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ReadingLists@UCL

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UCL and Talis co-hosted event

Hazel MIngrey1 December 2017

Talis Aspire and UCL eventThe ReadingLists@UCL software is provided by a company called Talis.  We have worked closely with them over the years to develop our service; feedback from UCL academics and students have led to improvements to the reading lists for everyone.

This week we co-hosted an event with Talis, attended by librarians and learning technologist from other Universities.  Some of the presentations and discussion really gave me pause for thought.

 

June Hedges reminded us that the UCL student body has more than doubled in the past ten years.  Budgets, space and resources certainly haven’t kept up with this amazing growth, so reading lists really is one of the essential value-for-money services we can offer:

  • using the lists to deliver readings digitised under the CLA licence, so paper print readings can reach all students on a taught module
  • to make the most of existing electronic resources by bookmarking articles, e-books and film direct to the reading list
  • … and in doing this, students clicks on key readings maintain the resources’ high usage statistics, which helps to ensure they continue to be funded for purchase.  (Adding a copied pdf into Moodle, by comparison, will mean no measureable indication that the journal is being used).

Eugene Walker from the School of Managment gave a wonderful insight into how his department has identified the benefits to using ReadingLists@UCL, wanted their students to have the improved academic experience, and doggedly set about improving their uptake!  They have some subject specific resources which they use to create excellent, helpful lists for students.  They also have some self-imposed ambitious targets for next year.

Goldsmiths had a similar approach to UCL, explained by Maria O’Hara: they aimed to thoroughly use their online reading lists from the start.  In their statistics they count reading lists which are set up, populated, and have the key texts purchased or digitised.  That is a great deal of work, but sets a wonderfully high standard for their users.

Something else I took away and will be working on this year, is looking ahead. One measure of our success last year was reaching the target of 65% coverage of reading lists for taught course modules.  This year we are focussing on:

  • Quality and currency.  Excellently resourced lists that are updated regularly, are enriched by commentary or notes, and excellently resourced.
  • Best practice.  What makes a good list?  Do you know if students are engaging with all or some of the list, or what they need from a list?  We will use research, student feedback and analytics to suggest best practice.
  • Use in teaching and research. Academic staff have told us how they use reading lists in the classroom for teaching, it would be good to capture this for peer-to-peer use.  We will also suggest ways to use lists as a tool to engage students in learning through research.

 

Everyone seemed engaged in the conversation and the TLS team certainly came away re-inspired with some academic-new-year resolutions for online reading lists.

 

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

 

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!

 

ReadingLists@UCL this summer

SandraBamborough8 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!

 

Student engagement at UCLU Education Conference

SandraBamborough24 February 2015

This Saturday 21st February Hazel and I took the ReadingLists@UCL advocacy campaign

Photo Hazel & Sandra 2

into the student heartland of the UCLU Education Conference, held this year at the Institute of Child Health.

Our stall gave us the opportunity showcase the highlights and benefits of the online reading lists in a very visual manner that appealed to the attendees.

 

 

We showed students that online reading lists allowed them to view readings in different citation styles, or export the citations to Endnote, Reference Manager, Zotero etc. for use in their work; they could sort the resources on their list by ‘type’ or ‘importance’, for example to group all essential readings together.  In essence, they could make the list their own by adding private notes and a reading status for each item.

Photo Sandra & student

Many of the students were unaware of the online reading lists and when shown the benefits were very impressed and determined to ask their lecturers why their courses did not have one!   Some students actually discovered they did have a reading list – only they hadn’t been shown how to access it, and were delighted to find they could do so seamlessly from Moodle, as long as the course tutor or administrator had remembered to switch on the Library Resources block.

 

 

The Student Academic Representatives, or StARS as they are better known, were particularly impressed. They will be taking back the message that online reading lists are an essential part of the student learning experience at UCL and need to be more widely adopted by departments across UCL.

We reminded the students that ReadingLists@UCL are best for:

  • Revising from home
  • Clear guidance on essential / recommended readings
  • Distance learning courses
  • Many full text readings so no need to visit the library…
  • …but also, live links to the library catalogue to see if books are on the shelf right now! If not, just click through to reserve books
  • Making your own notes on each reading
  • Consistency across programmes

 

For information and FAQs for students, visit www.ucl.ac.uk/library/teaching-support/reading-lists/student