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Publisher Learning Platforms

Publisher Learning Platforms are virtual learning environments that are external to Deakin systems and owned by academic publishers. These are often highly visual, interactive and can be in the form of e-books with digital supplements, or web-based assignment and assessment platforms built around subject content.

Publisher Learning Platforms offer functionality such as:

  • interactive exercises or quizzes
  • assessment tasks or tutorials
  • simulations
  • analytics on student performance
  • customization tools and personalized student content


Although not exhaustive, some general or product specific names that these go by include:

General names

  • “publisher packages”
  • “enhanced textbooks”
  • “publisher learning resources”
  • “virtual learning environment”

Product-specific names

  • Connect, Access Science, Smartbook and Learn Smart (McGraw-Hill)
  • Mindtap and Cengage Brain (Cengage)
  • WileyPlus (Wiley)
  • Pearson Custom, MyLab and MyMastery (Pearson)
  • RedShelf
  • ClinicalKey Student
  • Macmillan Learning

Publishers with Learning Platforms currently integrated into CloudDeakin include:

Things to consider

Please note that negotiating correct access to Publisher Learning Platforms is complex and time-consuming. Extensive consideration and consultation is needed to ensure the platform is suitable.


Publishers offer two paths for access – student purchase or institutional model.

Student purchase model can't be used for any assessment-related use of Publisher Learning Platforms. This option can only be used at Deakin for optional extension learning.

For institutional model, the platforms can often be integrated into Deakin's Learning Management System (D2L) where students leave CloudDeakin and work within the designated Learning Environment.

For both student and institution pay models, the access is usually restricted to a specific student or unit cohort, and expires after a specified period of time.


Publishers offer pricing based on either the 'student purchase model' or 'institutional model'.

  • Student purchase model - students purchasing their own subscription.
  • Institutional model - must be funded by the Faculty or School with pricing based on enrolment numbers. The access lasts for a specified period, and would be subject to regular re-subscription costs and price increases.

Higher Education Support Act (HESA)

Under student equity and other HESA obligations, students cannot be mandated to pay for subscriptions and they cannot be asked to undertake compulsory assessments which are tied to a paid service. This is outlined in Section 169-15 (2) of the Act.

For further advice contact Skye Ryan (Manager, Monographs and Course Resources).

Student privacy

Publisher learning platforms often involve students sharing content or completing activities. This data is collected and stored by the Publisher. The Publisher may also have access to identifying information about students such as their names, user credentials etc.

All Publisher privacy agreements must be reviewed and authorised by the University Solicitor to ensure student privacy is maintained. Any integration into CloudDeakin requires the Publisher to also sign a Deakin issued Privacy Agreement.

Legal/licencing process

Each Publisher learning platform must go through an approval process and should not be implemented until final sign off by the Deakin Solicitor. Please keep in mind this process can take several months as internal stakeholders and the publisher are engaged for input and negotiation.

Technical support

Technical integration work needs to be conducted  after Terms of Use and funding has been approved. Any integration into CloudDeakin must also be approved by the CloudDeakin Advisory Group. Testing in CloudDeakin of functionality is done by Learning Environment team and/or CloudDeakin Faculty support teams.

Contact DLF’s Learning Environments for technical advice.

Further support

For advice and clarification contact:

  • Skye Ryan (Manager, Monographs and Course Resources).
  • Sabina Robertson (Library Partner, Science, Engineering & Built Environment, Health and Research Institutes)
  • Craig Patterson (Library Partner, Arts & Education, Business & Law)

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