Topics Map > Media Delivery > Engage

Engage eText - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) [UW-Madison]

This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about Engage. Additional information about Engage, including a comparison between publisher Digital Learning Tools (DLTs) and eTexts, can be found in the Engage Overview document.

There is also an Engage Terminology KB doc that explains these and other concepts related to the Engage program.


Does dropping a class using Engage ensure that I won't be charged for the eText/publisher Digital Learning Tool (DLT)? Or, if I switch from one section to another that uses Engage, will I be charged twice?

If you drop a class that is using Engage, you should not be charged for the eText/DLT used by the class. If you are charged, you will receive a refund. If you drop a class after the drop deadline, your refund will be proportional to the refund schedule.

If you switch from one section to another and both are using Engage materials, you will not be charged twice. If you do notice a duplicate charge that does not correct itself, please contact the DoIT Help Desk for support.

How do I opt-out / How do I opt-out if it is past the opt-out deadline for the semester?

Please refer to the Opt-out Considerations and Guidelines KB under How to opt out. There are special considerations for late opt-out requests, but those can be made. There is no guarantee opt-out requests can be honored after the deadline has passed. Further information is included in that document.

I am on the waitlist for a course using Engage. Will I be charged the eText/DLT fee?

You will not be charged the eText/DLT fee for a course unless you are enrolled in the course.

Can I read an eText on my Kindle e-reader or another tablet/e-reader?

eTexts are not readable on a Kindle e-reader like the Kindle Paperwhite. eTexts used with Engage are readable on Kindle Fire tablets with a web browser. RedShelf does offer an app, however it is not recommended to use. Accessibility and full functionality cannot be guaranteed. The recommended reading platform is the web client launched from Canvas.

My course is using an Engage eText/DLT. How do I acquire my materials, and how do I access them?

You do not need to purchase a print copy of the eText. It will be available to you on or before the first day of class in the associated Canvas course (once the course has been published by your instructor). The cost of the digital materials (plus 5.5% sales tax) will be billed to your tuition account. If you have already purchased the materials in a previous course, you will not be charged again and do not need to opt-out (if the instructor is using a newer edition, an entitlement will not be added for the eText; we’d recommend checking with your instructor to see if the earlier edition will suffice if you choose to opt-out). 

If you have purchased an unlimited publisher plan (e.g., Cengage Unlimited), you will need to opt-out to avoid being charged for the materials through Engage. Be sure to check your access length before opting out for any publisher DLTs.

You may opt-out if you would prefer to purchase a print version, though most eTexts can be purchased for an additional fee as a loose-leaf copy at the UW Book Store. If you need an accessible version, you can contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center. 

To access an Engage eText, follow the directions in this document. To access a publisher DLT, please refer to publisher documentation or your instructor for directions. 

Can I still get a print copy of my eText?

Some eTexts will have loose-leaf versions available for purchase at the UW Book Store. You can check on the UW  Book Store’s web page for availability. Printed copies of all eTexts are also available in campus library reserves. You can search for these on the UW-Madison Libraries website.

You can also print for free (there is no charge through the Engage program, however printing on campus does have an associated cost; a Unizin watermark will appear on the printed pages) - this only applies to eTexts as DLTs are only available online. You can also choose to save the file as a PDF instead of printing. The watermark will still be visible on the PDF.

If you opt-out, you will not be able to purchase a loose-leaf copy of the text from the UW Book Store or print out pages. Please keep this in mind before opting out.

How long will I have access to my eText or DLT?

You will retain access to your eText for your entire student career at UW-Madison via Canvas. Printed materials (or files saved as PDF) and loose-leaf copies do not need to be returned. The length of access for DLTs varies based on the course and the specific DLT. Your instructor - or the publisher - can provide further details on DLT length of access. 

You can access eTexts from previous semesters by following the instructions in this document

Where can I get support?

You can get support in a few places. 

  • If you’d like to browse the KnowledgeBase first, you may be able to find some answers.
  • RedShelf also provides some information, including how-to’s, for many functions of reading eTexts with Engage. 
  • The specific publisher may provide some documentation for their DLTs if needed - publisher support details can be found here
  • If you have accessibility concerns, you can review this document, or contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center
  • Lastly, the DoIT Help Desk can answer questions and escalate cases to the appropriate team, as needed. 


Would all students in a class using Engage need to get/use the eText or publisher Digital Learning Tool (DLT)?

All students who register for a course using Engage will be charged automatically for the eText/DLT unless they opt-out or have already purchased the materials in a prior semester. The fees for the digital materials will be bundled into their tuition. Sales tax will also be assessed as a separate line item on their tuition bill. Students will be informed about the option to opt-out and directed to read the material in the Opt-out Considerations and Guidelines KB. They can follow the opt-out process at the end of the KB. The opt-out process allows the Registrars and Bursar’s offices to remove the charge from the student’s tuition bill.

