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Add a Talis reading list to Moodle

There are two ways to link a Talis reading list with your Moodle space; via the reading list block or the reading list resource.

Using Talis Aspire reading lists will provide your students with familiar, consistent and easy access to the required reading for their programme. The use of Talis Aspire reading lists also enables the Library to ensure that an appropriate number of copies of key texts are purchased.

Reading list block

The Talis reading list block adds a block on the right-hand side of your Moodle space with a link to the reading list on Talis, as shown below. The block automatically links to the current academic year's Talis reading list(s) linked to the module code. The Moodle space for AR101-20/21 would automatically link to the 20/21 reading list(s) in Talis that has been linked to the module AR101.

To add the reading list block:

  1. Follow the add a block guide
  2. Select Reading Lists (Talis Aspire)

Hide or delete a reading list block

  1. Ensure editing is turned on
  2. Click on the arrow icon to move a block
  3. Click on the cog icon and select:
    1. Hide Reading Lists block to hide the reading list block from students
    2. Delete Reading Lists block to remove the reading list block from the Moodle space

Reading list resource

The Talis reading list resource adds a link(s) to an entire reading list or to one or more section(s) of a reading list. The resource can be added amongst the content on your Moodle space 'course page'. You can choose to display the reading list or section(s) on a separate page or inline on a course page.

To add a reading list resource:

  1. Ensure editing is turned on
  2. Navigate to the section where the resource will be added
  3. Click + Add an Activity or resource
  4. Select Reading list
  5. Change the title, if appropriate. For example "Week 2 reading list"
  6. Select the Display option
    1. On a separate page
    2. Inline on a course page
  7. Click Link to reading list or section
  8. If prompted, click Start to authenticate
  9. If the reading list has not automatically been selected, enter the name in the search box and select the reading list from the list
  10. Select whether to display the reading list or select a section, by clicking on the dropdown next to the search bar
  11. Click Save

On a separate page

On a separate page adds a link to the Moodle space which opens the reading list on a separate Moodle page. Students are taken to the separate page where the chosen reading list or reading list section(s) is displayed.

Screenshot of a reading list set to

Inline on a course page

This displays the chosen reading list or reading list section(s) directly within the Moodle space 'course page'. Initially, the list is 'collapsed', and can be expanded by clicking on the Reading list title. Students remain on the 'course page', simplifying the navigation.

Screenshot of a reading list set to

Should I use the block or resource?

Whether the block or resource is most appropriate will depend on how you want your students to interact with your reading list and how you plan to maintain your Moodle space. We have detailed some things to consider and scenarios below to help you decide.

Things to consider


Reading List Block

Reading List Resource


Limited to the reading list of the module

Link to any reading list


Link to a whole reading list only

Link to a whole reading list or section of a reading list


No options

Able to choose what to display and whether to display it on a separate page or inline


The block displays in the right-hand column of the Moodle Space

A link can be added anywhere on the course page


Students will view the reading list outside of Moodle

Students view the reading list within Moodle

Annual Maintenance

None. The block is copied over each year and will link to the published list for the module automatically

Annual maintenance required to link each instance of the resource to the current year reading list/section


Will NOT continue to work once the reading list is archived

Will continue to work once the reading list is archived


Scenario 1: Dr A wants to link to the entire reading list for the module, does not want to maintain it annually, and is happy with the reading list displayed in the block.

Advice: Use the reading list block.

Why? The block meets Dr A’s needs as no annual maintenance is needed, they want to link to one reading list, they want to link to the entire reading list and are happy with how the block displays.

Scenario 2: Dr B is currently using URL links in the text to link to multiple reading lists.

Advice: Replace the URLs with the reading list resource.

Why? The options to link to specific sections of a reading list and display the reading list among the content will maintain its prominence. Whilst annual maintenance is required, it is less onerous than replacing links in the text.

Scenario 3: Professor C is attracted by the flexibility of the reading list resource but is concerned about maintenance.

Advice: Professor C should try the resource in a small pilot to help weigh the benefits to students against the ‘cost’ of annual maintenance.

Why? The most effective way to assess a new feature is to try it.

Scenario 4: Dr D is considering removing the block from Moodle module spaces and deploying reading list resources instead.

Advice: Use both.

Why? All of the options to add reading lists can be used at once, Dr D doesn’t have to choose. By keeping the block Dr D maintains a consistent method of access that students are used to, whilst enhancing the module space with the flexibility afforded by the reading list resource.

Help with Reading Lists and Talis Aspire

The University Library supports Talis Aspire and can advise on reading list practice.

Email the Reading List Team: readinglists dot library at warwick dot ac dot uk

View advice and guides on their website:

Contact your Academic Support Librarian:

Help with Moodle, the block or resource

Email the Academic Technology team: moodle at warwick dot ac dot uk

The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.8 and was last updated September 2020.


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