Upcoming Staff Development Sessions

As we approach the start of the new term, we understand that this year the transition to a blended learning model may feel a little different. In response to staff needs and developments in delivery styles and technology, we have scheduled some new and exciting sessions to support you and your students.

These sessions, delivered by the LTD Team, aim to enhance your digital skills and empower your learning and teaching.

Take a look at the below scheduled sessions. More information can be found on the Getting Digital Ready wiki page and booked via the digitech@edgehill.ac.uk email address.

Scheduled Sessions

  • Microsoft Teams (Part 1) – Thursday 15th October (1pm-2pm)
  • Microsoft Teams (Part 2) – Friday 16th October (11am-12pm)
  • How to Deliver Engaging and Creative Presentations Online *New* – Tuesday 27th October (12pm-1pm)
  • Using Padlet to Facilitate Discussion and Interaction with Students *New* – Thursday 29th October (12pm-1pm)
  • Digital Tools to Facilitate a Flipped Classroom – Wednesday 21st October (1pm-2pm)
  • Learn how to ‘Beautify’ your Blackboard *New* – Thursday 24th September (11am-12pm) and Friday 25th September (1pm-2pm )
  • Making Documents Accessible – Thursday 24th September (1pm-2pm) and Tuesday 20th October (11am-12pm)
  • Achievements within the Blackboard, planning, implementing and monitoring *New* – Thursday 24th September (12:30pm-13:30pm)
  • Portfolio tools in Learning Edge: Using Journals and Blackboard Portfolios *New* – Wednesday 21st October (1pm-2pm)

Session Spotlight  

Using Microsoft Teams with Students (Part 3) *New*

Due to the demand and popularity of Microsoft Teams, this session will specifically consider how to use Microsoft Teams with students, including:

  • how to schedule and deliver online sessions
  • how to share your screen and audio
  • how to use the whiteboard function
  • how to boost interaction with the ‘Chat’ feature
  • how to set up private channels for group work/individual discussion
  • how to use breakout rooms (coming end of September)

This session will also be an opportunity to share best practice and generate ideas.

Thursday 8th October (11am-12pm)

Using Blackboard Collaborate with Students *New*

This session will cover the basics of using Blackboard Collaborate for teaching and learning.  Staff will learn how to setup a session within a module and be introduced to the Collaborate interface. At the end of the session academics will have a good understanding of the set-up procedure, options for joining a session, managing participants and be familiar with the Collaborate room interface and tools for sharing content.

Monday 5th October (12pm-1pm)

Drop Ins

Microsoft Teams – Drop In

This drop in session on Microsoft Teams will provide staff with the opportunity to come with any questions about how to use the platform, both with staff and with students. Thursday 22nd July (12pm-2pm)

Blackboard Ultra Navigation Drop-In Session for Academics

Are you unsure about how the new Blackboard home page works? We’ll be here to answer your questions. Friday 25th September (1pm-2pm)

For more information visit the Getting Digital Ready wiki page, which is part of the collaborative My Staff Development offer.

My Staff Development (Programme 2020/21) Logo

All sessions can be booked via the digitech@edgehill.ac.uk email address. Sessions will take place via Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate – full details/instructions will be provided.

How to prepare for the start of a new term with UniSkills

The first of September means many things – new beginnings, goodbye summer and perhaps even a fresh academic diary. While our brilliant PGCE students have already joined us, we know there are a few of you still sat at home wondering how best you might pass the time until your own course kickstarts. From keeping up your motivation to getting your proverbial academic skills ducks lined up, here are our top 3 tips for staying ahead:

image of a notebook that says let's get started

Read up!

Not only can reading for pleasure be wonderfully relaxing, it can also improve your writing skills (Whitten et al., 2019). Think of it as an almost blissfully passive osmosis of new vocabulary and well-modelled sentence structures. Simply find something that piques your interest and your favourite chair to enjoy both wellbeing and brain-boosting benefits. Or, for those ready to delve back into their subject area, reignite your curiosity with your course reading list, ask your tutor for recommendations, or follow your nose in the depths of Discover More.

