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Advising students on reading: prioritising reading lists (1 minute : 46 seconds)

Andrew Fisher (School of Humanities).

What kind of help and support do you give for students in helping them focus and direct their readings, in your area?

Andrew Fisher, Philosophy:
Well, I think all lecturers do this; in the module guide I give quite a detailed reading list and that is split up by lecture, so in my module guide I have a clear plan of what I'm going to do, so I'll say on lecture one it'll be one Kant, on lecture two, whatever, and within that section you'll have the general reading which I'll probably put a star by or bold, and then if you want to go and look at more detailed things or things for essays then it'll be there as well.

Also I use the internet for reading so if some key text, typically the bold ones that are in the module guide, what I'll do is I'll have links on WebCT to them online, so they could read the books online or get the articles. That's useful because it saves them if they're out of campus it saves them coming in, trying find the library, locate everything; so it's good in that sense.

But for seminars as well I set, typically, seminar questions (quite a few), but then particular chapters to read; I don't just say "Right, come back and tell me everything you know about Aquinas" I'll say "Right, in this chapter or in this part look at these questions, this reading will help."

So, it's very daunting, I think, if the students get just a whole load of stuff to read, and they think, especially coming from the A-Level mentalities, is they have to read every single thing and get everything done, and its not like that, and I try and focus it in in that way - so structure questions, bold is the really essential, and online resources.

Produced: June 2007, in collaboration with the University's Promoting Enhanced Student Learning (PESL) initiative.

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Teaching: Setting reading (inclusive teaching)

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