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Add a Talis reading list to Moodle

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

Talis '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.

Talis block

Talis 'reading list' resource

The Talis reading list resource adds a link to a reading list or reading list section amongst the content on your Moodle space. You can choose to display the reading list or section on a ‘separate page’ within Moodle or ‘inline’, students click to expand the resource and display the list, as shown below.

Talis Expanded List

Separate page

Talis Separate Page


Talis Inline

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 will only display in the right hand column of the Moodle Space

A link can be added anywhere on the course page to the whole or section of a reading list


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 reading list for the module only but 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 there is no requirement for maintenance, they only want to link to a single reading list and have no requirements for alternative display.

Scenario 2: Dr B is currently using URL links in 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 text.

Scenario 3: Professor C is attracted by 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.

Scenario 5: Dr E has not considered creating a Talis reading list or using the Moodle block or resource.

Advice: Contact the University Library to discuss the benefits of creating Talis reading lists for students and tutors and how to get started.

Why? 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. Support with creating and inputting lists is available – contact readinglists dot library at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Help with Reading Lists and Talis Aspire

Contact the University Library:

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

Academic Subject Librarians:

Help with Moodle, the block or resource

Contact the Extended Classroom Support team: moodle at warwick dot ac dot uk

The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.4 and was last updated October 2018.


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