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Information Technology

IT Guide for Faculty & Instructors

Below is an overview of the services UMass Amherst Information Technology offers faculty and instructors in support of teaching and learning. For a complete list of IT services, see our Services page.

 

Get Started

IT Accounts: Your Passport to Technology Services

Your IT Account NetID and password give you access to most computing services on campus, including the Student Information System (SPIRE), the university’s learning management systems, library resources, free software downloads, internet access, and much more.
IT Accounts

Get Started

The UMass Amherst Student Information System (SPIRE)

SPIRE, the UMass Amherst Student Information System, provides self-service for instructors to access class rosters, create class email lists, request learning management system courses, and set up wireless guest accounts.
SPIRE SPIRE Support Articles for Instructors

 

Submit Textbook Adoptions

The campus is committed to using the Course Materials tool as the gateway for entering textbooks in SPIRE. Due when registration opens for the following semester.
UMass Textbook Information

 

Take the Instructor's Security Quiz & Access Rosters With Photos

Learn more about the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) and related privacy issues in instructional contexts, then take the Instructor's Security Quiz for access to class rosters with photos.
Instructor's Guide to Information Security UMass IT FERPA Certification

 

Classroom Internet Access

Wired and wireless Internet is available in most campus buildings, including all Registrar-scheduled classrooms. For wired connections, be sure to register your device(s) on the campus network each semester. Use the eduroam wireless network for encrypted wireless access.
Network Connectivity

 

Protect Personal, Institutional & Research Information

The Information Security Center provides anti-virus software, IT policies, security incident response procedures, and tips for protecting personal and institutional information.
Security Center

 

Submit Grades

Enter your grades directly in SPIRE or, if you are using Moodle or Blackboard, use our one-click grade upload service to transfer grades to SPIRE to approve at the end of the term.
Grading F.A.Q. Import Grades from Moodle or Blackboard Learn to SPIRE

Classroom Technologies


Use Audio & Video in Your Classroom

Classroom Technology Services (CTS) provides technical support, equipment delivery, and consultation services for faculty and staff using classrooms and auditoriums on campus.
Classroom Technology Services

Record & Deliver Online Lectures

Use Echo360 to record live classes in a classroom with built-in recording equipment or prepare lectures on your desktop. Reinforce content for students or create a “flipped” classroom experience where content is delivered outside of a class, making the classroom a place for active learning.

Echo360 Lecture Capture

 

Extend Your Classroom with Video Conferencing

In addition to rooms equipped with video conferencing equipment that can be used to connect classrooms live anywhere in the world, UMass Amherst provides Zoom video conferencing, allowing you to host online meetings from your own computer or device.
Video Conferencing

 

Use an Audience Response System (Clickers)

 

Use iClicker to take attendance and engage students, especially in large lectures. See students’ responses to questions instantly and share aggregate responses during the class.

iClicker - Audience Response System

Classrooms & Learning Spaces


Reserve a Computer Classroom

 

IT maintains Windows and Macintosh classrooms across campus, including experimental classrooms. Instructors can request that additional software be installed on our computers for their courses.

Computer Classrooms

Classroom Technologies

Teach in Team-based & Active Learning Classrooms

Classrooms that facilitate team-based, case study, and other active learning methods are available on campus. Support and training for these rooms is provided through UMass Amherst IT, and the Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development (TEFD).
Reserve Instructional Innovation Experimental Learning Spaces  Reserve Team-based Learning Classrooms 

 

Assign Multimedia Production & 3D Printing

The Digital Media Lab, located on the 3rd Floor of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, is a multimedia and 3D print production space designed to support students working on video, audio, animation and 3D modeling. Students can check-out AV equipment and receive individual instruction. Digital Media Lab

 

Access Assistive Technologies

The Assistive Technologies Center (ATC), located on the lower level of the W.E.B. DuBois Library in the Learning Commons, offers technology services to any member of the university community with an ADA-defined disability. The ATC works with Disability Services to bring full access for all people at UMass Amherst

Assistive Technology Center

Online Tools & Services

Course Content


Host Learning Activities & Course Content in a Learning Management System

Use Moodle or Blackboard to collect assignments, share readings, post grades, manage online discussions, deliver quizzes, manage group work, and more.

