Three top tips for students

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 2 February 2017

You found your online reading list on Moodle by spotting the link in the ‘Library Resources’ block, or when searching for your course on the ReadingLists@UCL home page.  Perhaps you read some key texts for tutorials in the first flush of enthusiasm in the autumn, however now it is revision time and you need to look over some of those readings in a hurry!

If you are short on time and need to find things quickly, here are our top three for using ReadingLists@UCL:

  1. Long reading list?  Re-order the readings by importance (essential, recommended etc.) or type (journal, book…), using the ‘Grouped by section’ button.  Then scroll down, or use the ‘Table of contents’ to jump down, to the section on ‘Essential’ readings for example.
  2. Convert the list to pdf to print out (Export -> Export to PDF) to highlight and scribble on; or keep your notes virtual by using the ‘Add note’ button on each reading.  These notes are private to you.
  3. Log in!  Once logged in, click on your name at the top of the screen and ‘View Profile’ to see your private notes and reading intentions.
Group by type2

(Click to enlarge)

 

From speaking with students we know you find reading lists intuitive to use, however we also have a little more guidance on our webpages, just in case.  We are always very keen to hear of anything that can be improved, so please contact us with suggestions or questions!

 

 

 

 

Term 2 Drop-in sessions

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 26 January 2017

Would a ‘getting started’ session help you get ahead?  Or perhaps a refresher in adding readings would save you some time?

Drop in to the TLS office on a Wednesday afternoon 2.30-4.30pm in Terms 2 and 3 this

year.  We are on hand to trouble-shoot problems, walk you through linking a reading list to Moodle, or you can just use it as time to set up an online list with someone on hand to speed things along!

This way!

This way!

Our office is in UCL Senate House, room 318.  If you aren’t familiar with this UCL Library Hub, ask at the UCL Senate House reception desk, or call the TLS office on 020 3549 5729 (internal x65729).

When you request a new online reading list we always offer a 1:1 orientation (just 20 minutes or so) at your own computer to get you started.  This way, you don’t have to read instructions and everything is tailored to you and your subject.

Other training

  • Hazel and Pam regularly visit Teaching Committee or Departmental meetings for a 10-minute introduction or demonstration.
  • In January we ran a small group ‘Best Practice’ session for an Engineering department.  In an hour we gave an overview, then invited academics to do the initial set up and add a few different resources into an online list.

If you like the sound of these or have other ideas, get in touch to request training, demonstrations, or for more information!

Happy new year!

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 26 January 2017

Happy new year! 2016 was a good year for ReadingLists@UCL.

Here is our year in numbers

  • 2705 lists were set up by December 2016. Which represented:
  • 57% of all taught modules having an online reading list.
  • 407,545 visits (January – December 2016) which equated to:
  • 1,528,024 page views

If you are interested in the number of visitors to your reading list, log in to the list and click on the green ‘Dashboard’ button.  It will show the number of page views and how many times each reading has been clicked on in the past 30 days.

You prefer a story to figures?

In this film clip, an academic and student at the Shakespeare Institute, Birmingham, discuss their online reading lists and why they are helpful to their teaching and learning, respectively. They use the same reading list software as UCL, but with a different name. (Length: 3 minutes 53 seconds).

Happy new year 2017

Paul Wilkinson ‘Party Popper

Make a new year resolution

… to guide your students better in 2017 by setting up an online reading list, or updating an existing one.

The TLS team in the library are very happy to help, or drop in to our Senate House office on a Wednesday afternoon for a hands-on session. You could walk away with a list set up and completed!  Something ticked off your to do list: a good start to the year.

 

Link rot

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 7 October 2016

I was reading recently about link rot, that modern nuisance when links to a resource or webpage no longer work.

It is food for thought when refreshing your online reading list for this term. Keep link rot in mind when creating links to new readings: if you have linked to webpages of an organisation that subsequently changes name, or readings on a shady website, students may find the pages no longer available the following year.

Occasionally it even happens in paid journal subscriptions: this year an Archaeology journal was taken over by a different publisher and every stable article link changed.

What can you do if you don’t have time to check through all your lists for broken links?  Navigate to the reading list and sign in; click ‘Review’ then ‘Request Review’.

Request Review

This sends a notification to the TLS.  We check for broken links and create more stable links where possible; we also check all books link to the library catalogue, where relevant.  If you have added a ‘Note to the library’ requesting books be purchased, or newer / more editions for the library, we pass this on to the relevant subject librarian.

 

 

Annual rollover complete

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 8 July 2016

The online reading lists have now rolled forward, creating copies of all lists ready for the 2016-17 session.  The reading lists for 2015-16 have been archived.

You are able to continue editing as usual.  In fact, this is the perfect time to update your list: students look at their readings over the summer and it is very easy to add a section of ‘Summer reading / research’.  Even if you haven’t finalised changes to some readings, you can still set up the structure and edit dates and notes.  Though students are very positive about their reading lists, one complaint has been over currency; the last year’s dates were still on display making the student doubt the currency of the readings too.

Do you feel too busy to get re-acquainted with how to update your list?  Come along to our office and we can sit with you to help you log back in and make a few basic changes; or ask us for a quick refresher to get started again.  We set aside Wednesday afternoons 2.30 pm – 4.30 pm for anyone to drop-in, or we are happy to visit you at your desk.

