ReadingLists@UCL summer sessions extended

By Sandra Bamborough, on 21 September 2015

As many of you will be aware online reading lists are a fantastic way to present course materials to your students in order to better, and more fully, engage them.  Feedback from students has been very positive!

There are benefits for you, too:

  • Update readings and publish immediately
  • Flexible layout makes them suitable for a few essential readings, or fuller lists.
  • Ideal for a variety of resources, such as film or TV clips (e.g. using YouTube or Box of Broadcasts), online training tutorials with, professional body webpages, image database resources etc.

Ahead of session start, TLSS* are happy to help by setting up reading lists for new courses. You can then take ownership and share editing rights with your colleagues. We will also show new colleagues how to use these lists.  For those of you who may like a quick reminder, would like some tips, or have questions, we are also continuing our summer refresher sessions.

We have been holding drop-in sessions in the TLSS office every Wednesday afternoon, 2.30-4.30 p.m, and will continue throughout October.  Visit us in UCL Senate House, 3rd floor, room 317 in the staff area (ask at the UCL reception desk). See our  poster for more details.

In addition we welcome the opportunity to visit departments for ‘Getting started’ sessions or one to one trouble-shooting; email us for further information, set up a reading list, or to book a visit!


* TLSS: the Teaching & Learning Support Section, part of UCL Library Services.

Goodbye paper, hello electronic: one academic’s story

By Sandra Bamborough, on 17 September 2015

One member of UCL teaching staff used to hand out paper versions of his reading list for use in class, however he has now changed his practice to use ReadingLists@UCL instead.

During face-to-face teaching, students now add their notes about each reading directly into the online reading list, using their ipads or laptops. Notes against each reading are private to each student and accessible only by them. They can also use the ‘Have you read this?’ buttons on ReadingLists@UCL to organise their reading intentions.

If a printed version of a reading list is still useful you, or they, can export the online reading list to a printable PDF:

  • to print the reading list in its existing layout, select ‘Export’ then ‘Export to PDF’
  • to print a list of the readings in alphabetical order, use the ‘View bibliography’ button click ‘Export’ then ‘Export to PDF’
  • or to view this list in different citation styles: ‘View bibliography’ and select a citation style from the drop-down box ‘Harvard’. If a key citation style is missing, use the ‘Feedback’ button (top toolbar) to request another.

The QR code in the top right hand corner of each printed reading list enables students to return directly to the online version, with all the advantages that brings.

Do let us know about any other exciting ideas you may have, or tell us about innovative ways in which you use your online reading lists. Students, please use the Feedback button on your reading lists to let us know your thoughts!


Add a digitised reading

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 16 September 2015

“How do I add a digitised reading to my online reading list?” is one of our most frequently asked questions.

Many core texts you are able to add yourself, where UCL already subscribes to the full text. Bookmark these types of resources into your reading list in the usual way:

If there is a key reading that you would like to make available, such as a chapter of a book with no existing online version, then the TLSS can help.  The TLSS manages UCL’s CLA licence which enables us to digitise readings within certain limits.  Send us a photocopy or pdf of the extract with a cover sheet.  We will:

  • Confirm receipt and give you an estimated timescale
  • Copyright check the reading and fulfil the technical and reporting requirements of the licence
  • Digitise and upload the reading. Highlight to students that the reading is digitised using the ‘student note’.
  • Email to notify you when the reading is available on the online reading list.

Using this route will ensure your readings are copyright compliant and accessible to students alongside all their other core readings.  Find more information on our course readings webpages.

For a reminder on how to get started with your online reading list, see the Quick Guide, look at our FAQs or call in to a Wednesday afternoon drop-in session.


Increased uptake of Readinglists@UCL

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 27 August 2015

We are delighted to report that 45% of current taught courses at UCL now have an online reading list.  This means the library has achieved its target figure for 2014-15, as set out in the UCL Library Services Strategy, 2015-18.

Even better is the response from students, who enjoy having all their resources easily accessible and in one place.  Lists can contain full text readings, film clips, training videos, links to professional bodies… or simply further reading in a traditional bibliography format.  Comments such as ‘Can I have a list for my other modules?’ are not uncommon.

