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Talis Sponsors QAA Project on Active Online Reading

Natalie Naik
Active Online Reading History (Subject)

Talis is delighted to announce our sponsorship of the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency)  Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 ‘Active Online Reading’, seeking to explore how we can enhance students’ active online reading practice across the sector. 

This project seeks to investigate current practice around close reading and resource engagement in an online setting. It will produce guidance, briefing, and supporting documentation to develop academic and student practice in this area. This project will be led by Dr. Jamie Wood (University of Lincoln), Dr Anna Rich-Abad (University of Nottingham) and Dr. John Chandler (University College London), with support from a wider steering group of members from across the sector. 

Talis will be supporting this project alongside the QAA, enabling student researchers to be a core part of the research activity, and development of core outputs. The outcomes from this project will be technology agnostic, allowing application using a variety of approaches and tools.

Matt East, Education Lead at Talis said “Getting students to play an active role in the learning process is so important, but also a common challenge regardless of discipline. We have seen the impact that collaborative reading and annotation can have on the learning experience across disciplines in a number of different ways, from co-creation of knowledge to online community building. With the rapid shift to online, our reliance around online reading, and understanding engagement and practice is even more important, hence, this project. 

This is a problem that affects so many areas of the sector; we are delighted to be able to be involved in it, and support the outcomes as part of this project.” 

Project lead Dr Jon Chandler, Senior Teaching Fellow at University College London (UCL) said “This project is an opportunity to learn more about how students engage with online reading. The more we understand, the more we can develop new strategies to support our students”. 

Dr Jamie Wood, Associate Professor in History in the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln who is also a project lead added “I wanted to take the work that I’d done in History with Talis Elevate a step further and to think about how what we’ve learned about students’ online reading practices and related pedagogies could be generalised and applied in other disciplines and using other technologies.”

Dr. Anna Rich-Abad, also project lead, and Assistant Professor in Medieval History at the University of Nottingham told us “Online learning practices have great potential beyond the situation we have experienced this year with the global pandemic and we will have to see how best to deploy them. I feel that it is a good time to bring in data from teaching and learning practice and reflect about when and where to use resources.”

Dr Ailsa Crum, Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement & Standards at the QAA said “How we read is fundamental to how we learn, and we understand students – perhaps especially Generation Z – read differently from earlier groups of students. I’m delighted we are supporting this collaborative project to really explore the impact of reading on student engagement with their learning, and I look forward to sharing the findings with QAA members across the UK.”

This project focuses primarily on the ‘reading-rich’ discipline of History, leveraging ongoing partnerships between three institutions involved in the project (University of Lincoln, University of Nottingham and University College London) to generate a suite of resources to support academics and students across all subjects. These resources will be informed by data, and conducted in partnership with students and Talis. Active Online Reading is a unique opportunity to cultivate pedagogic practices that assist students in developing a key—but neglected—academic skill, reading.

About the QAA

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is a charity and the UK’s independent body entrusted with monitoring and advising on standards and quality in UK higher education. It works with over 270 member Higher Education institutions across all four nations of the UK to deliver expert services that:

  • help to maintain and enhance UK higher education’s global reputation for excellence
  • assure the standards and quality that are at the heart of the reputation of UK higher education
  • enhance the academic experience of students wherever they are in the world.

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