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Class Overview/Textbooks - for Instructors & Staff

What's New for Class Overview/Textbooks?

Books not yet chosen option, read more....If you want to indicate that your posting of your books/class materials information is in progress, or if your department has not yet assigned an instructor to a class, use the new "books not yet chosen" option.

Copy information from one class to another, read more.... If you teach a class every year or want to copy information from one class section to another, save yourself time and use the copy option.

About Class Overview/Textbooks

Use SPIRE to provide class overview, book or class materials information to students. Federal law currently requires publication of information about required and recommended textbooks for each class in the Schedule of Classes. The intent of the law is to help students better understand and manage this aspect of their educational expenses.

Read more about the federal law HEOA Textbook Provision (PDF).

Publishing class overview information is not explicitly required by the federal legislation, but it addresses the purpose of the statute in that providing class overview information helps students make informed decisions and judgements about class selection and purchasing class materials. Instructors who do not wish to publish detailed syllabi can instead opt to publish simplified outline syllabi (omitting any proprietary intellectual property information) or provide an abbreviated class overview.

Note:

  • Only Primary Instructors and designated department staff can use the Class Overview/Textbooks page in SPIRE to enter class overview, book or class materials information. For classes with multiple Primary Instructors, any Primary Instructor for the class can save and publish class overview, book or other material information. For instructors, if you have questions about what classes appear in your class selection list, speak with your department's Scheduling Representative.
  • You can enter information only for the graded section of a class. If you teach a class with both a lecture and a lab section, for example, only the lecture section is available to you in your class selection list. Include any additional books or materials that students might need for associated section(s) in the information for the graded section.
  • No information from the Class Overview/Textbooks page publishes until you explicitly allow it. The default setting for the Class Overview page is that the information is hidden from public view. Once published, the information displays on the Class Details page in Search for Classes, the online Schedule of Classes.
  • You must enter your book and/or class materials information for each class each term. Book and other material information does not automatically carry over from one class to another nor from one term to another.
  • Once you enter and save information for a class, you can then copy some of that information to another class. For example, if you teach the same class every year in the Fall term, you can copy some information from one year's class to the next. Similarly, if you teach multiple sections of the same course, you can copy information from one class section to another.

Step 1: Select a Class

  1. For instructors, in the SPIRE Menu, go to Faculty Home > Class Overview/Textbooks. The Class Overview - Select Class page opens. Select the class you want. Make sure to check the term associated with the class, as both current and future term classes may appear in your selection list.

    For designated department staff, in the SPIRE Menu, go to Course Maintenance > Schedule of Classes > Class Overview/Textbooks. Search for the class you want. Make sure to include the term in your search criteria.

Step 2: List Books & Class Materials

About Entering Books & Class Materials Information

The Books & Class Materials section is the only required section on the page. 
IMPORTANT: In order to publish information from the Class Overview page to the online Schedule of Classes, you must first enter EITHER all the required information for at least one book or other class material OR select one of the following options:

  • No Books/Class Materials to be purchased
  • Books not yet chosen

Note: Be careful when selecting No Books/Class Materials or Books not yet chosen. Watch out for the following:

  • Don't erase your work!
    Selecting No Books/Class Materials to be purchased or Books not yet chosen erases any book or class materials information previously entered and hides the table for entering that information.
  • Don't accidentally leave text in the Special Book & Material Instructions box!
    If you have any text entered in the special instructions box it will not erase when you select no books/other materials or not yet chosen. Make sure to delete or update that text as needed before saving and/or publishing your information.
  • Missing the table to enter books/other materials information?
    If you select No Books/Class Materials or Books not yet chosen, the table to enter books/other materials no longer displays. If you then do want to enter book/other materials information, click to clear the selected checkbox. Once you clear either the No Books or Not Chosen option (whichever had been checked), the table to enter books/other materials information reappears and you can enter your books or class materials information.

Books & Class Materials Options/Required Information

The list below details the options for information you can provide about books and other class materials, including what is required vs. optional information.

 

  • Books/Other Materials (required): Enter information for as many books or other class materials as you wish. Use the first blank row to enter information for the first item. Click the plus sign (+) to create a new row and add another item. Click the minus sign (-) to remove a row and delete an item. Use the drop-down list to specify for each item whether it is a Book or Other Materials. Other Materials might include packets of reading material, personal response devices for in-class voting/participation tracking, scientific calculator, safety goggles, lab coat, tools, art supplies, etc.
  • Required/Recommended (required): You must indicate whether you require or merely recommend each item in your list.
  • Title or Description (required): For a book, you must provide the title. For other materials, you must enter a description of the material (e.g., safety goggles).