Some departments have been quick to seize this easy way of improving student satisfaction:  Political Science, the Development Planning Unit and the Institute of Neurology were among the first departments to create online lists for all their current taught courses and reach 100%.  The MAPS faculty engaged as a whole, resulting in terrific coverage across its departments in a short space of time.

A new feature this year has been to not just link a reading list to its relevant Moodle course, but to embed readings into the body of Moodle.  We have also added more citation styles, as requested by departments.  Can you think of other developments you would like to see for your reading lists?  We welcome feedback.

Our library target for 2015-16 is for 55% of modules to have an online reading list.  New UCL students are already asking for reading lists for their upcoming courses, so don’t hesitate to get in touch, request a list, or drop into a summer session to find out more!


Reading lists roll over

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 13 July 2015

The annual ‘rollover’ of ReadingLists@UCL is nigh.  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 Wednesday 15th July.  In brief:

  • Reading lists for 2014-15 will have an exact copy made for 2015-16, which will publish immediately
  • Students and staff will not experience any break in access to their reading lists
  • Editing access remains consistent, so academics and teaching support staff will be able to edit the new lists straight away
  • The old version of the reading list (2014-15) 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: do publish any changes if you wish it to be copied over
  • If you would like reading lists removed – for example if a course is no longer being taught – please email us and we will do this straight away
  • Similarly, if any courses have updated titles or course codes, email us to request the details are updated.

Need a refresher on how to edit and manage your lists ready for September?  Drop in to one of our summer sessions, or the ReadingLists@UCL webpages also have guides, FAQs and contact details.

ReadingLists@UCL this summer

By Sandra Bamborough, on 8 June 2015

As many of you will be aware, online reading lists are a fantastic way to present course materials to your students in order to better and more fully engage them.  Feedback from students has been very positive!

There are benefits for you, too:

  • Update readings and publish immediately
  • Flexible layout makes them suitable for a few essential readings, or fuller lists.
  • Ideal for a variety of resources, such as film or TV clips (e.g. using YouTube or Box of Broadcasts), professional body webpages, image database resources etc.

Over the summer the TLSS will be happy to help by setting up reading lists for new courses. You can then take ownership and share editing rights with your colleagues. We will also be showing new colleagues how to use these lists.  For those of you who may like a quick reminder, would like some tips, or have questions for us, we will also be running refresher sessions.

We will be holding drop-in sessions in the TLSS office (room 317) on the 3rd floor of Senate House every Wednesday afternoon, 2.30-4.30 p.m, throughout June-August.  In addition we welcome the opportunity to visit departments for ‘Getting started’ sessions or one to one trouble-shooting.  See our summer poster for more details, or email us for further information, or to book a session!


Preparing for 2015-16

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 28 May 2015

It is still the exam period, but we are already receiving requests to set up reading lists for the new academic year.  Existing lists will just ‘roll forward’ and an exact copy will be made for 2015-16: your editing rights to the list will remain unchanged so you can continue editing as always.  The old 2014-15 reading list will archive.

To set up a new reading list for a new module, email us or use the online form as usual (for fuller details see the ‘Getting started’ guide on our webpages).  If you are taking over an existing module this summer, then we can give you editing access to an existing reading list. This only involves us sending you an email!

Can I import references?

We have had queries on whether it is possible to import references from bibliographic management software, such as EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero etc.  Some academics already have a library of citations they would like to import into a new module reading list, to save re-typing or bookmarking each resource.

In short, you are able to import and export citations with ReadingLists@UCL, using RIS files which are generally compatible with bibliographic management software.  We have written a starter guide on this which we will shortly add to our webpages; in the interim we always welcome the opportunity to visit you or speak on the ‘phone to help!


The MAPS approach to reading lists

By Sandra Bamborough, on 14 May 2015

Earlier this year I met with the MAPS Faculty Library Committee to give them a quick introduction to ReadingLists@UCL.  The composition of this meeting was really good because as well as academics the attendees included the Subject Librarian, the StAR (Student Academic Representative), academic/student liaison and an administrator, so I could showcase the benefits of the online reading lists to all of these audiences.