image of a pile of books

Past feedback is your friend

We understand that looking at old assignments can make you wince, conjuring up memories of late nights and even anxiety to get them finished to the best of your ability. However they are also usually bursting with useful pointers for the next time you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard!). We recommend seeing if you can pick out just 3 aspects to focus on, which might be – for example – referencing, sentence structure, and paragraphing. If you’re unsure exactly how to improve these skills, getting in touch with our team for a 1-2-1 appointment or joining us for a UniSkills webinar is a good place to start.

image of a pile of post it notes

Hone your skills, or learn something new

The lull before term starts is also a great opportunity to brush up on any other skills which may be useful for your personal, academic or professional development. LinkedIn Learning is a fantastic resource for exploring what the digital world can offer, while the internet in general is jam-packed with organisation apps and note taking techniques. Now may also be the ideal time to check out the wealth of resources on our UniSkills web pages, which include handy guides for topics such as proofreading and presenting with impact.

image of a notebook that says "a little  space to be creative"

We hope this has left you energised and inspired to make the most of the next few weeks, remembering too that rest and relaxation is equally important. In the meantime if you have any doubts or questions in relation to your academic skills before, or during next term, the Student Engagement Team is here and happy to support you.

WHITTEN, C., LABBY, S. and SULLIVAN, S., 2019. The impact of Pleasure Reading on Academic Success. Journal of Multidisciplinary Graduate Research. 2 (1).

5 ways your visit to Catalyst will be different….

1. New opening hours
We are now open 8am–8pm (Monday–Friday) and 10am–6pm (Saturday and Sunday). Be sure to plan your visit around these times. We’ll be reviewing opening times in future months, so be sure to check our webpages for the latest.

2. Swipe entry
Before you visit, please bring your UniCard or staff card – you’ll need this to get in and out! To enter, just hover your card over the scanner inside the main entrance. Even if you’re entering with friends or colleagues, everyone needs to swipe in individually so we know how many people are in the building and can keep occupancy to a safe level. Please be sure to swipe out individually too so we know when you have left the building.

3. Face coverings and social distancing
Following University advice, we require that everyone wears a mask or face covering when moving through Catalyst. You won’t need to wear one when sitting at a desk or PC though. 

There’s lots of signage throughout the building, helping everyone maintain social distancing. The furniture has been rearranged with this in mind, and the building is available for individual study only. This means there are no group rooms available, but you can book study space on the third floor. This is a silent study area with PCs and large desks. Book a study space here: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/services/study-room-bookings/

4. Click and Collect and Return!
You might just be popping in briefly to collect a book or five.Our Click and Collect Desk is just to the right-hand side as you enter the building. Using Discover More, your Reading List, or the Library Catalogue, you can request up to five items in advance and we will retrieve them for you. We’ll send an email when they’re ready for collection, and your items will be waiting for you in a handy book bag.

We are accepting books back and you can place these on the trolleys next to the Click and Collect desk. All returned book stock will be quarantined for 72 hours, after this the books will come off your account. 

5 . 53.3 Degrees
The coffee shop in Catalyst will be reopening on 21st September. Social distancing measures will be in place and things may take a little longer but you’ll be able to grab a hot drink to fuel your study!

Tips for your visit

  • bring your Unicard or staff card and check our opening hours
  • wear a mask or face covering when moving around the building
  • allow plenty of time – you might have to queue, and simple things like using the lift can now take much longer

PGCE Students: Welcome to Library and Learning Services!

Hello and a massive welcome to all our PGCE students, we look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all. We are the Student Engagement team and we are here to provide support with all aspects of academic skills. Although this year may feel a little different please be reassured that we are here to support you!

Welcome PGCE students.


Head over to the Learning and Support Services Induction pages to find out more information about who lives in Catalyst, what they do and how they can support you. There’s an interactive induction toolkit that you can work through at your own pace, which will introduce you to Library and Learning Services, Student Services and Careers, or you can even watch an induction video if you prefer.


The best place to find out more about how we can support you is to head over to the UniSkills web pages where there’s a vast wealth of information around academic writing and research skills. Here you’ll find our interactive online UniSkills Toolkits which contain loads of tips and tricks to help you with assignment planning, critical thinking, punctuation, proofreading and much more. There’s also some handy guides and videos too!

You can also check out what Uniskills Webinars we have on offer throughout the year or if you require more specific support you can also book a 1-2-1 virtual appointment with an Academic Skills Advisor who can work with you on a piece of work or research.

