Promoting great lists

Univeristy of Ediburgh LogoThe sources of knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature [SV1-FLEX] 
Created by Dr Peter Allison FRGS
Senior Lecturer Values and Experiential Learning / Depute Director of Postgraduate Studies

What initially caught our attention about Peter’s list was his note at the top encouraging students to contact the course organiser with any materials that may be particularly useful for inclusion with the list, in particular web pages or YouTube clips. These have been collected towards the bottom of the list in the section ‘Useful Websites’ and, by the number of resources in this section, it looks to have been quite successful in promoting self-study and engagement with students.

Another way Peter’s list has encouraged skills learning is his use of resources. In the section ‘Session One’ instead of simply linking directly to a journal article, Peter has instead opted to provide a resource link to the University Library Catalogue and then in the Student Note has directed students to search for the article themselves. Peter has also used the Student Note to provide information on where to find help on how to search if they have difficulty with this task.

The list has a very focused purpose, each section has a study note explaining what it contains and who it may be relevant to, and many of the resources have student notes describing the resource and including instructions on how the student is to use it, e.g. “Please read Chapters Six and Seven of this book and bring notes to the workshop this week”.

Peter has also made use of Talis Aspire’s ability to link and embed YouTube clips, adding a number of these to the list, including upbeat and engaging clips such as ‘Conspiracies, Mind Control and Falsifiability‘.

Many of the resources themselves are quite interesting and eye-catching:
– Statistics without tears: a primer for non-mathematicians – Rowntree, Derek 2000
– How to read journal articles in the social sciences: a very practical guide for students – Shon, Phillip C. 2012 Book Essential Read and take notes on: Chapter 1: Serial Killers and Book Reports

Peter’s list was created as part of the research courses for all postgraduate students at the School of Education, covering approximately 650 students. According to the Dashboard this list was successfully viewed 1937 times with 1810 total clicks and 28 notations.

If you are interested in creating your own Resource List more information is available on the Resource Lists using Talis Aspire webpage and the ResourceLists@Edinburgh Blog.

We are also running four ‘Hands-on’ introductory sessions to Resource Lists @ Edinburgh this June & July. Sessions are bookable via MyEd.


Stephanie Farley

Library Learning Services Assistant