Some departments in MAPS find that they have little need for books in their teaching so this was the perfect opportunity to illustrate that a reading list does not have to be stuffed full of references to books and journals, but instead can be as little as a few links to relevant professional organisations that students need to be aware of. The Q&A session was followed by a brief demo of what reading lists could contain, where I emphasised various online resources, not just books.

Following on from the meeting we were tasked with putting together a short ‘crib sheet’ for the department. We already have the online ‘Quick Guide’, but we tailored another guide for the MAPS faculty and included an example of how to link to a website, how to link reading lists to Moodle blocks and how to install the Bookmarking Button. The resulting MAPS Getting Started with online lists guide is now online.

We further customised the guide with a list of suggested resources which could be useful, particularly on courses where reading lists aren’t commonly used.  Being familiar with the subject areas, Robert Tomaszewski, the Subject Librarian, was very happy to contribute these suggested resources.

This list of suggested resources is also presented as an online list to illustrate how it works in practice.  MAPS lecturers can include the resources in their own reading lists, or link to the guide.  For example, there is a guide to avoiding plagiarism, or you might prefer to include the link to UCL’s current plagiarism guidelines for students, as some other academics have also done on their reading lists.

MAPS have chosen to recommend that their lecturers create their own lists. We set the lists up, send editing access to the tutor and offer a quick orientation, so they can start managing their list. Take a look at an interesting list.

This strategy has worked fantastically well for the Faculty, with resulting successes so far of 99 out of 103 courses for Mathematics (96%) having an online reading list, whilst Statistical Science have reached the magic 100%. A similar approach could be taken by other Departments with low or relatively low take-up of reading lists, with suggested resources tailored to each department.

There are of course many alternative approaches to increase the number of reading lists and improve the student experience.  Please email us for further information, or to request a ReadingLists@UCL poster, aimed at either students or staff, which you can customise for your department.

The Connected Approach

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 16 March 2015

A recent article in the E-learning Champions newsletter (managed by the E-Learning Environments) highlighted an imaginative exemplar of blended learning at UCL: ‘The Connected approach, Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ophthalmic Practice’.

This Ophthalmology programme is delivered by the the Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital and is aimed at both students and professionals in ophthalmic units. Their programme poster explains more about this engaging and interactive course.

One of the tools employed is an online reading list, divided into different topics with a guidance note at the top.  Some readings are specific articles, digitised under UCL’s CLA licence.  The reading list can link to the relevant Moodle course, or readings can be embedded into the body of Moodle.

The list being Open Access makes this delivery perfect for those of the programme cohort who are not traditional UCL students.

How ReadingLists@UCL can help you at exam time

By Sandra Bamborough, on 26 February 2015

Many UCL courses have an online reading list to guide you in your study. Reading lists are a tailored list of resources which may include links to full text readings, library books or TV clips, which you can access online anywhere, any time.

Your reading list is an essential tool to help you revise for your exams.  It might contain readings which you have read in preparation for class, and they are a quick and easy way for you to look back over them when doing your revision.  Many readings might be key texts which link out to full-text e-journal articles, or e-books.  Where books are in the library, you will see links to the library catalogue (Explore) so you can instantly check whether the book is on the shelf and place a reservation if it is on loan.

Where your tutors have written notes to guide you, or tags to show which resources are essential reading, these will also prove helpful as you go back over the resources you have used this year.   You can sort the list by importance and refer back to any of your own notes that you may have added (remember to sign in first!).  Perhaps most importantly, you can export the readings into a different citation format, invaluable when referencing your sources.

Access the reading lists for your courses directly through Moodle via a link in the ‘Library resources’ block (where you can also see any relevant Online Exam Papers).  Search the ReadingLists@UCL homepage by module code or title, or by your lecturer’s name if they have made this available. You can also browse by department or search Explore, the library catalogue.

You can find more information on the student information webpage for reading lists and if you need any help do please contact your Subject or Site Librarian!

Good luck!