Finding Your Resources

Once you start your tutor will provide with your reading list and I’m sure many of you will be keen to get started! To find your resources the Library Catalogue is a great place to start. From here you can access your Reading List online and, by clicking on the book titles, you can jump straight through to the catalogue where you will find details on the items location and availability.

You can collect items directly from the shelves and check them out on the self-issue machines located around the building or you can currently reserve items straight from the shelves using our temporary Click and Collect’ service. All you need to do to use this service is place a reservation on the book you want, we’ll grab if from the shelves for you and let you know when it’s ready to collect.

As well as the academic textbooks, which you’ll need for writing your assignments, there’s also a dedicated Education Resource Collection which has lots of resources that you can borrow. There are Key Stage 1 and 2 children’s books, larger picture books for whole class reading sessions, phonics resources, subject packs and interactive kits which are available on longer loan, so ideal for using in the classroom while you’re on placement.

As an Edge Hill student you also have access to thousands of high quality academic e-resources which are particularly useful whilst on placement as they can all be accessed off campus. The Subject Resource web pages contain all the relevant journals and databases for your course or you can browse the e-resource collections using the Discover More search tool.

On the Subject Resource web pages you will also find links to newspaper collections, classroom resources, useful websites and the Times Higher Education, so you can keep up to date with current affairs and recent developments in the education sector. If you need any help finding your academic information or navigating your online resources don’t forget we have lots of handy UniSkills Toolkits, videos and guides on the UniSkills web pages – all available 24/7!

And, if there is ever a book or journal article that we don’t have in our collection you can ask us add a copy by using the You Want It, We Get it service. Just fill in the details on the form and we’ll do our best to get it in for you – how cool is that?

Further Help & Support

If you have any general enquiries about resources for your study, IT related enquiries or academic skills support you can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm and Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 6pm.

We wish you all the best for this coming academic year and look forward to supporting you soon!

Plan your visit to Catalyst

Hello, welcome, nice to see you again!

Tuesday 1st September marks the official reopening of the entire Catalyst building, with all floors available to students and staff.

We also welcome our wonderful Helpdesk Team back into the building. They have been doing a fantastic job supporting students and staff virtually for the last 6 months. Whilst the helpdesk is now open, we do recommend that you continue you to reach out virtually where possible.

As previously covered in our earlier blogs, things look a little different in the building as you may expect. Here are some of the things you need to be aware of and remember when coming to Catalyst.

  • Opening hours – from 1st September are 8am – 8pm, Monday – Friday and 10am – 6pm, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Reduced capacity – Catalyst will work on a reduced capacity in order to help us maintain social distancing. During busy periods you may need to queue to access the building so please bear this in mind.
  • Swipe access – to help us manage the reduced capacity, all visitors to Catalyst are required to swipe in and out of the building, so you’ll need your UniCard with you at all times. We also ask that each individual person swipes in and out, even if you are coming in with friends or colleagues.
  • Face coverings – face coverings are required when moving around the building (unless you are exempt) but you do not need to wear them when sitting at a study space.
  • Individual study – the building is available for individual study only. There are no group rooms available at present and all study spaces are limited to 1 person. We ask that you respect these guidelines when you use the building.
  • Furniture layout – the furniture in Catalyst has been arranged specifically to maintain social distancing. We ask that you do not move any furniture and follow the signage and guidelines displayed.
  • Our colleagues in Student Services and Careers are also back in Catalyst but blending with wfh and are providing virtual help and support appointments.  Please contact the helpdesk in the first instance or visit their relevant websites for key information.

We are here for you and we look forward to seeing you – either in person or virtually!

Catalyst Facilities Team

Dawsons e-books – now on ProQuest

The company which runs the Dawsons e-book platform went into liquidation in July and the platform is no longer available. 

Fortunately, we have been able to move most of the e-books hosted on the Dawsons platform to our main suppliers platform, ProQuest Ebook Central. 

Please search for your book on the Ebook Central platform website.

Unfortunately, due to publisher restrictions we have not been able to move all books to the Ebook Central platform.  We are currently working hard with various suppliers to retain our access to these books. 

If there is a particular Dawsons e-book that you need access to, but cannot find on the Ebook Central platform, please e-mail readinglistsonline@edgehill.ac.uk and we will do our best to secure access as soon as possible. 

Summer Reassessment

For some students the academic year hasn’t ended yet, so we just wanted to let you know that we are still here to support you throughout your reassessment period in August.

