Western Libraries

New Course Readings Service

July 12, 2016

Written by:  Tom Adam

Course Readings

On August 2nd, Western Libraries launches a new Course Readings service. Developed in partnership with Affiliate University College Libraries, The Book Store at Western, the Instructional Technology Resource Centre in Information Technology Services and the Registrar's Office, Course Readings is designed to make requesting and accessing supplementary course material, regardless of format, easy both for instructors and for students.

What it does...

Course Readings provides a way to simplify access to supplementary course materials. Instructors decide how readings are made available to the class. As they always have been, readings can be compiled into a Custom Course Book for sale in The Book Store at Western or set aside on a reserve shelf in one of Western's libraries. The Course Readings service also now makes it easy to offer material electronically where possible, as a digital copy embedded into an online OWL course.

Fulfilling our obligations...

Our Course Readings service uses the Ares platform to manage material from request to delivery. Copyright assessment is built into the process. Through the Course Readings service, clearance is secured where it is required, and for main campus courses, Western Libraries will assure that any related fees or royalties are remunerated to the copyright holder. Using Course Readings will also ensure that any material scanned by us for a course adheres to the requirements of the provincial Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Accessing Course Readings...

Accessing Course Readings can be done a couple of ways. It fully integrates into OWL, Western's Learning Management System. Instructors activate the Course Readings tool, just like adding the gradebook or drop box to the course. Once done, the link appears in the OWL side navigation and it is a click away for instructors to request and track items, and for students to view and connect to supplementary course material.

For courses that don't use OWL, instructors and students can access Course Readings via the web login. The Course Readings login page can be found throughout the Western Libraries site.

Requesting Course Readings...

Within the Course Readings service tool, instructors may select the custom course book option to have Book Store staff compile and print readings to make them available for purchase like textbooks and other course material. The library reserves request option alerts Western Libraries staff to locate the readings and make them available on a library shelf or online through OWL or the web version of the Course Readings service.

For Students...

Readings are readily available to students behind a single login for either the OWL or web version and integrated in one place. Only courses in which individuals are enrolled will display, and for each course the readings can be arranged to follow the syllabus and align with their research and study schedule. Students can also organize their readings using personal tags and a list of favourites across courses. Of course, a major benefit is that for online material, readings and other supplementary course materials are available anywhere, 24-7.

For Instructors...

Using Course Readings will ensure online availability of material wherever possible and in the best way, for convenient access for students. Requesting material is flexible. Format icons open simple web forms for fast self-service. A syllabus icon allows for upload of a pdf or word version and library staff handles the rest, locating and making material available the best possible way. Instructors are able to view the live status of materials in processing, as well as aggregated statistics on student usage of individual items which in turn can inform curriculum evaluation and redevelopment. Readings are automatically deactivated at the end of the course, and can be instantly imported from past and current courses.

For more information...

We are excited to offer the new Course Readings service as of August 2nd, 2016. Please direct any questions to coursereadings@uwo.ca.