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This QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project, led by the University of Lincoln, aims to generate a suite of resources to support academics and students with active online reading, across all subject areas. The project team will investigate current practice around close reading and resource engagement in online settings.  


Students’ reading practices have transformed over the past 20 years, with the increasing digitisation of resources and the widespread use of mobile devices. The pandemic accelerated developments further with the rapid roll-out of online and blended learning. Yet we know strikingly little about how students read online, how this relates to their overall learning and which pedagogic strategies are effective. There is a need for enhancement in this area because online reading is fundamental to the transition to higher-level study.


Informed by data and conducted in partnership with students and Talis (an educational technology company), this project provides a unique opportunity to cultivate pedagogic practices and curate resources that assist students in developing a key but neglected academic skill - reading.

The project team will coordinate initial information gathering using the following methods:

  • a staff survey on pedagogies for online reading
  • student researchers mentored by academics will explore the reading practices of their peers via surveys, focus groups and analyses of online reading practices
  • insights from users of online reading tools.

The project will generate a series of practice-sharing events and a repository of resources to guide students with reading and to support academics in students’ ongoing development including:

  • case studies from project institutions
  • pedagogic resources including how-to guides; assessment rubrics; an annotated reading list; resources on addressing copyright, 'fair use’, illustration for instruction and GDPR
  • ‘How to’ videos and guidelines for students.  

How you can get involved:

  • Check out the reflective blog posts from student researchers, academic staff and pedagogues from a range of disciplines.
  • Respond to the staff survey which seeks to capture  perspectives and practices of online reading pedagogies from across the sector.
  • The team want to better understand how students are taught to read online and how they are supported in doing so.
  • Share the student survey which focuses primarily on students’ personal reading practice. The researchers want to delve into how students approach independent study through online reading.
  • Share resources or insights – the team are collating and sharing pedagogic resources focused on supporting students in developing reading skills. If you’d like to share your materials  for teaching reading (online or otherwise), please get in touch with the team.

Project lead:

University of Lincoln

Project partners:

University of Lincoln, University of Nottingham, University College London, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Salford, University of Hertfordshire, Keele University, Royal Holloway University of London, University of Lincoln, Royal Historical Society, Council of University Classics Departments and Open University, History UK and Talis

Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.