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Direct Digital Access FAQs


What is Direct Digital Access?

Direct Digital Access (DDA) is the system that provides immediate access to class content before the first day of class – at a reduced cost. It is a program used in conjunction with Black Hawk College and textbook publishers to assure the student receives the highest quality content without breaking the student’s budget.

 It is online content.

It is free for the first several days of class. After the free access has ended, the student’s account is charged the reduced price for continued access to the information for the rest of the term.

Direct Digital Access is usually more than simply an e-book version of a textbook. Direct Digital Access may also contain online tutorials and activities needed for your class.


How Much Does Direct Digital Access Cost?

The cost of Direct Digital Access differs by class. The cost is considerably less expensive than the traditional textbook route – up to 50% to 70% lower than buying a new hardcopy of a textbook. The cost will be listed on the bookstore website


When will I be charged?

Direct Digital Access is free for the first several days of class. Please see the IMPORTANT DATES section for when this free period ends. After the free access has ended, your student account will be charged. The charge will be listed as “Bookstore-Req'd Digital” All payments are made to the Bursar office. 


How do I find out if my course uses DDA? (see screenshot below)

  • On the menu above, mouse over Textbooks and click on Select Textbooks. Enter the department and click on your Course-Section-Instructor.
  • Click the “RedShelf Course Materials (DDA)”. If this link is not visible, your instructor has disabled the link and the course most likely does not use DDA.


Can I opt out?



How do I opt out?

Click on the RedShelf Course Materials (DDA) link and then the Opt Out link and follow the instructions.




What does opting out mean?

  • To opt out means that you don’t wish to receive your materials through the reduced cost Direct Digital Access program.
  • When you opt out, your access to your Direct Digital Access materials is removed.
  • The option to opt out is only available until the opt out deadline. I’M SORRY, BUT THERE CAN BE NO REFUNDS FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT OPT OUT BY THE DEADLINE.
  • If you opt out by the deadline you will not be charged your Direct Digital Access fee.
  • If you opt out you will still be responsible for acquiring any required course materials needed for class. Print copies of the textbook(s) may be available at either Black Hawk College campus bookstore, but no longer at the reduced Print Upgrade price.

What if my class has more than one DDA component?

Classes with more than one DDA component are rare, but it can happen. For example, a Biology class may be using both an e-book as well as a separate lab manual. They will be listed separately, as seen below.

If you opt out of one, you will lose access to all of them.


If I accidentally opted out, can I opt back in?

Yes, it is possible to opt back in to a class from which you have opted out. But if you want to opt back in AFTER the deadline has passed, you will need to contact us at this email address: We will need your name, student ID number, and the course and section of the class. We will then contact an off-campus administrator to opt you back in.


Can I get a printed copy of the Direct Digital Access e-book?

Yes normally but not always, a low-cost printed copy of your e-book is available from the bookstore, but only for students who do not opt out of the Direct Digital Access program. This book will be listed on the bookstore website as a Print Upgrade.


What if I buy the access code directly from the publisher?

Black Hawk College has negotiated the best price for Direct Digital Access, so there should be no reason to purchase from the publisher. Sometimes there is a link on Canvas to the publisher’s website. If you buy from the publisher’s website you still need to opt out of Direct Digital Access by the date mentioned on the Important Dates page because the Black Hawk-provided digital access material is separate from any purchased from the publisher.


What if I have further questions?

If you have further questions, please contact us at








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