Allow instructors to clone items from other instructors' courses
This is a common request from new implementations and also prospective Ares sales. Libraries would like for instructors to be able to access other courses from different instructors so that they can clone items to their own courses. This is especially helpful with multiple instructors who teach various course sections. Shared lists do not solve this problem for two reasons: the instructors would only be able to see a multi-instructor shared list of items if it was department-based, and if the instructors belonged to the same department, and if the department was filled out in the instructor's user records to begin with; and second, the instructor can choose which shared list items to apply to a course - the shared list must be shared in entirety or not at all.
A program co-ordinator approached me recently and wanted to know about “the possibility of creating a kind of e-reserve repository for our multi-section service courses… it would make sense to just create this and give access to sessional instructors, who could pull from the repository when making their own e-reserve lists.” The enhancement being proposed here sounds exactly what we are looking for to address this kind of need.
Also, re: privacy:
In the United States, the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008 requires that educational institutions & bookstores display ISBNs & prices for all required textbooks. (See 20 U.S. Code § 1015b d:Provision of ISBN college textbook information in course schedules / https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1015b)
Of course, Ares can hold much more than just required textbooks, but for textbooks themselves, instructor preference about privacy shouldn't be a concern, since they're legally required to disclose textbook information anyway.
In our previous home-grown reserves system, instructors were able to search through all readings in the system, but the search results were unaffiliated with a particular instructor or course -- similar to the way the Ares Client allows staff to search by "Item Information." Instructors *loved* this feature, and when they cloned an item into a new course, it showed up in the copyright queue for assessment just like a new request would.
Frankly, the list feature in Ares is already pretty difficult to navigate. If the process for allowing instructors to clone items requires working from a list, rather than being able to search freely, I wouldn't have used it or found it worth the development time.
Then again, I'm no longer working primarily in reserves, so weigh my opinion more lightly than that of current reserves practitioners.
The Ares Product Team is particularly interested in feedback about:
Instructor privacy concerns for entire lists. Should instructors be able to keep entire lists private? (Even from Full Proxies?) Should lists be visible (ie read-only), but unable to import without contacting the owner? Should inter-departmental lists have any different allowances/restrictions?
Instructor privacy concerns: individual items. Should instructors be able to restrict access to specific items?
Should Course Proxies be able to access shared lists?
How should instructor uploads of digital items be addressed? Should other instructors be able to use these? Download these? Is there a concern about privacy and personal copyright? What about items created using the IRFCreate.html WYSIWYG tool?
How should instructors search for lists? Should they be named in any way? Should instructors be able to browse through all, through those of their same department? Search by any item?
Should original relationships between item and lists be retained?
Should instructors be able to pick and choose individual items to be imported? If so, should these items still be affected by changes to the original shared list?
Should an instructor who uses another instructor's shared list have the right to edit any of the items? Delete the list?
How long should lists be retained?
How long should lists be searchable?
Should the library be able to provide similar, system-wide lists? Should any permissions be different for these? Any departmental or status restrictions?
Yes, it would be great if instructors/faculty assistants could search prior courses taught by others, in order to clone from them.
Theresa Spangler commented
Jennifer--no idea. I was merely asking about the availability of both options simultaneously since the original poll asked for which was preferable.
Jennifer Cotton commented
In response to Theresa, I had been assuming that even if instructors who share their materials must do so at a course level, instructors who were cloning things into their new course would be able to do so at an item level. Is that the wrong assumption?
Theresa Spangler commented
This would be helpful for instructors who are taking over a course previously taught by someone else. In that sense the course option is best. But if our instructors KNOW they can copy items from someone else, they'd probably prefer to cherry-pick by item. Is there a way to provide both options?
Could there be a key in the customization manager either to opt all instructors in to sharing their items by default, or to require them to opt in for each course individually?
From Janice Kahler in User Group We have an instructor retiring in December and I will have to manually clone over al of her items and courses to the incoming instructor so I asked for the instructor clone option
User Group results: Maybe 60/40 split to items versus courses. We'd love to know more! Please comment and vote.
Anne Marie Lyons commented
I've already voted on this on behalf of a library, so I'm adding a comment here for another request for this functionality from a newly implementing library. Faculty are accustomed to being able to share items with each other in their current system. Having to mediate this frequent request for sharing in the Ares client will be a labor-intensive hardship for staff.
We discussed this internally this week. How does this sound?
An instructor can decide if they would like to share their course publicly with other instructors. When another instructor is in the web and adding items, in addition to the option to create an item, import from a previous course, there would be the option to search public courses. That search would let them search any course that was public but would allow them to filter down to only those in their department or similar departments.
That way instructors can save re-keying and get ideas from other peers, but the instructor providing the course material still has the option of keeping their course "private" if they want to.
Do you think instructors would want to decide on an item by item basis if they want to share it? Would they mess with those settings?
Riha Prophet commented
This would be extremely helpful! I don't like that when I clone from the client I don't get to review materials, so when one professor wants to clone from another professor's course, I've been changing the professor in the course that want to clone from to the professor I want to clone to so that I can use the "Log On To Web" feature to clone items between professors. But I have to always remember to change the original course back to the original professor afterwards.