This article will help you understand how importances work within Talis Aspire, why you will find them useful and how you can configure them to work best for your institution.
When you are in list edit view, any bookmark on a list will show metadata about that item, as well as an importance. By default - ie when newly added - the importance will default to displaying as 'Importance not set'. For list publishers, this feature will display in red to indicate that an action can be taken here; student viewers will simply see a gap.
Clicking on the 'Importance not set' drop down will allow a list publisher to attach an importance to the item. The screenshot above shows five suggested options, but these can be altered to suit your University's preferred terminology (see 'Configuration').
Selecting an importance for an item can be very useful in guiding the reading of your student audience, particularly if you are working with a long list where students are not expected to view every item. For example, marking an item as ‘Essential’ will make it clear to the end user that this item really shouldn’t be missed when carrying out set reading.
Currently it isn't mandatory to attach an importance to each reading list item. To meet the needs of Universities who would prefer that this feature was mandatory, we are planning some development later this year so that it will be possible to force list publishers to set an importance for each item, though institutions that don't require this will be able to opt out.
It’s not just the list users who can benefit from the use of importances. When a list is reviewed, the reviewer will also be able to see which importances have been set and can use this information to complete their review and purchasing decisions accordingly.
For example, your library may have a ratio for purchasing book titles which are marked as ‘Essential’, or a separate policy for ordering items which are marked as ‘Recommended’. You can use the filters in the Review screen to quickly focus on whichever group interests you and carry out the relevant actions.
If you wish to add or change your Importances to match your institution’s terminology, then you can do so. Simply raise a support ticket stating which importances you would like to add and whether you would like to change or remove any of the current options, Talis will work with you to make those changes. You may also specify the order that the importances should appear in the drop-down menu.