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Using Electronic Reading Lists: Drawbacks and Responses - Ashley Dodsworth, University of Leicester

Using Electronic Reading Lists: Drawbacks and Responses - Ashley Dodsworth, University of Leicester.

A presentation from an academic's about their use of Reading Lists and Talis Aspire.

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Using Electronic Reading Lists: Drawbacks and Responses - Ashley Dodsworth, University of Leicester

  1. 1. Ashley Dodsworth ahd6@le.ac.uk
  2. 2. ž  ‘The absence of explicit guidance in the expected use of technologically enhanced reading lists may inhibit rather than encourage ‘resource discovery’: the engagement of new media and the establishment of virtual ‘one-stop’ resource points has invoked charges of, for example, ‘spoon-feeding’ students. By apparently obviating the need for students to search for materials, it might also be regarded as inhibiting student development towards the condition of ‘autonomous learner’’ (Stokes and Martin 2008) ž  ‘While there is an expectation that students use the reading list as a directional or guidance device, it is tempered by the view that students may be overly dependent on such guidance. In the longer term, this has implications for the desired notional transition by students from novice to autonomous learners’ (Stokes and Martin, 2008). ž  ‘Golding has mixed feelings about the benefits of the web. Although he acknowledges that having many journals available online is helpful, he says that many academics struggle to wean students off the internet and to recognise its limits and lack of quality controls’ (quoted in Swain, THES, 2006b).
  3. 3. ž Introduction of specific E- Activities designed to teach and develop research skills for autonomous research E-tivity 2: Accessing e-resources Purpose: To access e-resources and use a bibliographic database to find articles from an academic journal.   Task: 1. Watch this tutorial ('Library tips for Distance Learners') on the Expanded Academic ASAP database. (The tutorial will last approximately 7 minutes 30 seconds, and will open a new browser window.) 2. Discover how to access e-Resources off campus (opens in a new browser window). 3. Go to your Subject Room. Using an appropriate database choose a topic relevant to your module and search for articles relating to that topic. Produce a bibliography containing five articles chosen by you that are all available through the University of Leicester’s E-link. Refer to the Course Handbook for details about how to present this bibliography correctly. Write a short paragraph to accompany your bibliography telling your colleagues why these particular articles are worth reading and what they will gain from using your bibliography. Post the bibliography and its rationale in the E-tivity 2 Forum. Respond: Return to the E-tivity 2 Forum and explore a bibliography recommended by one of your colleagues. Post a reply under this entry giving your thoughts on the selection of articles that were recommended to you. How useful and interesting did you find this selection? Could you recommend an article to add to this bibliography?  Outcome: You will be able to search the university's databases, identify and access and evaluate appropriate academic journal articles, and present the required bibliographic information accurately. It is important to comply with the word limits and referencing requirements as per the guidelines detailed in the Course Handbook.  Image taken from BlackBoard, with thanks to IRDL
  4. 4. ž  Problem of Forums ž  Reading lists address this because: 1) Students have to spend less time searching for the weekly material and so have more time to contribute to discussions 2) Much easier to download and access material, making students more likely to read the texts ž  As aim is not ‘autonomous learning’ but rather the promotion of discussion and engagement with those resources, the disadvantages of reading lists are not a concern
  5. 5. ž Electronic reading lists for undergraduate courses will be rolled out from September 2014 ž There is not yet a specific activity in place to (though the exact work on this is still in progress) ž  Undergraduates are, in general, full time students
  6. 6. ž  Fairness says that if you offer this to one group of students it's unfair to withhold it from others ž  Campus based students can have similar restrictions on time ž  Tutors have more face to face interaction with students over a longer period of time, so it’s easier to monitor development and promote autonomous learning ž  Campus based students work and engage online just as much as their remote /distance learning peers
  7. 7. Electronic reading lists reflect students’ patterns of engagement with material, their lived reality of studying and, especially for distance learning, support the skills we are aiming to promote We do need to look to the wider context of how we use reading lists, and examine more closely their effect on student skill development, but this is not a reason to abandon them entirely.
  8. 8. ž  Stokes, P. and Martin, L., ‘Reading lists: a study of tutor and student perceptions, expectations and realities’, Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 33, Issue 2, (2008), 113 – 125. ž  Swain, H., ‘Makeovers for the guides to essential reading’, Time Higher Educational Supplement, January 2006a ž  Swain, H., ‘One Step Ahead of the Game’ Time Higher Educational Supplement, March 2006b

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