Any technology is education technology – or is it?

I recently attended the M25 ALT meeting over at Imperial College in London which looked at those peripheral technologies that people are using – things not obviously designed to be ‘ed tech’. There was some lively debate.

You can read all about it on this collaboratively edited blog post: Any technology is education technology?

There was also a tour of some of the teaching spaces which had been refitted to make them more flexible – some pictures below:



Online Reading Lists

picMaria O’Hara, Reading List Services Officer (Library), reports on how online reading lists are being used at Goldsmiths and encourages academic staff to take advantage of the benefits of their use.

In the wake of changes to the DSA (Disabled Student’s Allowance) last year the College decided we needed to take a more coordinated approach to reading lists. We feel that inclusive accessibility practice is to make sure as many aspects of the university experience as possible are accessible by default so that students don’t have to request special accommodations.

In the case of reading lists, this meant ensuring as many of the essential articles and chapters needed by students as seminar readings would be available online in accessible formats. In the library, we knew that many of our academic colleagues have been going to a lot of trouble every year to ensure students received printed course packs with readings or uploading PDFs to the VLE. While that was brilliant for many students, those with special requirements were often left having to request accessible copies be made for them and then wait for them to be produced.

So last summer we made a big push to encourage everyone to send us their reading lists so we could get as much material as we could legally provide up on the system and have them available for students when they arrived. Since July, we have received over 300 lists to be converted into online reading lists.

The number of 2016/17 modules with online reading lists has risen to 38% compared with about 17% in 2015/16. Visual Cultures, Politics and Anthropology have particularly high coverage, Anthropology has almost made it to 90% coverage. However, other departments have also made significant progress, Psychology have doubled the number of lists on the system since September. Here at the library we’ve made about 3423 scanned readings available and purchased 4,441 reading list items. 90% of chapters marked as essential on Reading Lists @ Gold are available online as either ebooks or accessible, copyright-cleared scans.

With an increasing number of lists on the system we’ve begun collecting feedback from students to see what impact we are having on the student experience. Feedback has been very positive so far with one student telling us “Useful to have, a great help for studying!”

We recently ran a focus group to collect student feedback from online reading lists from Student Library Representatives. As part of this they filled in a library ‘love letter’ to sum up their impression of Reading Lists@Gold:

“Very sad. I just found out about the reading lists now they seem mega helpful, hope it was advertised better! Got one more year to go. I’ll use the hell out of it!”

“I find reading lists useful. I can find all my reading and suggested ones in one place so I have more time for me. Thank you”.

We plan to gather more feedback from students over the next few months but one stand out factor is that students probably won’t find your reading list if you don’t point them towards it. Most of the students we talked to found their lists because their lecturer either told them about it or they put a link to it on the VLE.

We’re happy to accept any lists you’d like to be converted into online reading lists throughout the year. You can find out more on the Reading List LibGuide here:

The Key Things To Know (when sending us a list):

  • Tell us the student numbers (and the module code), we can’t make digitisations if we don’t have an estimate of student numbers.
  • We are happy to update existing lists but please highlight changes – they may be obvious to you but we have to compare everything word-for-word to be sure.
  • Send us your list as soon as you can, we get loads over the summer and it can take a while to order and scan everything.

The Key Things To Know (when making your own list):

  • If you’ve never used the system before you’ll have to request staff access by emailing
  • Make sure you publish after adding or removing references from your list or students won’t see the changes.
  • Make sure you send your list for review when you’re finished adding or removing items (references) so the library checks it.