Course Packs

Course Packs

“Now that I've discovered Cognella and its method, I'll certainly use them in every future course I teach.”— Dan Whitman, American University (5-star Google review)

“Great company that really cares about students. I paid $65 for my Cognella course reader that would have been $200 or more if it was being sold by one of the big publishers.”— A student at the University of California, San Diego (5-star Google review)

What are Course Packs?

Course packs are publications designed specifically for your course for a single term and are not marketed nationally. These can include:

  1. Course readers – anthologies composed of readings/articles from multiple sources
  2. Abridged editions – texts that feature selected chapters from one textbook
  3. Original content – material you create specifically for your students and for which you retain copyright
  4. Open source content – which can be mixed with copyrighted material
  5. Lab manuals – including specifics about lab layout, assignments, and geographical references
  6. Lecture note projects – printed versions of slides with room in the margins for note-taking
  7. Out-of-print editions – reprinted content that is no longer available from the original publisher (requires research by our team)
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Why Choose a Course Pack?

Instructors should not have to design their course to fit a specific textbook. We believe textbooks should be designed to fit an instructor’s specific course instead.

There are many challenges with the traditional textbook adoption model, including:

  • Textbook costs continue to rise.
  • Major publishers dominate the market, which can limit options and drive up prices.
  • Traditional textbooks are quickly outdated and often have gaps in relevancy.
  • Faculty are burdened to to supplement materials or shape their course to fit the textbook.
  • Open educational resource (OER) options are still limited and can only be accessed online.
  • The shift to remote learning complicates student engagement and access to materials.

If you are facing these or other challenges related to finding the perfect material for your course, a course pack may be the best fit for you.

Contact us for a free consultation!

How Does It Work?

Step 1

Choose the readings you’d like to include.

Step 2

We can provide a price estimate (optional).

Step 3

Submit your reading list and third-party materials.

Step 4

We do the rest.

Select the readings, from any publisher, that you’d like to include in your course pack. To help in your search, peruse the Cognella Digital Library, which features thousands of pre-cleared readings from our reputable publisher partners. As you find readings you’d like to use, add them to your reading list. This document will help our team gather and organize your readings.

We can perform an initial licensing review and provide you with a price estimate. Based on this estimate, you can adjust the readings included in your course pack to fit your budget. Contact a project editor to request an estimate.

To reserve a spot in our production queue, log in or create a Cognella Connect account. Once logged in, follow the instructions on your dashboard to submit your project details and upload your materials.

If you’d prefer to work with one of our project editors on this step, contact us and a team member will be more than happy to help!

We’ll handle copyright clearance, build your course pack, and set up the print and/or ebook. Our standard turnaround time is 2-3 weeks from when we receive your final materials, which includes time for your review and approval of the proof for new projects. We will always try to accommodate requests to expedite a project, so if you are up against a deadline that requires a faster turnaround time, let us know.


“If your program uses course readers and you’re shopping for a new custom publishing service, I would recommend University Readers.  My Project Editor is incredibly friendly and timely. They do offer online and print versions of the reader which I recommend utilizing. The online version can save the students a trek off campus.”
Jess Gutenberg, Coordinator, Humanities Program, University of California, San Diego (5-star Google review)

“Cognella College Readers have opened a whole new way of approaching my students, and providing them with the material I most want them to have. The system is ingenious: I pic‎k the items (articles and extracts) most important for undergraduates studying in my cross cultural course at American University. Cognella takes it from there, obtaining copyrights and reproducing in bound form the material which used to fly around my classroom as photocopies in ways which were expensive to me, and confusing for the group. Photocopies were very distracting, as students incurred the occasional absence and had to keep track of fragmented material. Cognella provides ‘one-stop shopping’ which greatly eases the task for the instructor.

With Cognella, I can provide, in bound form, the materials I chose as our basis for learning. It is important for me to be able to say to my students that I receive no royalties or benefits from the arrangement, though my name appears on the cover of the ‎book. In this way, the system suits me perfectly.

Contrary to urban legend, I find that undergraduates vastly prefer hard copy material, rationally arranged and bound, to online readings or photocopies.

Working with the Cognella staff is easy, satisfying, and even creates collegial interchange ‎which guides and orients me.

Now that I’ve discovered Cognella and its method, I’ll certainly use them in every future course I teach.”
Dan Whitman, Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Professional and Extended Studies, American University (5-star Google review)