 

Please drop us an email if you would like to:

  • re-use a previous version of your reading list (for example, for those modules that run every other year)
  • Archive a reading list if it is not being run in 2016-17
  • Change a module title / name on an existing reading list
  • Set up a new reading list

 

One final thing. Your ‘My Lists’ page will still display the 2015-16 lists. From the ‘My Lists’ page:

  • To remove older lists, check the boxes left of the list title; at the top of the page click ‘Action’ -> ‘Remove’
  • To add in new lists, navigate to the 2016-17 list and click the button ‘Add to my lists’ (top right hand side).
  • All reading lists are at the same module URL each year (e.g. http://readinglists.ucl.ac.uk/modules/publg084.html ), this does not change.  The link from Moodle to the reading list (via the ‘Library Resources’ block) is also stable and will link to the same place.

 

Annual reading lists rollover

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 28 June 2016

We are warming up for the annual ‘rollover’ of ReadingLists@UCL.  Are you prepared?

Each summer the reading lists have a new copy made for the September term, much like the Moodle snapshot.  This year the rollover is scheduled for Thursday 7th July 2016.  In brief:

  • Reading lists for 2015-16 will have an exact copy made for 2016-17, which will publish immediately
  • Students and staff will not experience any break in access to their reading lists
  • Editing rights remain consistent, so academics and teaching support staff will be able to edit the new lists straight away
  • The old version of the reading list (2015-16) will archive, which means it will vanish from public view but can be found and re-used in future years if needed.

Please note:

  • Anything not published on a reading list will not be copied onto the new list: publish any changes before 6th July, if you wish them to be copied forward.
  • If you would like reading lists removed – for example if a course is no longer being taught – please email us any time
  • Similarly, if any courses have updated titles or course codes, email us to request the details are updated.

Do you need a refresher on how to edit and manage your lists, ready for September?  Drop in to our office on a Wednesday afternoon for summer training, or the ReadingLists@UCL webpages also have guides, FAQs and contact details.

How do I bookmark from COPAC?

By Sandra Bamborough, on 1 June 2016

Many academics encourage students to research more widely or use libraries beyond UCL.  If you wish to add a book to an online reading list that is not in UCL’s Explore catalogue, COPAC is a useful alternative.  It is a union catalogue, searching 90+ UK library catalogues including the British Library, University libraries and specialist research libraries.  Most teaching staff prefer this to a commercial alternative, such as Amazon or online bookshops.

Bookmarking from COPAC is slightly different.  Start as usual:

  • Navigate to the title of the relevant item
  • click on the ‘Add to My Bookmarks’ button

At this point, instead of turning into the bookmarking screen, you will see a new link called ‘Bookmark to reading list’ appear to the right of the bibliographic information, under the locations details (see below):

COPAC 8

 

  • click on this ‘Bookmark to reading list’ link to bookmark the item as usual (ignore the contents of the screen on the right).
  • check the item links correctly from the reading list.

This has been a frequent question this week – even from one of our ReadingLists@UCL team!

For other FAQs on non-standard bookmarking, scroll down this page and under ‘Categories’ select ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Back by popular demand! Summer drop-in training

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 1 June 2016

  • Need a quick reminder on how to update your online reading list for next year?
  • Would a ‘getting started’ session help you get ahead?
  • Or do you just want a few tips on setting up a list?

Drop in to the TLS office on a Wednesday afternoon 2.30-4.30pm from June 1st until October 2016.  We will be on hand to trouble-shoot problems, walk you through linking a reading list to Moodle, or just set aside some time to set up an online list with someone on hand to help if you get stuck!

Our office is in UCL Senate House, room 318.  If you aren’t familiar with this UCL Library Hub, ask at the UCL Senate House reception desk, or call the TLS office on 020 3549 5729 (internal x65729).

When you request a new online reading list we always offer a 1:1 orientation (just 20 minutes or so) at your own computer, to get you started.  Hazel and Pam also regularly visit Teaching Committee or Departmental meetings for a 10-minute introduction or demonstration.  Do get in touch to request training, demonstrations, or just for more information!

 

How do I add a pdf to an online reading list?

By Pamela Clarke, on 4 May 2016

Puzzled about how to add digitised readings to your online reading lists for students? Concerned about mysterious pdfs in Moodle?  Or worried about the copyright issues in course readings?

Then worry no more as the Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) are here to help! We offer advice and help to ensure course readings are copyright compliant, using UCL’s CLA licence, and other licencing schemes such as the NLA, and ERA where appropriate. Our course readings service will check readings are legally compliant under one of these licences and add the digitised readings to your online reading list.

To find out more feel free to “drop-in” to TLS (Senate House, room 317, 3rd floor, South Block) between 2.30-4.30 pm on Wednesdays. Contact us at: library-tlss@ucl.ac.uk. We also have webpages with information at your fingertips about the course readings service that you might find helpful.

 

A librarian asks: which books are not in the library?

By Sandra Bamborough, on 25 January 2016

We were recently asked by a librarian if there was any way to see which books on a reading list did not link out to the book in the library catalogue, Explore?  Librarians check through newly updated reading lists to ensure books and other resources have been purchased, where possible.  Once purchased, librarians can also update the reading list to link to the available book or journal.

 

csvTo answer the librarian: there is a way to check this!  You can ‘export’ a reading list into a spreadsheet (CSV) format.

Sort by ‘Type’ to view all ‘Books’ and if the ‘Local Control Number’ field is blank there is no link to Explore. Either UCL doesn’t hold the resource, or the academic didn’t make a link to it.

This can also be useful for those librarians who are updating lists, or who have inherited one and want to check whether you need to link any items to the catalogue to make them more readily accessible for students.

Of course, you can also ask our team to do the checking for you, by publishing the reading list and clicking on the ‘Request review’ button. TLSS will check through and link to books or journals where possible, or update unstable links to e-books or e-journal articles.