Talis Elevate vs Talis Aspire. What's the difference?

If you are looking to use Talis Elevate as well as Talis Aspire, you may be wondering what the main difference is between the two tools and what you should use where. This article sets out the variance, based on feedback and guidance from within our user community. Special thanks to the University of Lincoln for their excellent video at the bottom of this article 

Signposting vs targeted activity 

Talis Aspire is a great mechanism for providing your students with an array of resources they should (or could) engage with throughout the duration of their studies. We often see that Talis Aspire Reading Lists provide a huge array of resources, many of which are optional resources, to encourage and support independent study on the relevant subject matter.

To complement Talis Aspire, Talis Elevate offers a mechanism to target student focus around specific resources. For example, you may wish to build a conversation around a particular reading, piece of media content, or image in a lecture/seminar environment. Talis Elevate allows you to do just this.

Independent vs collaborative study 

Building on the above, reading lists provide a valuable mechanism for signposting content to our students. However, this can still be quite an isolating experience for students. Many will report they don't know where to begin and feel uncomfortable speaking out in class for fear of misunderstanding the subject matter or the specific resources provided.

Talis Elevate is designed to transform the activity of reading and interacting with resources into a collaborative experience. By bringing the conversation into the content we teach with, we turn what would otherwise likely be a passive, solitary experience into one where users interact directly with the resource and each other. 

Is Talis Elevate a replacement for Talis Aspire? 

Absolutely not. Talis Elevate and Talis Aspire are serving different use cases and serve different purposes within the institutional domain. 

It is likely that Talis Aspire is a mandated tool at your University; therefore, if you are using Talis Elevate, you should still have a Talis Aspire reading list that's kept up to date. This is not only important to ensure your students have equitable access to resources, but also to ensure that the Library are aware of the array of resources you plan to use in teaching for licensing purposes. 

So what should I use and when? 

It's important to remember that Talis Elevate isn't intended to be used for all content you signpost for your students. We've found the most successful engagements occur when members of the academic community use Talis Elevate for a small selection of resources each week. Some examples of use cases are below: 

  • Encouragement of asking all questions around lecture content
  • Weekly reading / watching activities eg a journal article and related video content around the subject matter 
  • Specific analysis of a content item eg critical analysis of image composition 
  • Assessment related activity eg peer review of a previous assignment submission

As mentioned above, it's important to ensure your reading list is still being kept up to date, but if you wish to build activity into specific resources, this is where Talis Elevate comes in. 

What am I allowed to upload to Talis Elevate? 

We always recommend you consult your institution's guidance on this, but the general rule of thumb here relates to copyright. If you're allowed to upload to the VLE, there is no real difference to uploading to Talis Elevate.  

What are Universities saying about this? 

Our colleagues at the University of Lincoln have put together a really handy video to explain to their academic community how Talis Aspire and Talis Elevate should be used alongside each-other. Thanks to the University of Lincoln for permission in sharing this resource.  

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