Resource Lists Online

Resource Lists Online (RLO) is a web based tool for enabling students to access the readings and resources recommended for their studies.

It is also a tool staff can use to develop their own personal collection of resources, which can be copied into resource lists for different modules.  The software is developed by Talis Aspire and has now been adopted by nearly half of UK universities.

Consistent location

Blackboard site menu with Support Resources option showingFeedback from students has told us that they are confused by all the different locations they are expected to go to in order to access recommended resources.  Collecting and presenting resources in a similar location across all modules is therefore very helpful; we recommend using the Support Resources content area in a Blackboard site.  Once a list has been set up it can be easily added to a Blackboard module site through the RLO Resource List option in the Build Content menu.

As well as linking to specific lists from Blackboard module sites, Resource Lists Online is in the Library Gateway and users can also find lists by searching for module title or code.

Resource Lists Online search screen

Using a wide range of resources

As well as linking to the availability of books and journals in the library, your resource list can link to a wide variety of online resources such as full text journal articles, digitised articles, digitised book chapters, video and audio, websites and other documents.  Providing links to these electronic resources means that all students can access them simultaneously without having to wait for hard copies to become available through the borrowing system.

Clarifying requirements

You can also use the lists to explain the relevance and importance of each resource you recommend.  This can be particularly useful when teaching a diverse range of students.  For example, international students often think they are required to read every item on a reading list when actually it may only be an indicative list.  Using RLO you can clarify your expectations to students in relation to the texts you recommend.

Added benefits for students

  • Provides one place where students can find resources recommended by their tutors in different sessions, areas of Blackboard, etc.
  • Students should benefit from increased availablility of library resources, as it willl be easier to digitise or purchase identified necessary resources.
  • Access to the latest editions of items on resource lists.
  • Students can create their own profiles in RLO. This allows them to set their reading intentions for, and make notes on, each item.

Added benefits for staff

  • Staff can add and remove items whenever they want, ensuring their lists are up-to-date.
  • Lists can be structured and organised in sections that fit the style of the module, such as by topic, type of reading (e.g. essential, recommended, etc.) or week.
  • Staff will receive a notification when new editions of items on lists are purchased.
  • Requesting a review of a list ensures that the library starts digitising or purchasing necessary items on the list as soon as possible.
  • Dashboard statistics provide information about which references are being accessed by students.

With careful resource selection these lists can really help students get to what they need quickly.

For more detailed information about setting up an electronic reading list see the staff intranet or the web based guide. For the latest news on it, please check the RLO blog.

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