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Case study: why not put readings in Moodle?

Hazel MIngrey26 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

Hazel MIngrey4 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!

Hazel MIngrey3 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!