Ensure my students can access key reading online

WHAT and WHEN this tool/approach is to be used

Use the Library’s Aspire reading list software to constructively align your reading list with your module teaching and to ensure students can easily access key reading online.

WHY would a teacher use this approach/tool, and link to the 4C features

In order to support all students equally during the 2020/21 academic year, bearing in mind some may be vulnerable and need to study remotely, as well as the possibility of future lockdowns, the Library recommends that, as far as possible, essential reading for your modules is made available online - offering students both consistency and choice.

HOW to use this approach/tool

Online materials could include legitimately open-access documents such as research reports, pre-print articles or open-access journals; e-books purchased and e-journals subscribed to by the Library; or key chapters (one per book) or articles (one from each issue of any given journal) scanned through the Library scanning service. For help and advice on what is available, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian. Guidance on how to embed your reading list in Moodle is also available.

To show your students what you want them to read and provide straightforward online access, the Library recommends using Aspire, the Library’s online reading list software. You can indicate which items are Essential, Recommended or Optional, and add Notes to Students to help your students understand the purpose of different readings and why you have set them (helping provide coherence, consistency and choice). Individual sections of Aspire reading lists can then be embedded in the relevant section of your Moodle course (as well as linking from the course to the whole list). Guidance on using Aspire is available in RADAR, and your Academic Liaison Librarian can set you up as a List Publisher and provide support.

Guidance for students to support their reading can be signposted to students in Module Study Plans, for example the reading guide.

Inclusivity and Accessibility review

Aspire complies with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) to at least AA standard. Providing key readings online enables students to use screen readers and enlarge font sizes according to need. As not all PDFs are screen-readable, it is essential that PDFs of published material the Library Scanning Service has provided are used, as this provides screen-readable accessible PDFs as well as being compliant with copyright legislation. Aspire also lets students make personal notes and bookmark items on reading lists, providing choice in organising their reading and study.

Ensure all relevant activities are added to the Student Study Plan for the module in question.

All online resources should be compatible with the UK Digital Accessibility Standards 2020. See Creating Digitally Accessible Learning and Teaching Materials Brookes Moodle course.

Use the Blackboard Ally tool to help check the accessibility of the content you have prepared (available within Moodle late July - early August 2020).


Hazel Rothera

Any further resources/references

Croft, D (2018). What is a reading list for? A guide for module leaders on aligning reading with learning outcomes. Oxford: Oxford Brookes University. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24384/000531 [Accessed: 25th June 2020]