Case study: why not put readings in Moodle?

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 26 October 2017

The question we are asked most often by teaching staff is why not just use Moodle for providing links and pdfs to readings?  Today’s case study shows one student’s experience of this.

 

Easy access for students?

Easy access for students?

A student contacted the library e-resources team as she had difficulty accessing an article online.  Her Moodle course is well organised and gives key readings with some great context and reading notes.  Several of the readings, however, led to an error page instead of the online article.

This is happening for two reasons.  The URL for the reading was copied and pasted directly from the web address bar.  For some resources, such as OVID, the web address contains session information or search terms: it is not a stable link.  When re-visited later, the link no longer works.

A second problem is that even if a stable link is used, it does not include the information which prompts students to log in with their UCL details.

In the majority of cases, both these issues can be resolved by bookmarking from ReadingLists@UCL in the recommended way – using a bookmarking button, much like Pinterest or del.icio.us.  When you first set up a list we will offer a quick orientation to show you how to do this.

For a handful of specialist databases, bookmarking requires an extra step. You can ‘Request review’ when your list is complete, and TLS will check and amend links for you; or ask TLS to create the bookmarks for you.  For those who prefer to be self-sufficient we have some guides: in the tag cloud to the right, click on ‘Non-standard bookmarking‘.

 

How can this situation be avoided on your course?

  • Set up an online reading list and have a brief orientation with TLS
  • Switch on the ‘Library Resources’ block to make a stable link from Moodle to the online list
  • Let your students know about the online reading list!
  • Remove any articles from Moodle to avoid duplication of work, and confusion for students

 

New Explore interface

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 4 October 2017

You may have noticed that a new Explore user interface (UI) has been soft-launched and is in a development phase for user testing.

When adding new readings into an online reading list however, please continue to use the classic Explore interface.  ReadingLists@UCL can only interact with one catalogue interface, so until the new UI has been formally launched, the reading lists will continue to interact best with the classic Explore interface.

Classic Explore catalogue

Click to enlarge

 

We will post an update on this blog, and on the ReadingLists@UCL homepage message, when the switch has been made to the new UI.

Do contact the TLS team if you have concerns or questions.

 

Welcome to new UCL students!

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 3 October 2017

Welcome!

Over summer we have been working towards this moment, helping to prepare reading lists and digitised readings for Term 1 teaching. The many new things to remember in your first few weeks can be overwhelming, so we hope that online reading lists are one of the few things that are easy to use!

Library resources block

Click to enlarge

If your module has an online reading list you can find it:

  • On Moodle (usually in the ‘Library Resources’ block – see picture)
  • Searching the ReadingLists@UCL home page by module code or title.

 

When we speak with students they say that reading lists are intuitive to use, and they don’t need much guidance; here is a little information to help you get started:

Not all modules have a reading list set up for them, this is at the discretion of your tutor or module lead.  If you would like a reading list for a particular course, please get in touch with your department to discuss this.

We wish you a good first term!

 

Induction week preparation

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 21 September 2017

Poster owl

 

Each morning we arrive to many requests for editing access to online reading lists; and teaching and support staff have been calling into our Wednesday drop-in for training in how to best use them.  Term 1 is only a few days away and there much preparation going on!

In the run up to induction week, site and subject liaison librarians have also been requesting support material to hand out in induction packs, or to refresh a notice board.

 

Poster Unusual Study habits 2

 

 

The images here are two posters that are available as pdf to print for your department, and also bundles of Owl postcards.  Please get in touch with TLS to request any of these.

 

To particularly help those Departmental Administrators, Librarians and other support staff, our webpages ReadingLists@UCL for Support Staff is being updated as we speak.  Please let us know if there is anything else that we can usefully add there to help you!

 

 

 

 

Linking to readings via Ovid

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 11 September 2017

Ovid is a large database which provides access to many journals, books and some audio-visual resources.  If you need to bookmark a journal article from here you will find the link is not stable: when you return to the reading the link may not work – and therefore is not helpful to your students.

