We know being away from campus over the last few
months has been difficult for many people and you may feel out of touch with
the university. If you want to reconnect, avoid that ‘summer slide’ and get a
head start for the new term in September, then our Summer UniSkills offer may be
just what you need.
Here in the Student Engagement team we provide a wide range of support designed to help
you develop your academic skills and confidence at University and beyond. Since
the University closed in the middle of March we have continued to support
students virtually and there are a number of ways you can access our services.
We have a series of online workshops on offer over
the summer which are an opportunity to dive
deeper into a specific skill that will support you on your academic journey.
Academic Resilience (new addition for the summer)
As well as our UniSkills webinars you can also book a 1-2-1 appointment throughout the summer months with an Academic Skills Advisor. If you have a specific assignment, or piece of research you would like support with, they can help you develop your academic writing & referencing skills and show you how to find resources.
If you’d prefer to study in your own time and at your own pace then feel free to browse the UniSkills web pages, available 24/7! Here you’ll find our interactive online toolkits which contain loads of handy tips and tricks to help you to brush up on assignment planning, critical thinking, punctuation, proofreading and much more. There’s also some really handy guides and videos too!
For 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 – 6pm.
To support staff with challenges such as moving teaching and learning online or effectively disseminating your research, we have developed a series of materials to enhance your digital skills and provide a greater awareness of the resources, services and support available to you.
What development is on offer?
The topics we cover include reading lists, research support, online & blended teaching, a Careers toolkit and more. A new package of materials is released every week, starting today with Reading Lists and Careers. The aim is to provide a suite of development resources which you can engage with at a time to suit you.
Live online sessions
Alongside the interactive materials, we will offer synchronous online sessions, making our session leads available at specific times to support you and answer any questions.
As we navigate the new challenges Covid-19 has presented, it has been remarkable to see our students (many of who are key workers, parents, and carers) stepping up and continuing to build their academic skills. Inspired by your unwavering motivation in our 1:1s and webinars, we began to think how UniSkills could expand on our usual writing, presenting and information skills offering, to support you too with overcoming any setbacks you might encounter during your studies.
From receiving a mark lower than you had hoped, to receiving overwhelming feedback, the new ‘Grow your academic resilience’ toolkit delves into the fascinating theory behind adopting a ‘growth’ or ‘gritty’ mindset, and how this can help you thrive at university. Discover how to set meaningful goals, create an action plan, and even reflect on your progress so far. There’s also the chance to take an interactive quiz to find out your current mindset – although be warned, the result might surprise you!
So if you’re feeling like you could do with an extra boost of confidence over the summer, or are simply determined to shift your mindset from “I can’t” to “I can” or “I can’t yet”, then mark 30 minutes in your diary to dedicate to a new, resilient you.
Alternatively, book your place and join us for a live ‘Grow your academic resilience’ webinar on June 30th at 3pm, where Academic Skills Advisors Claire, Helen and Maisie can guide you through the activities and answer any questions you have in real-time. Don’t forget to let us know how you get on by sharing your thoughts or activity results with @EHULearnService, using the hashtag #GrowYourResilience.
We appreciate that many of you have items still on loan, and are anxious to know how you can return them to the library, especially if you are soon leaving the University. For the time being Catalyst and Manchester remain closed and you are not able to return your books, either in person or in the post.
For those of you continuing with your studies
Keep hold of your items for now and, once the new term is underway, you will be able to return your items when you are next on Campus for teaching.
All the books you have on loan will automatically renew every 2 weeks.
Reservations have been temporarily suspended so all your books will auto renew throughout the summer.
You will not accrue fines during this period
Final Year Students
We will shortly contact you, via your university email, with further information on returning items and how to keep in touch with the university.
Please be assured, the University is working to government guidelines to find a way to safely open Catalyst, and other buildings, and we will share this information in the coming weeks. For the latest updates from the University, please visit https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/announcements/coronavirus/
In the meantime, stay safe and do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or if you need to discuss your specific circumstances: www.edgehill.ac.uk/askus
One of our main services to you, as the University Library, is providing access to high-quality academic resources and we do this in abundance – although at present you cannot access the physical book stock, you do have access to nearly 250,000 online resources!
Lots of eBooks remain multi-user, where available, with many extended to unlimited access until 30th June. We are also continuing to prioritise eBook purchases, looking into further electronic provisions and have a handy eBooks Guide to help you read online, or download, at your leisure.
If you come across any materials, such as books or journal articles, that are not currently accessible online then don’t despair – this isn’t the end of the line! Simply place a request via our You Want It, We Get It service, select the electronic option and we will do our best* to source a copy for you.
