Talis Aspire “List of the Week”: Introductory Social Anthropology, by Dr Jerome Lewis and Dr Rebecca Empson (University College London)

October 27th, 2011 - No comments - Posted by in List of the Week.

Our List of the Week this week is prepared by Dr Jerome Lewis and Dr Rebecca Empson (University College London) on Introductory Social Anthropology. You can view it here.

Why we like this list

The first thing you’ll notice about this list is it’s length – well over 300 items. There is often debate about list length, and the negative impact it can have on student learning by overwhelming them. However, when browsing this list, the opposite emotion is felt – it actually inspires confidence. The reason for this is the exceptional use of sections to provide clear structure centred around the learning timetable. Rather than a flat list of over 300 items, instead we have in effect small discrete lists tied to specific lectures or seminars, each with approximately a dozen resources and the importance clearly signposted. As a student, it is abundantly clear which resources I should be using, when and why.

Secondly, the use of Talis Aspire to provide module handbook information is one of the best examples we’ve seen – covering everything from course requirements, locations and tutorial preparation guidelines…to assignments, examinations and key dates. This rich use of annotation persists throughout the list, on sections and the resources themselves. It is worth highlighting just one example specifically, for it’s critical and concise setting on the tutors expectation of the student:

“Each week readings are divided into ‘required’ and ‘recommended’. Read as many of the required readings as possible for the weekly tutorial. You must read at least TWO required readings for each tutorial. The other readings are numerous and can be read when researching for an essay or in your revision for the exams.”

Finally, the use of Talis Aspire to provide tutorial questions and list essay questions for assignments is innovative and is highly useful when situated in the context of the resource themselves.

Closing thoughts.

It was very difficult with this list to summarise the amount of great practices it exhibits – we could easily have continued our points with a fourth, fifth, sixth, etc! We would recommend taking a minute to just scroll steadily down the list – can you decide which aspect you like best? If you can, why not tell us below!

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