The easy solution

Make a basic bookmark and the library will turn this into a stable link for you:

  • Bookmark the page as usual: in Ovid, this works beautifully so all the bibliographic data will pull through nicely.
  • Use the ‘Library note’ to flag that the link needs upgrading.
  • When you have completed your reading list, click ‘Request review’.  TLS will be notified to check your list and we will update the link to a stable link.

Request review

 

 

How is this done?

A surprising number of academics, learning technologists and librarians ask how they can do this themselves, so the following is for them:

  • Navigate to the article
  • First click on ‘Email jumpstart’ and from the popup box, copy the jumpstart URL (click on the image below for the screenshot)
  • Then bookmark as usual from the article, but replace the ‘Weblink’ with the ‘jumpstart’ URL.

Ovid jumpstart

 

 

 

 

 

For help with bookmarking from other specialist resources, look to the tag cloud on the right of this page and select ‘non-standard bookmarking‘. Or, of course, do get in touch any time.

 

Linking to articles in PEP-Web

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 11 September 2017

PEP-Web is a database for Psychoanalytic resources (books, journals, video etc.).   It used to be a little more tricky to bookmark from however when this was flagged to Talis, the software owners behind ReadingLists@UCL, they were able to create a fix so the two systems now interact well.

When you search through the library catalogue for a journal, and click ‘View online’ you

Different journal providers

Different journal providers

may be offered more than one journal provider:

 

PEP-Web has a good archive back to the 1920s and is very specialist, so it may be the only source for some readings. From this screen click on ‘Go’ and then navigate to the relevant reading.

 

Journal articles in PEP-Web do not have a DOI however the online reading list system will create a good bookmark despite this.

 

 

  • Click on your ‘Add to my bookmarks’ button as usual and the correct bibliographic data will be pulled through into the bookmark.
  • The weblink is also stable, so you need do nothing more than save the bookmark into a particular reading list!

 

If you are aware of any databases or resources that don’t bookmark well, please let us know so we can work with Talis to solve this.

For help with bookmarking from other specialist resources, look to the tag cloud on the right of this page and select ‘non-standard bookmarking‘. Or, of course, do get in touch any time.

 

Linking to Harvard Business Review

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 11 September 2017

Harvard Business Review articles are often key resources for students across UCL, particularly in the UCL School of Management.

UCL Library subscribes to this resource online, making it readily available to students.  It is available through the EBSCOhost platform. However academics wishing to direct students to readings will find that technical measures inhibit them from creating a durable link to an article.  This is to reinforce the licence terms which do not allow academic institutions to use HBR material in ‘electronic course packs, persistent linking from syllabi or by any other means of incorporating the content into course resources.’.

How to help students to key readings, whilst still respecting the licence restrictions?  You can signal to students which readings are interesting to read, and the library will turn this into a permitted link at the most granular level allowed.

  • Bookmark the page as usual, so enough of the bibliographic detail is saved to be clear which reading you are recommending. Even more helpful, add the ‘Accession number’ from the article into the student or library note.
  • Use the ‘Library note’ to flag that this is an HBR link which needs upgrading.
  • When you have completed your reading list, click ‘Request review’.  TLS will be notified to check your list and we will update the link to a stable link, from where students can reasonably click to search for the relevant article.

Request review

 

 

 

 

For help with bookmarking from other specialist resources, look to the tag cloud on the right of this page and select ‘non-standard bookmarking‘. Or, of course, do get in touch any time.

Summertime FAQs

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 1 September 2017

Everyone thinks summer is a quiet time in the library, however the TLS is at its most busy!  Along with most academic departments, we are preparing reading materials ready for term start and setting up new reading lists.

We have also had many excellent questions about reading lists.  Some are so useful or universal we thought it would be helpful to share them, along with the answers.