Many publishers around the world are still making additional content temporarily available to support teaching and learning where access to physical books and resources may be limited. Keep up to date with all of these extra resources, and how to access them, on the additional access to eResources webpage.
So, all these resources, and lots of ways to access them, may feel a little overwhelming but don’t worry because that’s another great service we provide – helping you find, navigate and make the most of all your online resources!
All the team in Library and Learning Services want to say a big virtual HELLO to all the new Fastrack students who are joining us from 15th June. We know that it is an usual time to be starting a new course but we would like to reassure you that even though the University Library is currently closed, there is still lots of help available. All our staff are working virtually to provide all the support that you would normally receive on campus.
The University Library, based in Catalyst, is currently closed but we do have an extensive range of online resources including thousands of eJournals and eBooks that you can access online at a time that suits you. Search for online resources via our Library Catalogue and Discover More. There are lots of guides, toolkits and videos available to help you access and make the most of these resources on our Finding Academic Information webpages.
Your DASS module will give you lots of information about how to develop your study skills at University. The UniSkills service is also available to provide extra help, support and guidance should you need it. We have webinars running all over the summer and we are also running a special webinar for Fastrack students called Grow Your Academic Resilience on 18th June at 11am and 2pm – put the date in your diary!
If you have, or think you have, a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia or dyspraxia then you can contact the SpLD team via email for more information about what support is available.
For general enquiries about resources for your study, IT related enquiries or academic skills support you can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk Monday to Friday between 08am and 8pm and Saturday and Sunday between 10am – 6pm.
Studying and learning online can seem challenging at first so why not check out our top tips for studying off campus. We would like to wish you all the very best of luck with your Fastrack course and we look forward to supporting you very soon.
With so many of us now working – and studying – from home, we thought you might be missing our friendly faces. With that in mind, our team wanted to reintroduce ourselves and give you a little reminder about who we are and what we do…
The Student Engagement team is part of Learning Services and can normally be found in Catalyst. You may well have met some of us (prior to lockdown) at one of our UniSkills workshops or 1-2-1 appointments, but if you haven’t, now might be the time to get to know us. Most of our team are Academic Skills Advisors, who meet with students to discuss any concerns they may have about their academic writing, referencing, searching for books and journals, making presentations etc. – the list goes on. This can be during a 1-2-1 appointment where we can focus solely on your work, or during a UniSkills workshop where we meet with you in small groups and tackle academic skills together.
Whilst we might not be able to meet with you face to face at the moment, we can still support you online via virtual appointmentsand webinars – we are only a couple of mouse clicks away. Why not check out the full list of UniSkills webinars we currently run, to see if there is something we can help you with. Webinars are great, as you can sit back, take the information in and ask any questions through the chat function – no video/audio is required. For 1-2-1 appointments we can use video/audio, but if you prefer not to, we don’t mind, as there is always the chat function available and you can type what you would like to say instead. All our support is self-bookable online through the links included above.
We hope that your academic writing is going well, but if you are
finding it difficult, please do get in touch and don’t struggle alone. Our team
is here to help.
Now over to
my colleagues, so you can see who makes up the team and find out a little bit
more about us all. I’ll go first…
Claire Olson – Academic Skills Advisor
Hello, I’m Claire, I’ve worked at Edge Hill for over 3 years and have enjoyed every moment. I love that I get to meet so many students and hopefully help them when they are struggling with their writing or referencing. Sometimes it’s just the opportunity to talk an essay through which helps and that to me is the best bit of my role.
Originally from Anglesey, in beautiful North Wales, I’ve been a librarian for over 20 years and I still provide support in finding, evaluating and deploying information.
However, within my role here at Edge Hill, I get to support students in developing their academic writing practice too. It’s great to see students develop and improve as a result of your intervention, be that through one-to-one appointments, workshops or embedded sessions. During these challenging times, I’ve been trying to make the most of the lovely weather by getting out on my bike.
Andy Tomkins – Academic Skills Advisor
I am a qualified librarian and have worked at Edge Hill for 13 years. My role involves helping students with referencing, finding academic information and developing their academic writing. This can involve one to one support, a UniSkills workshop or an embedded session arranged by your tutor.
I find it very rewarding to help someone with something that they may have struggled with and to see their understanding develop. I’ve been really impressed with the students I’ve helped during the current pandemic, that so many people are working hard under very challenging circumstances.
