Reading Strategies: A Guide for Academic Staff


What is a Reading Strategy?

The terms 'reading strategy' and 'Reading for the module' have replaced the generic term 'reading list' as part of validation documentation. The Reading Strategy forms a permanent part of the validated module and will be included in the Module Data Set, the Reading for the Module is a living part of the module and is likely to change over its lifetime. This is not included in the Module Data Set.

1. The Reading Strategy is aimed at validation panels and explains the rationale behind the module's approach to reading. The Reading for the Module is the guidance to students about the actual reading requirements for the module in any particular year. This guidance will be conveyed to students by any means deemed appropriate by the module leader - this could be a simple list, an interactive discussion, an annotated literature review, a set of readings associated with tasks on Moodle or any of a range of creative options.

If the term 'reading list' is still used, it will be as one of a range of possible approaches. It will be perfectly acceptable to employ a traditional reading list - in whatever form suits the reading material and nature of the module - but this will not form a permanent part of the validated module. The approach to reading, the availability of the reading and the associated costs will be made explicit and be agreed as a part of the validated reading strategy together with information about how the details will be communicated to students.

2. Elements to be included within the module reading strategy will be:

  • A reasoned explanation of the type of reading that will be required for the module and how it will be made available
  • An indication of the level of required and/or recommended purchases [with an indication of cost]
  • An indication of the quantity and range of reading required for the module
  • An implementation strategy - ie. how the Reading for the Module with detailed information about specific texts or recommendations will be given to the students
  • An indication of the cost to the Institution of providing the resources identified

3. Students have a right to be given a reasonable sense of the financial implications and reading burden of each module in order to assist them in their choices and to clarify their expectations. The greatest grievance expressed by students is not that they have to buy books, but an unexpected requirement to make this investment, or an expectation to buy something that is not actually required. For this reason, a rough estimate of the expected costs to the student of book purchases for each module should be included in the strategy. This should also give an idea of the quantity of reading that is anticipated.

4. If the reading strategy requires modification or amendment during the life of the validation it will need to be submitted to a Minor Amendment Panel, in the same way as any other change to the module.

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