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DMU Resource Lists for Staff: Best practice

What kind of list is most useful to students?

  • It includes all the materials that students are expected to read, watch and listen to          
  • It should be clearly laid out in a way that mirrors the course structure e.g. by week, topic, format…
  • It should specify the level of importance of each item on a list e.g. Suggested for Purchase, Essential, Recommended or Optional
  • It is enriched with guidance, annotations and explanations 
  • It is ‘scaffolded’ to enable students to develop confidence in finding, using and evaluating information
  • It is up to date and include items that are easily available e.g. not out of print. 
  • It should demonstrate cultural awareness, reflecting our diverse student cohort. Check out our page on 'Decolonising your reading list'.

Students perspectives on reading lists

Watch this webinar, presenting the results of research exploring student perspectives on reading lists.

Based on the findings, the researchers recommend the following:

  1. Reading lists should be introduced to students on every module at the start af term, with guidance for students on how to utilize the resources included
  2. Structure is critical, based around themes or chronology. This should, where possible, be consistent across degree programmes 
  3. Resources should be tagged based on priority. Additional/further reading is encouraged beyond 'essential reading
  4. Resources should be annotated with guidance on how to utilise resources for independent study or what  to explore
  5. Having sections specifically relating to assessment activity/guidance/instruction is particularly welcomed
  6. Careful consideration should be given to the length/duration of reading list
  7. Academics should review resources regularly. Out of date resources are seen to devalue the whole reading list experience 
  8. Resources on reading lists should present a diversity of perspectives. opinions, and authors, helping students to draw critical understanding across subject matter 
  9. Academics need to consider the 'load ' of essential reading for students. When selecting resources for essential reading, the time dedication required should be considered 
  10. Academics should carefully consider the use of their own published works on reading lists, and the negative connotations that can come from this if not properly introduced or embedded.