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Talis reading lists

Making the best use of Talis for promoting student engagement.

By using Talis reading lists, you provide Libraries and Learning Services with information to make course readings available to students. This can take time, therefore it is important to publish your Talis reading list early, prior to the start of teaching.

Other benefits are:

  • Ensuring the University doesn’t run afoul of copyright.
  • Enhancing the student experience by contextualising readings within the Canvas environment.
  • Identifying ‘prescribed’ vs ‘optional extra’ readings.
  • Enabling teachers to see how students are engaging with course readings.

Here we present tips to make best use of reading lists for teaching and learning.

Make readings relevant

Make sure students understand the relevance of the reading lists to their study. Add commentary and annotation to assigned readings to add value and signpost why they are important.

Spend some time orienting students to the list and how you envisage them using it.

Foster active learning

  • Consider including provocational material, which fosters an inquiry mindset.
  • Use assigned readings for a flipped classroom. Signpost what you want the students to read before they come to a lecture or tutorial and put the information to work during class time.
  • Reflective text-based discourse can complement verbal spontaneous discourse in the face-to-face setting.

Consider your audience

Select material at an appropriate level for audience and stage of study.

Consider how you might scaffold learning with appropriate resources as students build proficiency and understanding of disciplinary content.

Make readings engaging

  • Use a variety of materials.
  • Include non-print material to encourage interactivity and engagement.
  • Incorporate readings into learning activities to encourage engagement.
  • Encourage students to note their reading intentions and add notes to readings so you can see how they are engaging with material.

Make readings accessible

Breaking your reading list into key themes or modules and integrating these with modular content in Canvas helps direct students to the appropriate resource, at the time they need it.

If you are working with other list owners, agree on how to structure the list so as not to confuse or overwhelm students.

Give students key readings so as not to overload them, but encourage an inquiry mindset for independent research.

Make the most of analytics

Use analytics to see what your readers are reading and when. As a list owner you can see page views, clicks, annotations, review notes etc. This might indicate how relevant the reading is from a student perspective.

Related resources


From the University of Auckland

Talis guides (Libraries and Learning Services)

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