Purpose – As educational technologies are more widely adopted in higher education teaching and learning, publishers often include online resources to accompany their textbook offerings. The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a study forming part of a larger ongoing evaluation of the third party software product WileyPLUS. Design/methodology/approach – The paper describes the integration of the publisher's tools into a specific curriculum context and takes a critical look at the pedagogical effectiveness of the software in this context. A mixed-methods approach is taken in the study, using a small postgraduate accounting unit as a case study. Findings – While many students reported positive experiences with the third party resources, technical issues were a barrier to their effectiveness and many students did not engage with the optional resources. The unit convenor's experience was largely positive. Practical implications – Although it may be tempting for unit convenors to adopt these tools and resources as readily available and easy to use, it is important that they are integrated into the curriculum and that students are supported in their use. Originality/value – Outcomes include a list of critical success factors and an evaluation framework that could be of use to other academics seeking to embed third party resources into their teaching.