My main hobby is hillwalking and for much of the lockdown I wasn’t able to do this, something that was very difficult for me. Instead, I’ve been on lots of local walks and have noted the wildlife I’ve seen. As a result, my appreciation and knowledge of the area I live in, has really increased. That has been a big positive for me.
Helen Briscoe – Academic Skills Advisor
My name is Helen and I have worked in the Student Engagement Team for 18 months, but have been at Edge Hill University for almost 18 years! I love that my role enables me to meet so many students and support them with academic skills development, and couldn’t ask for a more friendly and encouraging team to work in 😊
Since starting in this post I have really enjoyed being involved in developing new initiatives such as UniSpeaks and Returning to Learning that enables students to come together in learning communities to support each other.
Currently, I am working from home with two teenagers in the house, so I always try to carve out some time to relax when I can. I am an avid reader and love cryptic crosswords which are a great way to become totally absorbed in something other than work or study. I also really enjoy jigsaws and am now onto my 3rd since the start of lockdown.
Sharon Pieroni – Academic Skills Advisor
I work with students to help them to develop new skills and to enhance existing skills, particularly in relation to academic writing.
During the lockdown, like many staff, I’ve been working from home. When I’m not working, I enjoy sewing and making clothes. To put this to use, I’ve joined the local For the Love of Scrubs group and we’ve made lots of scrubs for those working at Ormskirk and Southport hospitals, as well as for many Health Care Professionals from Edge Hill University. I’m happy that what I consider to be my ‘therapeutic pastime’ can help in a small way during this time!
Louise Speakman – Academic Skills Advisor
My name is Louise, the one with the lovely Wigan accent where you may need subtitles in a session or appointment to understand it, the accent that is not the work. I am usually based in the Catalyst but right now can be found in a workspace at home. I genuinely enjoy the total diverse range of students I see on a daily basis; I am selfishly thrilled when I see the recognition or light bulb moment on your face when something works, and I learn so much from you guys.
Lockdown has been tough for many of us, I invested in a second-hand treadmill, I did not want to splurge too much, I am hoping to leave the house at some point in the future. As well as discovering my friends can use online meeting software, this to me has been a very special piece of equipment physically and psychologically. #staysafe
Kat Molesworth – Academic Skills Advisor
I am usually based at the Manchester St. James’ campus but with the opportunity to work in Catalyst too – best of both worlds! Amongst other things, I really like meeting the range of students we have here at Edge Hill through UniSkills workshops and 1-2-1 support, talking about writing and thinking together with them, learning about what they are working on, and most of all seeing it when their hard work pays off.
During lockdown, my office has been in the kitchen, so I’ve tried to relax by growing some healthy vegetables with the help of my cat to cut the snacking (not sure it’s working yet!).
Whilst our Academic Skills Advisors spend a lot of time front of house, meeting with students face to face, we also have key members of the team backstage who keep us all on track and have the big responsibility of managing the team and academic skills provision…
Helen Jamieson – Head of Student Engagement
I’m Helen and I am responsible for the delivery of academic skills support – what we call UniSkills at Edge Hill. I manage the Academic Skills Advisors who deliver the support and manage the quality of the provision we provide.
I particularly enjoy using quantitative and qualitative data to improve service provision and plan new student-centred academic skills interventions. I have recently moved house so lockdown has been challenging on many levels! To relax I like to do yoga (currently via Zoom) and go for long walks while listening to a podcast.
Julie Nolan – Student Engagement Manager
Hi, I am Julie and I do a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ operational and organisational work to ensure the UniSkills offer runs as effectively (and smoothly) as possible for students. Amongst many tasks, this includes working with your academic tutors to coordinate our embedded UniSkills classroom sessions, writing informational and supportive online content for web and blogs, curating our student facing social media campaigns across all our LS platforms and responding to student support enquiries. I really enjoy all aspects of my job, but possibly my favourite part of the role is working closely with our fabulous Student Advisors who in turn offer you peer to peer support.
During lockdown, I have been able to spend more time in my garden and have been working hard to renovate the bottom third to reintroduced a (very overgrown!) greenhouse and vegetable patch…fingers crossed it isn’t all eaten by snails or, my English Bull Terrier, Dobby!
Alice Murphy – Student Engagement Officer
I’m Alice. My role is to co-ordinate a range of campaigns and initiatives
and support the delivery of academic skills support for students. I
particularly enjoy the interaction with students and team spirit. During
lockdown besides home schooling and working I have started running to ease
stress and relax.
Last but by no means least, we also have a fabulous team of Student Advisors who offer peer to peer support. They have written lots of blog posts about who they are and what they get up to, so do check out some of their previous posts to find out more about them and the support they provide.