    Tip: Use the Special Book & Material Instructions box at the bottom of the Books & Class Materials section to include detailed information about books or other materials as needed.

  • Author (required for books only)
  • ISBN (required for books only): You must provide the ISBN for each book that you list. Use either the 13-digit ISBN-13 (preferred) or the 10-digit ISBN-10 (acceptable).

    Tip: Use the Look up book information link above the Books & Class Materials section to access a quick reference resource for book information.

  • Retail Price (required for books only, but recommended for other class materials): For each book, you must provide price information in USA dollars for a new copy of the book. Using a USA dollars publisher recommended price or publisher list price for new copies is sufficient. Students can then use the publisher price information to shop for bargains, if they wish. For other materials, it is best to provide any price information you have, but you are not required to do so. To provide information about the price of a book in foreign currency, used book price information, publisher or other discounts available to students, or any additional price information details, use the Special Book & Material Instructions box below the Books & Class Materials section.

    Note: Do not include dollar signs ($) or other currency symbols when entering price; use only numbers. When the price information displays on the Class Details page, it will have the notation USD.

    Tip: Use the Look up book information link above the Books & Class Materials section to access a quick reference resource for book information.

  • Publisher (optional for books)
  • Edition (optional for books)
  • Year Published (optional for books)
  • Special Book & Material Instructions (optional): Use Special Book & Material Instructions to clarify or supplement any book or other class materials information.

Step 3 (optional): Describe Learning Outcomes for the Class

Use the Learning Outcomes box to communicate your goals and/or expectations for the class to students considering enrolling in the class.

Step 4 (optional): Provide a Link to Your Syllabus, Outline Syllabus or Class Overview

If you want a convenient and quick method to post information online, consider using UDrive. Learn more about using UDrive to publish information online.

Note: Do not post URLs to information posted in Moodle. Information posted in Moodle becomes available to students only after they enroll in the class and only at the start of the term.

  1. Enter the Web address (URL) for an online syllabus, outline syllabus or class overview you wish to publish. Enter the URL without the leading "http://" or "https://", e.g., the entry for a Physics 101 syllabus might be: physics.umass.edu/physics101/syllabus.html.
  2. If you enter a URL, specify what Type of syllabus or class overview students can expect to find online. Select from the drop-down list either Full Syllabus or Outline (use for either outline syllabus or class overview), as appropriate.

Step 5: Save Your Information

Avoid potential problems with SPIRE timing out and losing your work. We recommend that you save at least every 10-15 minutes while entering information on the Class Overview/Textbooks page. Save as often as you like, but always save before exiting or you will lose your work. Also you must save after changing the publish status or the change will not take effect. Find the yellow Save button at the bottom of the page.

Step 6: Display to Public

You decide when to publish information from the Class Overview/Textbooks page so that it appears on the Class Details page in Search for Classes, the online Schedule of Classes. A notation at the bottom center of the page, Display set by, provides the name of the last person to publish the information from the Class Overview page along with the publish date/time.

 

  • To display information from the Class Overview page, select Display to Public and click Save.
  • To hide from the public information from the Class Overview page, select Hide Class Overview and click Save.

Note: If you forget to click save after updating the Display/Hide status, the publication status of your information does not change.

You have two ways to check the publication status of information on the Class Overview page. First, the information is visible to the public if a notation appears at the bottom center of the page, Display set by, followed by the name of the last person to publish the information and the publish date/time. Second, the information is visible to the public if the upper right corner of the page displays the message This Class Overview displayed to public? Yes.

Copy Data from Another Class

You can use some of the existing data from one class to enter data automatically for any similar class. The Copy tool eliminates manual re-entry of your data. To use this feature, open the Class Overview/Textbooks page for the class for which you need to enter data and locate the box for copying information to the right above the Books & Class Materials section. Then:

  1. Specify which class has the data that you wish to use. You can either:
    • enter its 5-digit class number, confirm or change its term in the drop-down box, and click Copy Class Above
    • - OR
    • click Search for classto open a search page. Change term or instructor criteria if needed before searching. Only classes that have data to copy show a yellow Select button in the search results. Click Select to choose a class.
  2. Edit data as needed for the current class, e.g., update book edition, ISBN, price; edit the special instructions; and etc. Be sure to enter any books/materials that are new for the current class after you finish copying data from the other class.
  3. Confirm or change the Display/Hide status for your current Class Overview. The status for the other class copies into the current class along with the books and materials data.
  4. Saveyour data.

Audit Entry of Books/Class Materials Information

Designated department staff who can enter books/materials data can use the Textbook Queries that are available in SPIRE. The queries provide a quick way to monitor the status of textbook data-entry for a deparment's entire list of class offerings.