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Prescribed texts

There are lots of things to consider when selecting your unit texts. Check out the information below or talk to your librarian for support.

Choosing a prescribed textbook

If you’ve decided to prescribe a textbook, consider the following:

  • Is it the current version?
  • Is it available as an e-book? This is essential for online units.
  • How much will the book cost students?
  • Can you use open education resources to provide free online access for all your students?
  • Is there an alternative textbook available with similar content that is more up to date, easier to access and cheaper for students?
  • Is the whole book necessary, or just certain sections? If it is only certain sections, the library can digitise 10% or one chapter.
  • Will it be useful to students in future units or after graduation?

The library is unable to provide textbooks for every student. Consult the reading list ordering guideline to check the formula used to determine the number of copies purchased for the library.

Alternatives to a prescribed textbook

Here are some different strategies you can also consider:

  • Provide a curated list of weekly or topic readings available online. This could include journal articles, videos, book chapters, news, reports, etc.
  • Use a range of chapters from different textbooks.

Some advantages of this approach include:

  • Reduced financial outlay for the student.
  • Students engage with a variety of information sources and formats.
  • Multiple perspectives from different authors are represented.
  • Reduced access issues associated with limited library copies.
  • Flexibility to select online resources or digitised portions of books.
Tip: Early discussion of your ideas with your librarian will allow time for a range of options to be explored that suit your specific needs.

Assigning prescribed, recommended or further readings

The importance you assign to a reading can have implications for students and the university. There are three levels of importance at Deakin:

  Rationale for learning Benefits for the university
Prescribed Students must read this material. Reading it is essential for them to understand the unit content and achieve a successful result The library will order limited copies based on enrolment numbers. (Check our detailed collection guidelines)
Recommended Students will benefit greatly from accessing recommended reading. It is not compulsory reading, but it provides additional information that reinforces the core content and deepens their understanding. The library will order fewer copies of recommended texts than prescribed, based on enrolment numbers and the number of recommended texts for that unit.
Further reading This is optional content that the academic has deemed could be useful for students who are seeking additional information or context about a topic or unit. The library will generally purchase one copy of the text for each campus where the unit is running.
Tip: You can assign levels of importance in a reading list. For assistance with this, check the reading list instructions for academics.

Contact us

Get quick answers and tips to get the most from your Library. Contact our library staff for help, support or to give feedback.