There are a number of steps and things that you can consider when curating your reading lists for students to make them inclusive and representative.
Adding structure to the list will aid navigation of the list and make it easier for students to distinguish key areas of study. Adding headings to list readings by themes or weeks can be a great addition to a list, and there are also a number of other features where you can add value. Why not make use of the feature to add notes/annotations to items to give further context or background to items on the list. There are also importance categories which will help students determine the core readings to focus on initially.
Top tip: Consider how you add items to the list throughout the year, if they are added chronologically you may find that some titles will have limited impact or reach as students may not get to the bottom of the list, particularly if it is lengthy.
Review the diversity of authors and perspectives, we have provided a number of links in the Toolkit to sourcing new content.
Pay attention to what is listed as core as opposed to recommended and background, are there any key authors, thinkers or theory that could be de-centred and more dominance given to other perspectives or incorporating readings that challenge standard approaches in the discipline. Alternative media can be an effective way to raise visibility across a breadth of voices that may otherwise be marginalized, accessible formats will also accommodate varied learning needs, styles and environments.
Top tip: If the discipline feels difficult to diversify, start conversations with students that recognize that and look for ways to view it through inclusive lenses such as inclusive pedagogies and frameworks
Include opportunities for students to add their voices and perspectives to the conversations this could be by:
- Discussing the reading list and its purpose and implicit biases in a seminar/lecture
- Setting up a padlet and asking for student suggestions to discuss further, (padlet could be added as a stand alone resource or added to the reading list itself)
- Offering a range of multiple perspectives in assigned readings and encouraging students to choose which to read/discuss and why
Top tip: Think about enlisting your Academic Liaison Librarian, they can provide training and practical sessions that incorporate information and critical literacy and help to develop students graduate attributes such as intellectual curiosity and global cultural awareness.
Reviewing the list on an annual basis will allow for new content/focus and suggestions to be added to the list. Via the list itself there is a dashboard facility that will allow you to access statistics at item level so that you can see which materials have had the most/least usage, providing the basis for further exploration with students.
Top tip: If you follow these steps and meet the criteria you will be in a good position to apply for the Diversity Mark Award and will indicate to students enrolled, or considering enrolment to a particular module, that there are diverse resources represented in the reading list.