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Resource list – guide for educators

Step by step instructions for creating and managing Bond University Resource Lists.

Tips for engagement

Sandris Zeivots reported that "up to 80% of uni students don’t read their assigned readings."

Over the past two decades educators have raised concerns about changing patterns of student motivation, engagement and comprehension of academic reading. The power of technology, media and apps have affected student reading patterns.

-- Zeivots, S. (2021). Up to 80% of uni students don’t read their assigned readings. Here are 6 helpful tips for teachers. The Conversation.

The Conversation ArticleZeivots offers tips to help engage students in his article in The Conversation. We have some Resource List features you can use for these tips.


Tip: Students participate in pre-class activities online

Resource lists have social commenting that your students can use for pre-class activities. Get them started by posting your own thoughts about a resource – and tell them you look forward to seeing their comments. 

Comments in Resource Lists

Use the tag “Class Preparation” so they can easily see which resources should be read before class. 

Class Preparation Tag


There is a guided tour in Resource Lists that will step you through managing a citation's tags. Click the ? in the menu at the top of the Resource Lists screen to show video guides and guided tours.

Set a due date on a reading to flag it with students. You can do this by editing the resource and choosing a date from the calendar.  In addition to displaying on the citation itself, the due date is also displayed at top right of page and will appear in the students' notifications area.

Due dates highlighted in the Resource List interface for the citation at the list level and in notifications


If you are not sure how to set a due date, there is a guided tour you can access via the ? in the Resource Lists top menu. Look for Managing a Resource's Due Date

Tip: Offer clear expectations and strategies on what, how and why to read

If you don’t have a Resource List – start using one. Presenting a curated list clearly identifies what they should be reading, and students can easily access the resources. If reading engagement is the main objective then get that “finding and accessing” barrier out of their way. 

Benefits for students:

  • Consistent student experience
  • View all subject resources in one place
  • Accessed directly from subject site in iLearn
  • No need to login a second time to access the Library's subscription content
  • Students can actively engage with the list by commenting, 'liking' and suggesting resources
  • Access ebooks and digitised readings directly from the list – no need to find them in Library Search or a database first
  • Keep private notes about readings

Talk to your Faculty Librarian for support on getting started, or just get started with a list via iLearn. It's easier than you might think.


Use tags to easily label a resource as prescribed, recommended, in-class or class-preparation. Students become familiar with these tags across their various resource lists, and immediately get an idea of how you expect them to use each resource.  

Tags visible to students

Managing citation tags is available as a guided tour within the Resource Lists system. Use the ? in the top menu to step you through how to add tags.

Use public notes to provide more detail about your expectations if you want to get very specific about your expectations or advice on how and why they should read. You might tell them to skim through some sections and which parts they should focus on for a specific concept.

Public notes are visible to students as they scan the resource list

There is a guided tour in Resource Lists for adding a public note. Use the ? in the top menu to access the step by step tour.

Tip: Gradually increase informed learning concepts and strategies to help students develop critical and creative academic skills

Ask students to find and evaluate other resources to add to the resource list. Show them how to add resources to their Collection via CiteIt, or directly from Library Search, and then use the Suggest option draw it to your attention and explain why they are recommending it. You can then add the resource to the list easily.

Suggesting Resources with a justification

Tip: Provide a safe space for students to clarify confusing aspects

The Comments feature could also be used for this tip. Ask students to post questions & responses to each other to clarify concepts they are uncertain about. 

Student comments on a resource

If you have a PDF file upload type of resource (dependent on copyright & licence requirements) you might also ask the class to try public annotations for asking questions or collaborating on evaluation of a reading. If the PDF is your own work and you or Bond University owns the copyright then this is an ideal type of file for this purpose. Talk to your Faculty Librarian if you would like your class to use this feature on articles that are not your own work. 

Highlighted text and annotations on a PDF

Tip: Gradually introduce technical terms and cognitive load

Looking at the analytics in the resource list system we can see that student engagement is generally higher in lists where there are fewer than 20 or so readings, and that some of the lists have many resources. 


Consider the size of your list. Are students overwhelmed with the number of readings? If you really need a long list think about how it could be organised or released incrementally to minimise cognitive overload.

You can set visibility dates on sections to release them to students throughout the trimester instead of all at once.

Editing sections

The arrows indicate where to manage the indentation of a section. Visibility dates are highlighted in the yellow box.

If you have a section covering additional resources, try putting a description in the section details explaining that these are optional for students who want to explore in more detail, but are not assessable. 

If students have a choice of topics for an assessment item then maybe a section for each topic. That way they can focus on the readings in their chosen topic. Or if your class is undertaking group work and you are dividing up topics per group, then organising resources into group sections might help them. 

You can also indent sections to visually reorganise them. NB. This only affects layout on the screen, it does not add any functionality like folders within folders.

Resource List section descriptions and indents

The arrows in this illustration show how the Group sections have been indented slightly. The yellow boxes show how section descriptions can provide guidance to students on which resources they are expected to read or view.