Textbooks – A Business School Guide.

Textbooks are essential if you’re a business student. More often than not, they are the key to completing your assignments due to the content being what the essay, or other assessment, is modelled around. Each module has a reading list with a plentiful array of books, some will be essential reading, some recommended reading. My blog this week is going to discuss my approach to acquiring textbooks as a Business School student at Edge Hill.

First and foremost, you will find your module reading lists on Blackboard. In these lists, by clicking on a book, it will tell you where that book is in the library, and if it is in stock. This tool is essential for being savvy about what you loan out or possibly buy yourself.

Snapshot of one of my reading lists for a module I completed in first year.

When presented with a new reading list for a new module, I would ALWAYS check Amazon for the essential book, then check the price of used or new copies. If the book isn’t expensive, I would always buy it. I am the type of learner who prefers to own all their materials rather than loan them out, so I can put tons of sticky notes in the book. If a book was not cheap enough to buy, some I saw racked up to almost £50 on Amazon, then I would loan the book out the library or look at an ebook option with my kindle.

My strategy for loaning books was always to get one out at the start of a module, then loan it out again when I was writing an assignment for those important references. Doing this system for a few modules saved me money, so I certainly recommend it.

My messy bookshelf from my room on campus. These were all the books I owned, which were either purchased or acquire when the library was getting rid of old stock for FREE.

Of course, an assignment can’t contain only one book in the references. So, to get around this, I would write some of the assignment in the library and grab a couple of books from the reading list that were in stock according to the Blackboard app. I would never loan these out, only using them while I was in the library at that time. This was a great way to build up my references and knowledge of the subject in a short period to complete the assignment.

This method and approach served me well in first-year and hopefully will do so again in second-year. Buying all your books might not be possible on other courses due to the amount needed to be read each semester, so bear that in mind and remember that my approach is tailored to the Business School reading list system. I hope this blog helps you either change your ways for the better or give you a snapshot of what it will be like when you start Edge Hill.

Alice.

A Business Student’s Guide To The Catalyst.

The Catalyst will be the second or third most important building on campus for yourself most likely. The toss-up between the two comes down to how much you love your bed or not, or perhaps how much time you spend at the Student Union bar. Those two locations are blogs for another time. Today, this blog will be about the Catalyst building and how I used it as a student of the Business School. Each course will use the building differently, for example, I didn’t have to use the computer systems as I have a laptop, and did not need bespoke software.

The Catalyst.

Aside from the coffee shop, I used the group workspace areas downstairs in the Catalyst the most out of the whole building within my first year. Some modules in my course were comprised of a lot of group tasks, assignments, activities that had to be done in a group to succeed. Using our accommodation, which would’ve been more homely, was not an option most of the time, so often my groups and I found ourselves in a pod or at a table in the Catalyst. It can be a loud environment so if you’re getting on with some work down there, I recommend earphones. I think every new student reading my blog should consider using the Catalyst to write one assignment in its entirety once over your time at Edge Hill, it’s usually open all hours as long as you have your student card.

Moving on from workspaces, the Catalyst will be where you need to get books from if you are not purchasing them yourself. Whenever you go to take a book out ensure you have your student card handy, or else you won’t be able to take it back to your accommodation or home that day. Blackboard will allow you to check the code and floor of the book you’re looking for which makes locating texts infinitely easier. For example, a lot of my books, for my course, live on the second floor.

An example of Blackboard’s book location capabilities, taken from one of my module reading lists.

Many different students are going to have many different uses for the Catalyst, but the two I have discussed are the two most prominent for myself as a Business School student, but also myself in terms of what resources are on offer. An important thing to add about the Catalyst is that you can loan out laptops, allowing you to work anywhere. I hope if you are a new student, attending this coming October, this blog has excited you about the Catalyst building and what it may offer yourself as a student at Edge Hill University.

Alice.

Course Insight: Marketing Year One

As per my profile on the website, I study Marketing here at Edge Hill. Marketing has always been part of my life, from high school to college, and now University, so naturally I was always going to write a blog about the course. Right off the bat, a disclaimer that your experiences will differ from mine, timetables, module choices, and assignments change very often.

My degree is spaced over three years, though I plan to take a year out to do a sandwich placement, making it technically four. A sandwich placement is fancy phrasing for a year working in industry. This year I have studied six modules, as per the standard in the Business School in order to achieve your required credits.

These are modules I have studied:

A lot of people will be wondering how the lectures work, I know I wondered the same thing. The modules I’ve had last only one semester occurred in classroom settings with a seminar consolidating the contents of the lecture right after, this often sounds like it’d last a long time, but you often get a coffee or toilet break that sections it up nicely. My Digital Marketing and Business Start-Up lectures lasted an hour in a lecture hall, then seminars took place in a separate room, classroom style. Overall I really enjoyed this method of learning as it broke up information intake really nicely, it suits me a lot more than High School or College style. My timetable was spanned over three days, giving me Tuesdays and Fridays free!

An academic tip would be to sleep in on your days off, and then use them to do reading or pre-lecture prep’, it’s a good method of keeping on top of your studies without things feeling over baring.

My modules have all been a mix of different assignments, two having exams. Exams aren’t as stressful as any prior ones you’ll have sat, the seating arrangement is a lot more relaxed, you can leave when you’re done granted you’re in a specific timing and overall it felt like a much more comfortable process.

Overall, I really enjoy how my course’s first year has been structured. Of course, this layout will not apply for all and every degree offered by Edge Hill, but I consider this a useful resource for applicants worried about how things will be after their Fresher’s Week.

Alice

Blackboard

Those of you starting at Edge Hill will probably be introduced to Blackboard very quickly. Blackboard, or Learning Edge, is the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) used at Edge Hill. It’s really useful for a variety of reasons. Blackboard is where tutors will often put up useful documents to help with your studies, whether they are supplementary resources or just a handy copy of lecture slides. These kinds of resources are really helpful when it comes to writing essays and revising for exams.

The VLE is also where you can upload your work for marking (although some departments do still require a hard copy as well). Your work gets uploaded to Turnitin which checks anything you submit for plagiarism which is why correct referencing is really important. On top of this, Blackboard also has links to other useful resources such as the Edge Hill library catalogue. This is great for checking whether the library has any relevant books available to help you with your studies, and some texts are even available to read online.

In the past, my tutors have also used Blackboard to conduct online seminars. With it acting as a sort of chat room, everyone in the class has been able to attend the seminar and contribute to class discussions but instead of going in to university, we can do this from our own homes.

Finally, Blackboard is also a quick and easy way for tutors to update students on any important things they may have forgotten to say in lectures or seminars. They can simply put up an announcement on Blackboard and it is available for all those enrolled on the module to see. This means that it is very important to check Blackboard regularly so that you don’t miss out on anything vital.

These are just a few uses of Blackboard that I encounter frequently, although I’m sure there are many more. I’ve definitely found it to be a really helpful tool, especially when I’m writing assignments, as almost everything I need is in one place.