Embracing Change and Innovation with Resource Lists

Kelly Leiker
Kelly Leiker, professor and early adopter of Resource Lists

Professor Kelly Leiker, who teaches in the Opus College of Business, became the inaugural pilot for the university’s new Resource Lists Canvas add-on. Resource Lists provides a new way of curating, managing, and delivering course materials. It helps faculty make materials for their course more affordable by leveraging existing library content and services, all while delivering them in Canvas at our students’ point of need. As part of the Library Advisory Committee, Leiker got an early preview of the new application last Fall, and jumped at the chance to try it out in her J-Term course Managing Organizational Change: “When I saw the  preview of the Resource List add-on, my first thought was: ‘Wow!  This will be so great for students.’  My second thought was:  ‘Wow- this will be so great for me’.”

Innovation/Benefits to Faculty

When people think of libraries and course materials, they probably think of the physical books and photocopied journal articles which have traditionally constituted Course Reserves services. While those services still exist, they are just one part of the one-stop shop that is Resource Lists, which is one interface which combines the ability to add:

  • any of the materials - electronic or physical – owned or licensed by the University Libraries
  • links to content which is freely available online (e.g., open access academic materials, TED talks, government documents, etc.)
  • personal copies of books or articles
  • self-authored content
  • content that needs to be licensed through the Copyright Clearance Center or other means 

As a flexible cloud-based application that allows inclusion of all kinds of content and which is delivered through Canvas, Resource Lists opens up new avenues for innovation for faculty who have been yearning for a new way to connect students with course materials. Leiker elaborates, "As we strive as faculty to give the students scholarly, work that is historical as well as current, it has been a challenge in the past to do this without overwhelming students with multiple books and course packets.  Not only did my students complain it was costly; often times they would comment that it felt 'wasteful' to have extra reading that wasn’t assigned.  The Resource List add-on takes away the excess and provides a laser focused content that allows me to help the students hone in on the learning outcomes for the course.  The response from students was overwhelmingly positive."

Teamwork & Collaboration

Organizational change is often spurred by technological change, and piloting Resource Lists has been no exception. Through the “Collaborators” function, by which any faculty or staff can be added as an editor of a Resource List, a small team emerged to work together to support the course whereas in the past their paths would likely not have crossed. Andrea Koeppe, who is the liaison to the Opus College of Business, connected with Leiker for the first time and was drafted in at an early stage to add possible readings via Resource Lists. Darcy Turner, an Instructional Designer at STELAR, worked with Leiker to integrate the Resource Lists content directly into the course content they developed together. Greg Argo, the Resource Lists Program Manager for the University Libraries, worked to setup Resource Lists in Canvas at the outset, and then when the list was complete, processed it to make sure all the materials Leiker wanted her class to access were delivered.

Of the cross-functional collaboration, Leiker states, “One of my favorite moments of this project was the Zoom call we had where Andrea, Greg, & Darcy and I all came together to discuss the goal and the many options and ways to approach it.  It was a learning for us all in many ways- and from multiple perspectives.  We looked at questions like: How will the library support this?  How will I.T. support this?  How will Teachers best use this and get support?  Which methods are most seamless to students?  What will we do if we have challenges?  It was truly heartwarming, and I felt 100% supported.  It made me comfortable to take the risk and innovate.  Providing partnerships for dialogue and strategies to ensure success is something that UST has certainly done RIGHT. This support network is in place going forward, and I think will help other faculty safely make improvements to best support students (and make things easier on themselves in the process).”

Student Impact

Leiker was able to deliver 19 research articles and book chapter readings which, if delivered as a printed coursepack, would have been costly for students. Since Resource Lists leverages existing Library content and services, these readings were able to be delivered at zero cost to students. According to Leiker, students were happy with the new Resource Lists system. “My students truly love the access and it also can be seamlessly linked into Canvas Modules/Assignments ensuring that students get just what they need when they need it- they rave about it. It is certainly ‘All For the Common Good.’”

If you are interested in using Resource Lists in an upcoming course, contact Greg Argo.