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Reading Lists Online - guide for academic staff: Best practice

This is a guide designed to help academics create and publish lists in Reading Lists Online

RLO Best Practice Guidelines for SHU

This online reading list contains a range of resources relating to reading lists which help provide an evidence base for the best practice guidelines in reading lists at SHU. The resources will help you explore and better understand:

  • the pedagogy underpinning reading lists
  • students expectations and use of reading lists
  • what makes a good reading list such as annotating

eBooks are a good way of improving the accessibility of resources for students.  The presentation below highlights some of the licensing issues.

Student Comments - Suggestions for Future Reading Lists

Best Practice for Pre-arrival reading lists

This document provides information about how to use a new pre arrival reading list template which has been set up to help staff create an online pre-arrival reading list for students. It also provides students with information about SHU Library and provides a short introduction to academic study at university. 

Best practice for work based learning courses

Following the 5 points in this document will help support the development of best practice in reading lists for students on WBL courses by anticipating the needs of students who may be new to HE or returning to HE after a substantial break and students who are doing a course alongside 30+ hours of employment who therefore may not find it easy to come into SHU libraries.

The document includes information about a reading list template developed to support course designers developing new work based learning modules. This has been endorsed by SHU's Work Based Learning Framework Panel.

Good practice examples

Making your RLO more accessible and inclusive

It is important to consider how you can make lists accessible for all students, the following three techniques are all very effective.

Include online resources

  • More students can access these where and when it suits them, for example off-campus.
  • Students can also use specialist reading software to access these resources if they require it

Provide clear sign-posting and navigation

  • Giving guidance on what is essential and what is further reading allows students to prioritise their reading

Get your lists published and reviewed in good time

  • This gives students who may have difficulties with reading more time to find and read materials
  • Also it allows the library more time to digitise chapters or buy e-books


If you need further help with your Reading List please contact your Learning and Teaching Librarian, who will be able to arrange a 1 - 2 - 1 appointment.