Students do not need to purchase the materials from the publisher. If they have access issues, they should either contact the DoIT Help Desk or the publisher, but no additional purchase is necessary.

What is the cost for a particular eText or DLT?

If you want to compare prices and details during open ordering periods, you can log into the Order Tool and search the catalog by ISBN. If there are no open ordering periods, the publisher of the textbook will be able to provide you with the pricing. A 5.5% sales tax will also be added by the Bursar’s Office as a separate line item. If you need further assistance, please contact the DoIT Help Desk to have a case escalated.

Publisher DLTs typically have an access period of 6 months, so students will need to purchase the DLT each semester (unless they have an unlimited plan with the publisher, such as Cengage Unlimited). If you are using the same eText across semesters, students will only need to purchase the eText once, unless a new edition is ordered. 

Can I merge Canvas course sections for a course using Engage?

Instructors can feel free to merge sections of Canvas courses that are using Engage by following the process outlined in Canvas - Crosslisting/Merging a Canvas Course [UW-Madison].
Please be sure to not merge sections of a course that are using Engage with sections that are not.

How do I order an Engage eText/DLT?

During designated ordering periods before the start of the semester, you can place an order in the Order Tool by following the directions here: Ordering eTexts/DLTs with the Order Tool. You are only able to place an order during open ordering periods, but you can still log into the Order Tool and browse the catalog at any other time. Both instructors and course coordinators (curricular reps) have the ability to do this. 

I’ve placed an order for an eText/DLT in the Order Tool - what are my next steps?

Once you’ve placed an order:

  • You should receive a notification from the Order Tool confirming your order. Students do not need to purchase the eText/DLT separately, as this order pre-purchases it for them.
  • You do not need to add any language to the Faculty Center/Textbook Information in SIS as the Engage Team will take care of that for you. 
  • If you’d like to work on including language around Engage in your course syllabus (to help inform students how you’ll be using the materials and what your expectations are, as well as how they're charged for the materials), you can review sample language for eTexts here and DLTs here
  • Best practices for instructors can be reviewed in this document.
  • You can review the set-up steps for adding an Engage eText or DLT to your course - eTexts need to have the Engage button added to the Navigation bar while DLTs will have either a link or button added to the course. Publishers will work with you directly to add their DLTs.
  • Review accessibility concerns, McBurney resources, and how to make your course accessible.

    • If you use an Engage eText, students with disabilities will need an accessible eText through the McBurney Center as an accommodation. Some of Engage’s features are not accessible (e.g., having students share notes with their classmates) and won’t give students the same educational opportunities. Using note sharing as a grade item should be avoided and any notes you create should be available in an accessible format (e.g., a Word document).

What sorts of things can I do with an Engage eText?

Some things you can do to customize your eText include:

  • Adding notes and sharing those with students via the collaboration feature.
    • Note: In order to provide an equal accommodation, annotations should be available to all students as a Word doc.
  • Any notes you create in the eText will follow you across semesters, so you won’t need to recreate them or export and then import them. However, new editions will need new notes, as they are viewed as separate files.
  • eTexts can be accessed offline if needed, and pages can be bookmarked
  • Publisher DLTs will have different capabilities; it’s best to check in with the publisher for more information on what exactly can be done. 

Where can I get support?

You can get support in a few places: 

  • If you’d like to browse the KnowledgeBase first, you may be able to find some answers.
  • RedShelf also provides some information, including how-to’s, for many functions of reading eTexts on Engage. 
  • The specific publisher may provide some documentation for their DLTs if needed - publisher support details can be found here
  • If you have accessibility concerns, you can review this document
    • Note: Engage provides some features that are not accessible for students with disabilities. Since there is no reasonable accommodation for features such as note sharing, these features should not be used as grade items.
  • Lastly, the DoIT Help Desk can answer questions and escalate cases to the appropriate team, as needed.

See Also:

Keywords:information, answers, students, instructors, faculty, drop, charge, opt, out, opt-out, participate, charge, fee, isbn, textbooks, costs, fees, e-reader, merge, sections, paperwhite, kindle, fire, tablet, amazon, etexts, dlts, digital, learning, tools, waitlisted, merging, crosslisted, courses, canvas, offline, purchase, buy, next, steps, printing, copy, loose, leaf, loose-leaf, library, libraries, accessing, length, duration, long, support, ordering, center, sis, customize, customizing, annotations, answering, downloading, bookmarked, pages, collaborate, copy, materials, publishers   Doc ID:82830
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2018-06-12 09:40 CDTUpdated:2023-02-08 13:23 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
Feedback:  0   0