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Three top tips for students

Hazel MIngrey2 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!





The MAPS approach to reading lists

SandraBamborough14 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.

How ReadingLists@UCL can help you at exam time

SandraBamborough26 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!