Prepare for Publication

65 Import an Open Textbook into a LMS

Clint Lalonde

A request we often hear from instructors is that they would like to add an open textbook to their institutional learning management system. With course cartridges (also known as IMS Common Cartridge or just Common Cartridge), you can do just that.

Some of the open textbooks in the BCcampus open textbook collection are available as course cartridges. Course cartridges are designed to be imported into your institutional LMS, which allows your learners to access open textbook content without having to leave the LMS. It also gives instructors some limited customization opportunities in that you can reorder chapters of the book within your LMS or hide textbook content that is not relevant to your learners using the functions within your LMS.

What is a course cartridge?

A course cartridge is a standardized way of packaging and exchanging digital learning materials based on the IMS Thin Common Cartridge web links standard. The course cartridge is a special file that can be downloaded from the textbook and imported into your institutional LMS course shell. The course cartridge contains links to the online version of the textbooks with each link leading a student to a section or module within the textbook. Since these links appear as modules in your LMS, you can adjust them like a module in your LMS setting specific release dates for them, deleting content you are not using, or rearranging them to customize the course content for your students.


While you do have some flexibility to rearrange chapters or sections of the book from within your LMS, you cannot edit the contents of the book as the common cartridge does not make a copy of the book in your LMS. For example, you won’t be able to edit the text of the book or add, edit or remove specific images within the book.

Also, the availability of course cartridges varies by book. Not all books in the BC Open Textbook Collection are available as course cartridges. To see if the book you are interested in has a Common Cartridge file available check our Common Cartridge book list at the bottom of this page. If a Common Cartridge file is not available for a BCcampus-published textbook, contact BCcampus Support.

Find and Download the Common Cartridge File

On the book page in our collection, you will find the download link for the Common Cartridge file under the book cover image to the right of the page in the Get This Book section. Click the Readable link in the Get This Book section of the textbook you are interested in.

Screenshot of the book page from the BCcampus open textbook collection showing the location of the Readable formats link. In the screenshot the link is in a red box and located to the right of the screen just underneath the book cover.

This will expand a menu of possible format options the book is available in. Look in the list for a format called Common Cartridge. Click the Download button and save the file to your own computer. The file will have a file extension of .imscc designating it as an IMS Common Cartridge file.

Screenshot showing the location of the Common Cartridge download button on the BCcampus open textbook website. The link is located on the right hand side of the page underneath the book cover image and is labelled Download Common Cartridge

Adding the Common Cartridge File to your LMS

Once you have the cartridge saved on your computer, log in to your LMS.

The method for uploading the cartridge, and the options you have when uploading the cartridge, will vary depending on what LMS you use at your institution. Below are instructions for the most common LMS’s in use in the BC higher education sector; Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas and Brightspace. While these should work for you, each LMS can be configured slightly differently and if the process does not work for you, ask your institutional LMS support for assistance.


Course cartridges can be imported into Moodle course shells using the same process as a Moodle course restore.


To add a book to your Canvas course:

  1. Open Canvas and access your course settings
  2. Select Import Course Content from the right sidebar menu
  3. Open the Content Type menu and select Common Cartridge 1.x Package
  4. Click Choose File and select the Common Cartridge file you’ve downloaded to your device
  5. Click Import

After you’ve imported the file, the course will populate with the structure of the book.

Screenshot of a Canvas course shell showing how the book is populated in the course shell

The Parts, as well as Front Matter and Back Matter sections will appear as modules, and Chapters within those sections will appear as items within the module. Instructors or instructional designers can then intersperse these weblinks with other content, like quizzes, within the LMS.

When a student clicks on a chapter, a live version of that chapter in the public webbook will display within the LMS interface. Users can use LMS navigation tools to move to other content or activities within the module or the course.

Screenshot of a Canvas course showing a Pressbooks book chapter embedded within the Canvas course shell


For instructions on importing a course cartridge, refer to the Brightspace documentation on importing IMS Common Cartridge packages.


For Blackboard instructions, refer to the Blackboard support documentation Common Cartridge Course Packages.

