Online reading lists

Online Reading Lists to Enhance Teaching and Learning

Background: The University is leading a new project to deliver an integrated online reading list solution that will enable students to access their reading lists – linked to full-text resources and catalogue availability data - in an accessible, digital environment. The platform will be integrated with the University’s library management system, new Canvas virtual learning environment and Single Sign-on authentication.

Piloting the Online Reading Lists project: A small number of cross departmental 'early adopters' will trial the system in Michaelmas term 2018 and Hilary term 2019. Around 50 courses and/or modules in the system will be included in the early adoption phase.


  • 1 August 2018: User acceptance testing, training and population of the system with reading lists will be completed by 1 August 2018. The system will then be made available for administrative, academic and library staff to use.
  • Late September 2018: A second 'go live' for students will follow in late September and all stakeholders will be engaged in assessment and evaluation to help determine what adjustments to the service are required or desirable.
  • March 2019: A cross-University solution for Online Reading Lists will be completed by March 2019, and a detailed plan for a wider rollout across the University will be outlined.

Benefits: Reading lists are an important resource for students and underpin the teaching and learning experience in most disciplines. The benefits expected for University staff and students as the result of this project will grow as more reading lists are added to the system. Key benefits include:

  • Providing students with an online, authoritative and comprehensive source of reading lists, replacing the variety of formats currently in place. This will deliver a common and enhanced student experience in an accessible environment that meets inclusive teaching requirements.
  • Providing system capabilities for departments and tutors to build, structure, annotate and format their reading lists and receive analytics on reading list engagement. This data can help inform the academic development of reading lists and the provision of guidance to students. The system also offers functionality to assist students to prioritize and manage their academic reading.
  • Improving student discovery of, and access to, library collections for taught courses through the provision of direct links from reading list citations to full-text online resources and library catalogue availability data. These links, with the ability to access lists and resources from mobile devices, will save students considerable time, supporting them more effectively in their studies.
  • Providing capabilities for inviting digitization requests and automating copyright compliance checks and reporting. This will help the University to address the recommendations and actions outlined in the report from the Copyright Licensing Audit of June 2017.
  • Enabling the virtual learning environment project (Canvas @ Oxford) to meet University expectations for reading list functionality within the new VLE.

To find out more:

If you have any questions or queries about the Online Reading Lists project, please contact

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