Are you online assessment ready? We know this round of assessments will be different but Library  and Learning Services are here to nelp you

You can find all the usual support on our UniSkills web pages and you might want to check out the exam preparation tab in particular. Here you’ll find information on goal setting, staying motivated, how to avoid common mistakes and links to some helpful online guides & tutorials.

Assessment periods can be a stressful time and you may be feeling anxious about completing your online assessment or resubmission. To help manage your worries it’s a great idea to start planning ahead now, so you are as prepared as possible for any unexpected problems on the day.

Take a look at our Online Learning and Assessments web pages where you will find lots of useful information which will should help tackle those fears head on. Here you will find online assessment guides and toolkit, a pre-assessment checklist and IT troubleshooting tips. Preparation is the key to exam success so here are our top tips to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the day:

  • Install Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox onto your PC or laptop as the University systems work best on these web browsers. We don’t recommend trying to complete assessments using a tablet or phone. If you don’t have access to a PC or laptop contact the Catalyst Helpdesk.
  • Read and digest any information provided by your tutors for the assessments you will be taking. It is a good idea to have the information about how the assessment will work clear in your head prior to the assessment date itself.
  • Make sure you have access to the software you will need, including Microsoft Word or another text editor. Remember that you have access to Office 365 and can download the software to your device for free.
  • Log into Blackboard on the device you will be using to check your access.
  • Update your alternative email. This is so you can easily reset your password should you need to.
  • Access our Help and Support guides which provide lots of step by step technical information on how to access and submit your assessment.

If you experience any technical issues, or would like advice and guidance on how to set up your technology in an optimum way for your assessment, then help is available by contacting the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually via email or live chat. The Helpdesk is available from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 6pm at weekends.

Last but not least good luck from everyone at Library & Learning Services. We know you can do it!

Catalyst now open but don’t forget your Unicard!

We have re-opened the ground floor of Catalyst and launched our Click and Collect Service as of Thursday 13th August. Here’s what you need to know about visiting Catalyst in August. 

  • Our opening times are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm 
  • You will need your UniCard to access the building as you are required to swipe in and out. This is to help manage our reduced capacity levels within the building.
  • The university advises that you should wear a face covering when moving around the building, but you won’t need to wear one when you are working at a desk or PC. 
  • During August, only the ground floor of the building is open. You will have access to study spaces with and without PCs, the printing hub and our Click and Collect service. 
  • You will be able to select up to 5 items for collection, for more details on our click and collect service please take a look at this page https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/library/?tab=click-and-collect

Unfortunately the help desk isn’t open but they are still here for you virtually.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Be Kind. Be Patient. Be Responsible

Get Started this summer with UniSkills

We are already looking forward to welcoming all the new students who will be joining us this September, and if you are a one of them and fancy a taste of what support UniSkills can offer you during your time at the University check out our Getting Started With UniSkills offer.

Getting Started With UniSkills

Getting Started With UniSkills is a series of webinars and toolkits to specifically support new students who will be enrolling at Edge Hill University this coming autumn, and there is a choice of three topics you can choose from:

  • Prepare Your Academic Resilience – will help equip new students with practical tools to nurture your academic resilience, help them recognise the qualities of a ‘growth’ as opposed to ‘fixed’ mindset, and help prepare them to feel confident in dealing constructively with feedback.
  • Introduction to Academic Writing at University – introduces new students to what academic writing is, and what it involves at university level. We will look at what to expect as a new student at Edge Hill University, how to get the most out of your learning and how to maintain your study motivation.
  • Research Skills at University discover more about developing your research skills in preparation for studying at Edge Hill University. We will introduce new students to the concept of academic information, the importance of using dedicated search tools to find information and discuss good note-taking techniques for carrying out your research.

New students are welcome to join our live webinars throughout August and September and can access the accompanying interactive toolkits at a date/time that suits you. Please note the toolkits will be live from mid-August, as they are being specially developed in conjunction with the live sessions.

For more information, and to book your place on a Getting Started With UniSkills webinar please visit our Getting Started With UniSkills web pages. And don’t forget to visit the university’s Getting Started web pages for further advice and support for all new students at Edge Hill University.

So, enjoy the rest of your summer and we will see you (hopefully in a webinar) soon!

Getting Started With UniSkills Logo