People teaching a class with other instructors have a decision to make:
- Create one shared class zyBook, perhaps with multiple class sections
- Create two or more separate class zyBooks
The shared zyBook approach would have one zyBook code like: UofACS101Fall2023.
The separate zyBook approach would have two (or more) zyBook codes like: UofACS1Fall2023Jones and UofACS101Fall2023Smith.
This article explains differences, to help instructors decide.
Class zyBooks can be customized. Instructors can:
- Configure the content by reordering the sections and chapters, and renaming chapters, to match their syllabus.
- Add "Instructor notes" throughout the content for all students to see
A class zyBook can only have one ordering, and instructors notes are visible to all that zyBook's students.
Shared: Most instructors teaching the same course prefer to share one class zyBook, using the same configuration and same notes. A shared zyBooks may be easier to maintain, since a change does not need to made in multiple zyBooks to keep the two zyBooks in sync.
Separate: If different instructors prefer to cover the material in a different order, or provide different notes, separate zyBooks may be the way to go
zyBooks has a feature where instructors can set assignments which lets students know when they should complete which sections by. Assignments have a concept of due dates. A due date can be assigned to the entire class or to a specific section. Students in a section will only see assignments that they due dates for. Those students will also only see the due date that is relevant to them. If assignment due dates are the only concern, it might make sense to share a single zyBook. Do note though that instructors will be able to see and edit each others assignments.
Some zyBooks have an add-on feature available called zyLabs. Our zyBooks authors have created a number of pre-built zyLabs that are ready to use out of the box and can be added to a zyBook for students to use. zyBooks also allows instructors to create their own zyLabs. If one instructor creates a zyLab for a zyBook, all students subscribed to that zyBook will see that zyLab.
If instructors want to create their own zyLabs for their own students and don't want the other sections to see those zyLabs, it might make sense to have separate zyBooks.
If instructors using zyLabs plan to only use pre-built labs or agree that all students across all sections should have access to the custom zyLabs, it might make sense to share a single zyBook.
zyLabs can also be password protected. This can help ensure that students only see zyLabs for their section because they only have passwords that unlock the labs for their class.
Viewing activity scores
Scores can broken down by section. Instructors have the ability to download scores for only their section to make uploading grades easier. Note that instructors will be able to view scores for students outside of their own sections though. If this is a concern, it might be better to have two separate zyBooks.
Multiple LMS course shells can be linked to the same zyBook and same assignment within a zyBook.
If access keys are being sold through a school's bookstore, it is generally much easier for students if the course is using a shared zyBook. In some cases where there are multiple zyBooks, students may experience confusion at the bookstore and be sold an access key for the other zyBook. When this is the case, the zyBooks support team can easily move the students to the correct zyBook, however, in general, we prefer to avoid student confusion and frustration when possible so having a single zyBook code is generally recommended.
Tip: If you are using one shared zyBook, you can add "Class sections" to the zyBook to keep students separate and make downloading reports cleaner. Please see our help article on Class sections to learn more
If you have other concerns regarding the differences between sharing a zyBook and maintaining separate zyBooks, please email email@example.com and a support agent would be happy to clarify further!