7 July 2017 ............... Length about 900 words (10,000 bytes).
(Document started on 12 Feb 2017.)
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Reading list software: 4 things I wish I'd known first
Department of Psychology,
University of Glasgow.
This is about the relatively new software (which I call "Rlist" below) for
creating reading lists for students e.g.
These are integrated with the university library, so that ordering extra
copies, getting your references reviewed for correctness, ordered, and with
sufficient copies by library staff is made very easy. Furthermore, access to
documents is made essentially one-click for students. Finding a reading list
(by a student) is by course code, and via a hierarchy (of college, school,
year, course code): so again, made as easy as possible. This is independent
of Moodle; but of course you can and should add a link in Moodle to a course's
The four things I wish I'd known before starting to use the "rlist" software
- Rlist is not WYSYWYG (unlike most editors, Word etc.).
Creating a reading list here is not like creating a Word doc
(often this would be done by pasting in from earlier docs).
Instead, there are really two separate work activities, mostly done
as separate phases:
- Create piles (scrapbooks) of BibRecords (for use in phase B).
- Create the structure, layout, and format of the reading list that
students will see.
- The real value added by Rlist, stemming from the shortcut formats for
specifying a BibRecord:
You only need to find one of these per article or book, and Rlist will then
flesh out all the normal reference details from them, without your needing to
know (all of) them in advance, and then copy them in: a real saving of effort.
For books, questions of which edition and whether the library version
is an e-book are all resolved at the time the BibRecord is set up.
AND it will then give students a one-click access to them in/via the
library if that is possible.
- Which are the acceptable shortcut ID formats for specifying a reference /
The shortcut types of ID for a BibRecord are:
- Glasgow University Lib. ID of a book e.g. "b1234",
or "C__Rb1456321" which you can extract from the library (web page)
record for a single item e.g. "C__Rb1456321" from
- DOI (digital object identifier)
e.g. "10.3102/00346543052003446" or
- ISBN e.g. "978-1456458881"
- ?URLs? e.g. "http://ieti.org/tough/books/lwt.htm"
- Insistence on presenting the students with the wrong bibliographic format.
As far as I can see, the software has a serious pedagogical fault.
In presenting the reading list, it uses its own bibliographic format which
is NOT APA; and in fact, given that different disciplines use different
formats, must almost always be wrong. It is thus forcing teachers to present
to, and so to train, their students in the wrong format.
If you (or a student) presses the "view bibliography" button at the top, it
will produce a bib. list in the format the user asks (although it forgets it
again as soon as you leave the page): but that simply makes it
worse — the software could do it right, but seems to insist on training
students on a single format, which is usually wrong for the discipline in which
they are supposedly being trained.
Links to the "rlist" software
FAQs on how to do things
- You should be able to read others' reading lists, but to create and edit
lists of your own, you will need to get permission.
Email the library about getting access (as an author and creator of lists) to
the system: library-readinglists AT glasgow.ac.uk
The turn round is often very quick on this.
- You can assign a list you own to someone else.
In the reading list, click on the Edit button (under the list title;
above the list's contents);
Bottom of the (edit) menu is "Assign list owner"
- How to control the citation format of what you see when you click "View
You have to be logged into Rlist even though you can see the reading
lists without being logged in. Otherwise when you click the "bibliography"
button at the top of the reading list you are viewing,
the button/drop down menu for format only has the Harvard option.
- Even then, it reverts to the default format once you leave the
page; although you can export it into PDF in the current format while still on
- How to show a link to the lecturer in the list? What if there are two
Making TV programmes available to students as part of your course
- Basically, GU is a member of BoB
- BoB lets you have any freeview
programme recorded and then made available to students as part of a course.
(They, and you, have to login as a university member.)
- It lets you create clips from a programme, and make these
available to students.
- BoB delivers a URL to make available to students, e.g. on a reading list.
- It also provides a citation of the programme for use in a reading list.
(E.g. "Horizon: Cyber Attack - The Day the NHS Stopped, 21:00 12/06/2017, BBC2
England, 60 mins.
https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/0F1B83C6 (Accessed 20
- BoB Login or registration (quick)
Play example demo clip
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