 

Q: I am a Departmental Administrator updating our course information. The titles of some of modules have changed and I wondered who to send the updated information to, so they can be amended on the online Reading Lists?

A: Email any module code / title changes to: readinglists@ucl.ac.uk  This account is checked by more than one person each day: we will update your lists as soon as possible and let you know when they are complete.  If a module code has changed, do also check that the link from Moodle to the reading list still works.

Q: I had some changes on my 2016/17 reading list that I didn’t publish. When the lists rolled forward into 2017/18 those changes were lost. I can’t recall what the changes were and don’t have the references anymore, is there any chance that there is an archived version of the list to look at?

A: I am pleased you asked because it is very easy for us to retrieve archived lists!  We have made the 2016-17 version available again: once you have looked over both versions let us know which one you prefer to keep live and we will archive the other version.

Q: Last year I used the Moodle tool ‘Reading List items’ to embed readings from my reading list more directly into Moodle.  After the Moodle and reading lists roll overs, not all these links are working well.  Do I have to re-embed them all?

A: Some teaching staff find this Moodle tool very helpful, to pinpoint sections or readings for specific weeks. The Moodle and ReadingLists@UCL teams have liaised to create some instructions: ‘Displaying your Reading List in Moodle’. They explain the most basic and stable way of linking from Moodle to reading list, using the ‘Library Resources’ block; they also show the more sophisticated integration, using the ‘Reading Lists Items’ tool.  Finally, there is specific note of Caution ‘What you need to do before each academic year’ which explains how to update any broken links.

 

We hope this helps. If you need help with any of the above or have your own questions, you are welcome to call us any time (020 3549 5729 or internal x65729), email, or drop in to our office in Senate House! The ReadingLists@UCL webpages also have further support and information.

 

ReadingLists@UCL reach 65%!

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 10 August 2017

Bengal Owl from John Gould’s A Century of birds from the Himalaya Mountains (London: Published by the Author, 1831). (ref. STRONG ROOM E, LARGE FOLIO 950 G6) (c) UCL Special Collections

I am very pleased to report that ReadingLists@UCL has reached its target for July 2017: 65% of taught courses at UCL now have an online reading list.

The target was set in the UCL Library Services Strategy to have 65% coverage by the end of July 2017. 65% equates to more than 3,000 reading lists, and forty-one departments have met, or exceeded 65% coverage. To show how far we have come, the first measurement of the new system in October 2014 showed a baseline of around 29% coverage.

Librarians, administrators and academics have worked hard to embrace the online reading lists, with the aim of providing excellent quality guidance and resources to students. With a wealth of e-resources available to us at UCL, many essential texts link to full-text readings, or are digitised using our CLA licence.

Here are some figures. Between 1st September 2016 and 31st July:

  • there were more than 460,000 visitors
  • the top visited reading list was ‘ANTH1001 Introduction to material and visual culture’ with 5425 page views
  • total visits each month have been consistently higher than in the same period last year
  • the busiest month was October 2016 with more than 70,000 visits
  • … and around two-thirds of these were returning visitors, demonstrating that students return to lists rather than look just once.

 

You can read more about online reading lists on our webpages and in our ReadingLists@UCL blog.  And of course do get in touch if you would like to know more!

 

Summer drop-in sessions

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 9 August 2017

 

This way!

This way!

Wednesday afternoon drop-ins at the TLS office in Senate House continue each Wednesday, despite the building work in UCL Senate House Hub.

Pam or Hazel will be available from 2.30 – 4.30 pm each Wednesday to:

  • Walk you through getting started
  • Set up new reading lists with you
  • Troubleshooting any issues, such as links to Moodle not working
  • A quick refresher if you haven’t used the lists in a while
  • A quiet seat to get away from your email and telephone, and organise your readings!

 

If you would like to drop by, give us a call on 020 3549 5729 (internal x65729), and we will meet you in reception to guide you to the TLS office! Or get in touch to arrange us to visit you in your office.