We hope you have enjoyed hearing a bit more about the Student Engagement team. We miss seeing your lovely faces in Catalyst and hope we will see you all back on campus soon. In the meantime, you know where we are if you need academic skills support, so get in touch.
Take care and stay safe, The Student Engagement Team
For staff interested in developing their digital skills or looking for some staff development opportunities, the new ‘Getting Digital Ready’ Wiki pages have launched.
Since working from home it is fundamental that staff are still provided with the opportunity to develop their digital skills and get involved in staff development. Developed as part of the ‘My Staff Development‘ offer, ‘Getting Digital Ready’ has launched, aiming to provide staff with high quality interactive booklets, guides and videos to support them whilst working from home.
These newly developed Wiki pages by Library & Learning Services aim to support staff working from home with digital staff development opportunities. These pages include a variety of materials for staff to engage with, including bespoke interactive guides, support materials, videos and recommended LinkedIn Learning courses.
The interactive guides have been designed to support staff, enhance their digital skills and provide them with the opportunity to engage in staff development.
The guides have received much praise and success, with staff across the university accessing the guides over 500 times and spending on average 33 minutes engaging with the materials. Within these guides (divided into parts) staff will be able to develop their skills in focused areas, with videos to watch, links to webpages, guides and more.
The guides are being developed weekly in response to staff training needs and digital advancements. Content has included: Top tips for working from home; Microsoft Teams; Making documents accessible; PowerPoint: Recording and adding voiceovers; Microsoft Sway: Creating interactive presentations.
Staff have praised the guides, commenting:
“Really great bite size sessions you can explore”
“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to enhance my digital skills. I hope to learn lots more.”
UniSkills provides a wide range of support designed to help you develop your academic skills and confidence at University and beyond. Since the University closed in the middle of March we have continued to provide academic skills support, albeit in a slightly different way.
Our 1-2-1 appointments and UniSkills workshops (now webinars!) are being offered virtually using Blackboard Collaborate. Our webinar programme in May was really popular with a range of students from across all years of study, so we are delighted that our June programme, which includes all our popular webinar topics, is now open for booking!
Booking on a UniSkills webinar couldn’t be easier. There are no limits to how many webinars you can attend, so book your place today via ehu.ac.uk/workshops. You will receive a booking confirmation email immediately to confirm your place and, closer to the event, you will receive another email with more details on how to join your online session. Please note bookings close 24 hours before the webinar start time.
For a lot of students, the online assessment
period started on Monday 18th May and will run until Friday 5th
June, so it’s important to know how to access support should you need it…
Specific Support: if you need any
help with your subject specific content, the first person you should contact is
your tutor or academic department. This includes if you are struggling with any
deadline dates or understanding what you have been asked to do. Your tutors
will be able to offer further guidance on these types of queries.
Technical Problems: the Catalyst Helpdesk team are offering extended opening hours, and will be open from 7am on all assessment submission days, to support you as you complete and submit your assessment. You can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually, via email or live chat, if you have any technical issues such as accessing Blackboard or your university email account, opening documents, downloading/installing the FREE EHU Microsoft Office 365 software or any problems when you come to submit your work in TurnItIn. Don’t forget we have also produced a number of Online Assessment guides to help you successfully submit your work but if you do need to talk to someone you can get in touch…
Getting online assessment ready: there is lots of great assessment preparation advice available on the UniSkills webpages, including guides on setting goals, advice on how to stay motivated and helpful tools and techniques you can use for successful revision. We even have an interactive online learning package for your Online Assessments, which includes an online assessment checklist!
Additional support needs: We understand that working towards assessments at this time can be challenging, and if you have a specific learning difficulties (SpLD) such as Dyslexia our SpLD team are keen to support you towards feeling positive about this way of working and any upcoming assessments. If you need any additional support get in touch with the SpLD team to arrange an appointment or ask any questions you may have about the services and support available.
UniSkills: you can continue to access all your academic skills support online for help with everything from academic writing, being critical, paraphrasing, referencing, finding and navigating your online resources to creating effective search strategies. There are several ways you can access our support including:
SpLD and Learning Support Service: are committed to supporting students at the university who have or may have an SpLD, such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia, to develop study skills strategies and navigate your academic journey. There are many ways these teams can help you with exam preparation and assignment writing and our team of specialist study skills advisors are happy to meet with you through a virtual appointment to develop your study skills techniques. Contact the SpLD team to arrange an appointment or ask any questions you may have about the services and support available.
All of us in Library & Learning Services would like to wish you the very best of luck in your online assessments and remainder of your academic year!