  Your name and account email address will be visible.  You can update your email address and correct typos by clicking on User Info.

To reset a VitalSource password, go to here and enter your ECPI email address.  

Still need help?

Contact IT Services

Text to Speech

Want to listen to your textbook?  Click here