Books in the BCcampus Collection Available as Common Cartridge Course Packages

1. Accessibility Toolkit – 2nd Edition

2. Accessibility Toolkit (FRENCH): CB Trousse d’outils d’accessibilite pour les

3. Accountability and Repairing Relationships: Training and Facilitation Guide

4. Active Bystander Intervention: Training and Facilitation Guide

5. Advanced English

6. Barbering Techniques for Hair Stylists

7. Basic HVAC

8. Basic Kitchen and Food Service Management

9. Basic Motor Control

10. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Course Pack 1

11. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Course Pack 2

12. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Course Pack 3

13. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Course Pack 4

14. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Course Pack 5

15. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Course Pack 6

16. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Reader 1

17. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Reader 2

18. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Reader 3

19. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Reader 4

20. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Reader 5

21. BC Reads Adult Literacy Fundamental English Reader 6

22. British Columbia in a Global Context

23. Building Blocks of Academic Writing

24. Business/Technical Mathematics

25. Canadian History: Post-Confederation – 2nd Edition

26. Canadian History: Pre-Confederation

27. Capacity to Connect: Supporting Students’ Mental Health and Wellness

28. Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care

29. Composition and Literature: A Handbook and Anthology

30. Concepts of Biology-1st Canadian Edition

31. Consent & Sexual Violence: Training and Facilitation Guide

32. Database Design-2nd Edition

33. Electronic Commerce: The Strategic Perspective

34. English Literature: Victorians and Moderns

35. Environmental Biology (OpenOregon)

36. Ethics in Law Enforcement

37. Evaluating Sexualized Violence Training and Resources

38. FLO Facilitation Guide (do not need to upload to SOLR)

39. Food Safety, Sanitation, and Personal Hygiene

40. Global Women’s Issues: Women in the World Today, extended version

41. Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals

42. Hair Colour for Hair Stylists: Level 2

43. Human Resources in the Food Service and Hospitality Industry

44. Human Security in World Affairs: Problems and Opportunities – 2nd Edition

45. Introduction to Consumer Behaviour

46. Introduction to Psychology-1st Canadian Edition

47. Introduction to Sociology – 2nd Canadian Edition

48. Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC – 2nd Edition

49. Introductory Algebra

50. Introductory Business Statistics with Interactive Spreadsheets – 1st Canadian Edition

51. Introductory Chemistry-1st Canadian Edition

52. Key Concepts of Computer Studies

53. Let’s Talk About Suicide: Raising Awareness and Supporting Students

54. Mastering Strategic Management 1st Canadian Edition

55. Math for Trades: Volume 1

56. Math for Trades: Volume 2

57. Meat Cutting and Processing for Food Service

58. Media Studies 101

59. Modern Pastry and Plated Dessert Techniques

60. Modern Philosophy

61. Nationalism, Self-determination, and Succession

62. Nature of Geographic Information

63. Nutrition and Labelling for the Canadian Baker

64. Open Pedagogy in the Trades

65. Pattern Development – Sheet Metal Level 1

66. Physical Geology – 2nd Edition

67. Plain Language Best Practices

68. Presentation Software

69. Principles of Social Psychology-1st International Edition

70. Psychology – H5P Edition

71. Project Management

72. Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers

73. Pulling Together: A Guide for Front-Line Staff, Student Services, and Advisors

74. Pulling Together: A Guide for Leaders and Administrators

75. Pulling Together: A Guide for Researchers, Hiłḵ̓ala

76. Pulling Together: A Guide for Teachers and Instructors

77. Pulling Together: Foundations Guide

78. Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist Identify Plants and Plant Requirements

79. Research Methods in Psychology – 2nd Canadian Edition

80. Student Success

81. Supporting Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities & Mental Illness

82. Supporting Survivors: Training and Facilitation Guide

83. Understanding Ingredients for the Canadian Baker

84. Vital Sign Measurement Across the Lifespan – 2nd Canadian Edition

85. Working in the Food Service Industry

86. Workplace Safety in the Food Service Industry

87. Writing for Success 1st Canadian Edition

For more information

"" For more information, see Common Cartridge Files with Web Links in the Pressbooks User Guide.


Canvas instructions from Pressbooks User Guide by Book Oven Inc. ( and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.



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Pressbooks Guide by Clint Lalonde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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