Request a new Moodle or Blackboard course in SPIRE each semester. Once your course is available, support staff will contact you with next steps for building your course and information on how to get training and help with course design.

Course Eligibility for Requesting an LMS Request a Moodle Course  Request a Course in Blackboard

 

Store, Share, & Collaborate in the Cloud

UMass Amherst supports two platforms for storing, sharing, and collaborating online, both with unlimited storage. Use Apps at UMass Amherst, our customized version of Google’s online collaboration tools, to create and edit documents, facilitate team-based projects, maintain class calendars, and create course sites with Google Classroom. Store and share data or collaborate on documents with UMass Box, our most secure solution for data storage.
Apps at UMass Amherst Secure Online Storage at UMass Amherst

 

Set Up Email, a Blog & Online Storage for a Course

Create a Course IT Account in SPIRE to get a dedicated WordPress site, Box account, and Apps at UMass Amherst account with Google Mail for any course you teach.
Create & Manage Course IT Accounts

 

Use OWL for Online Homework

Online Web-based Learning (OWL) is a homework tool developed at UMass Amherst that allows students to complete assignments, quizzes, and tests online.
To request OWL, email owl-it-help@it.umass.edu.

 

Provide Feedback & Assess Originality of Student Writing with Turnitin

Assess the originality of student work and ensure the proper citation of references by comparing student submissions to online sources and the Turnitin database. Focus on citation and quotation in a positive and constructive manner. Provide feedback through rubrics, drag-and-drop commenting, and audio commenting.
Turnitin in Moodle Turnitin in Blackboard

Stay Informed & Get Help

Support


Instructional Innovation

UMass Amherst Information Technology's Instructional Innovation group is dedicated to helping instructors meet their key instructional goals through the appropriate use of technologies, from tried-and-true to cutting edge.

Innovate@UMass 

Attend a workshop, peer discussion, or immersive Innovation@ Symposium, and discover new ways to foster collaboration and teamwork, techniques and tools for assigning media and digital content creation, and more.
Instructional Innovation Events Calendar

 

Instructional Media Lab

Get help with Moodle, Echo360, iClicker, peer evaluation, collaborative learning tools, and more. Schedule an appointment for one-on-one help or get your questions answered via phone or email.

The Instructional Media Lab: Help for Instructors

  • Email instruct@umass.edu.
  • Call 413-545-2823 (be sure to leave a message).
  • Stop by 765 W.E.B. Du Bois Library, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M - F (except holidays).
  • Browse how-to guides from IT’s Support Center.
 

IT User Services

Your first stop for general computing questions about SPIRE, email, network connectivity, computer hardware and software, and more:

  • Fill out an online help request or chat with a consultant from the IT website.
  • Call 413-545-9400 or from on-campus dial 5-TECH (be sure to leave a message).
  • Email it@umass.edu.
  • Stop by A109 LGRC Lowrise, 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., M - F (except holidays).
  • Browse how-to guides from IT’s Support Center.
  • Report an information security incident to itprotect@umass.edu.
 

Other Sources for Help

  • CTS (Classroom Technology Services) assists with auditorium and classroom equipment: 413-545-5765, 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

  • OWL (Online Web-based Learning) Support: owl-it-help@it.umass.edu.

  • Online Education—support for Blackboard: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., M-F: 413-577-3434 (option 1) or facline@oe.umass.edu

More Campus Services for Faculty


Software Discounts

UMass Amherst IT offers free and discounted software, including free anti-virus software, free Microsoft and Adobe software and Windows operating systems. Restrictions apply.
Free & Discounted Software

 

Computer Repair & Purchasing

Computer Maintenance & Repair Services provides diagnostic and repair services for computers and peripherals.  The U$ave program offers competitive rates on desktops, laptops, and accessories for the campus community.
Computer Maintenance & Repair Services  U$AVE: Discounts

 

The Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development (TEFD)

TEFD supports the professional development of faculty with programs and resources focused on teaching, mentoring, scholarly writing, tenure preparation, leadership, and work/life balance.
The Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development

 

UMass Amherst Libraries

Each department or program on campus has a designated liaison librarian who serves as the first point of contact for library-related services including Information Literacy workshops, Electronic Reserves, and Open Educational materials.
UMass Libraries Resources for Teaching & Learning