- Each class has customized content with a unique class zyBook code like YourUnivHomerSimpsonCS101Spring2014 (just an example), usually provided by the instructor in a syllabus, webpage, or announcement. More about zyBook codes.
Creating an account
- Most students first create an account on zyBooks.com, then type/paste their class zyBook code into this box that appears, which then directs them to that zyBook's homepage.
- Some schools have "single sign-on" via their learning management system (LMS) (like Canvas or Blackboard). Students should click on the zyBook link in their LMS, which creates an account for them and goes to their zyBook's home page.
Chapter 1 is free, but instructors won't see a student's activity until the student subscribes. More about zyBooks prices.
- Once at their zyBook's home page, most students subscribe via credit card.
- Some schools sell/provide prepaid access keys in the bookstore, which can be used in place of a credit card. The access key field only appears if access keys have been issued for that zyBook. To learn more about access keys, please see What is a prepaid access key?
- That's it -- we keep getting started simple so you can get right to learning. Just click on the first section of content and start reading and doing the built-in activities. zyBooks work on most devices with a modern HTML5 web browser. We recommend using laptops or tablets; smartphones work in a crunch but shouldn't be the sole device used.
zyBooks was started in 2012 by professors who felt the web had untapped potential to help students in ways beyond traditional textbooks. So they created new content for the web, using interactive items like animations (if a picture is worth a 1000 words, an animation is worth 5000), learning questions (like a dialogue rather than being lectured to), and embedded tools including auto-graded homework (practice makes perfect). The content fully replaces textbooks and, often, homework too. Activity is recorded, so instructors can assign course points for doing zyBooks activities.
Participation Activities are like the reading in a textbook, but more effective and engaging. Everyone can get full points just by trying, hence the name.
Challenge Activities (in many zyBooks) are like homework, but with immediate feedback. You have to get those right, but can try as many times as needed. A CA allows students to apply and practice what they've learned. Students must eventually get a CA right on their own to get points, and thus CAs serve as a lightweight assessment for instructors as well.
Lab Activities (in many zyBooks) are similar to Challenge activities in that they have immediate feedback and can be used to assess student comprehension. Labs are often much larger projects which take more time to complete that CAs. Labs also have the option for manual grading.
See "How to Use zyBooks" in your library for more.
Extensive research shows substantial improvements in learning and grades when a class switches from a textbook to a zyBook. Analyses show very few students "cheat" the participation activities, realizing the PAs are a good use of time.
We get hundreds of unsolicited emails every term from students saying how much they learned and enjoyed it (often asking for access to more zyBooks). Teachers tell us lecture time is livelier and teaching more fun.
In just a few years, zyBooks have been used by over 500,000 students at over 500 universities, with usage growing each year and most instructors adopting zyBooks again and again. It seems folks find them valuable.
zyBooks are expensive to make, deliver, and maintain -- much more than textbooks. But we steeply discount zyBooks for students. Also, extensions are cheap, and (most) zyBooks can be saved to pdf and printed. Substantial grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation over several years, and an additional grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education, helped build the underlying technology. Subscriptions enable us to create, maintain, and support the content and platform.
While we obsess over making zyBooks easy to use, we also believe in prompt support, so we have agents available from about 8am - 11pm (Pacific time), 7 days a week, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We pay a lot of attention to feedback too, so please use the feedback buttons in the content as well.
We truly wish you success in reaching your learning goals. Let us know how we do!