Another year, another jam-packed schedule of UniSkills workshops! What better way to start the decade than making sure you’re equipped with top tips and strategies to succeed in your studies?
To kick start this year’s programme, the Student Engagement Team have put together three extra special workshops under the theme of New Year, New UniSkills. Put those Pinterest skills to good use at Ready, Set, Goal, learn what it means to be academically resilient at Mindset Matters, or simply drop in for a second-eye over those comments at Feedback Focus.
And, if that’s not enough to put a spring in your step this semester, our timetable is back with all your usual favourites. Master those pesky in-text citations at Harvard Referencing, avoid accidental plagiarism with Become a Paraphrasing Pro, and say goodbye to presentation jitters with our welcoming community of practice, UniSpeaks. Usually held over a lunch time in Catalyst, integrating a workshop (or two, or three!) into your weekly routine has never been easier.
Never been to a UniSkills workshop before? Never fear! As much as we love seeing familiar faces (you know who you are), our sessions are welcome to everyone – not to mention they’re a brilliant way to meet students from beyond your course.
Don’t forget to pick up our latest timetable when you’re next on campus (rumour has it there’s some lurking by the Catalyst printers), but in the meantime here’s what’s in store:
As much as we’re sure we’ve got you covered with the above, do let us know in the comments below if you dream up any other workshop ideas to get your academic cogs into gear. So, get those dates jotted in the diary & in the meantime – we’re all ears!
Some tips for promoting your research online and tracking how it’s doing
After doing the research and getting your outputs published, it can feel like the dissemination will surely take care of itself – you can tweet it, make it open access on Pure (if the publisher allows) and let your networks do the rest right? This works to an extent, but there are some great tools out there to push it even further.
Set up in 2019, Edge Hill Figshare is a home for any research materials worth sharing that don’t have a home elsewhere such as datasets, figures, conference presentations, or posters. These can be added to Pure in some cases, but Figshare visualises them an brings them to life. For example, by sharing a poster in Figshare like this PhD student has done, you can connect it to a global community, give it a DOI, and track any views, downloads, or altmetrics activity. This exposure also provides an opportunity direct traffic back to your research outputs. To get started, just go to the site, log in and share something. Learning Services can provide, help, advice, or training sessions.
Altmetrics track research impact via social media channels, websites, policy documents, blogs, Wikipedia, etc. They demonstrate impact far quicker than citations, and can track engagement beyond academia. For example, one 2019 study about how the human gaze can deter seagulls swooping to take food like chips received global exposure across news media, and this is reflected in the altmetric count, but in academica it has yet to accrue many citations.
Workshop: ‘Promoting Research Using Social Media’
On 25 March 2020, Dr Costas Gabrielatos from English, History and Creative Writing is running this workshop. It discusses the combined use of academic networking websites (e.g. Research Gate, Academia) and social media to make reseach visible and accessible. All staff and research students are welcome – either book via MyView or email email@example.com.
‘Maximizing dissemination and engaging readers: The other 50% of an author’s day: A case study’
This paper has some great tips for disseminating research across and beyond our regular bubbles echo chambers. This includes harnessing the power of influencers and taking the opportunity of conference hashtags.
Definitely worth trying, this platform enables researchers to work with journalists to present their research for broader audiences and reach new readers. The company is coming on campus in February and March and you can book a one-to-one with one of their highly expereinced editors.
January is the perfect time to wipe your slate clean and set some study resolutions for the year ahead. Whether you’re a chief procrastinator or struggling to decode feedback, UniSkills have curated a selection of motivation-boosting workshops to have you back on track in no time.
Ready, set, goal!
Monday 20th January 2020
This creative session will help you visualise and set achievable academic goals
Need some motivation this January? Visualising your academic success can help inspire you to set goals and keep you motivated. Be prepared for this semester and beyond by joining us to creatively explore academic goal-setting strategies. This workshop will help you to think about how academic success might look to you, and will offer you the chance to create a visual representation of this to take away. Secure your place now.
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Come along to this session and find out why your mindset matters to your success
Whilst success and getting things right is brilliant, we can also learn a lot from our mistakes. How we approach setbacks and failure can depend greatly on our mindset, this session will therefore provide you with tips to help foster your growth mindset and move away from fixed mindset thinking. If you want to think about why you study the way you do, how you could make changes and become a more resilient student – then this is the session for you! Secure your place now.
Focus on Feedback
Friday 24th January 2020
Join us at this drop-in session to get the most out of your assignment feedback
Your tutors provide a wealth of constructive comments and suggestions, but do you always know how you can improve your future work based on their advice? If you’re unsure, then this is the session for you. We’re here to help you make the most of your feedback, so that you can put together a plan and put it into action. All you need to do is bring along your feedback and get planning! Secure your place now.
Ready to channel your inner artist, reboot your mindset or conquer your ‘criticality’ once and for all? Book your place on the above workshops here, or speak to the Catalyst help desk team.
As a student in Edge Hill back in 2014, I saw a news article on the Edge Hill website about an amazingly ghostly photograph taken with a pinhole camera, over the course of 312 days, documenting the construction of Creative Edge. The simple camera made from a box with a tiny hole in lieu of a lens, loaded with photographic paper, was left in place on a fence post; enduring all weathers and the construction going on around it to capture the image.
Shortly after the Catalyst Roof garden was opened on the new Library and Learning Services, Student Services and Careers building, giving stunning views across campus and across into Snowdonia, I thought it might be a good idea to try and repeat the process with a pinhole camera on the Catalyst roof.
I contacted Neill Cockwill, Media and Performing Arts Technology Development Manager, who had made the original image to see if it would be possible. Neill was really enthusiastic and supportive of the project and he gave me a crash course on pinhole photography!
The camera could be made from almost any kind of sealed container, so for convenience I recycled three coffee cans and drilled a tiny hole, calculated to allow a clear image to be captured on photographic paper inside the can. These were then situated on the rails on the roof garden, to gather images of the garden over a period of several months, from the start of semester in September 2019 to its end in 2020.
After four months, as the Christmas holidays approached, I decided to take one of the cameras down, to see how successful the project had been so far. On Wednesday 18th December 2019, I carefully removed one of the cans from the rail and dashed over to Neill’s office in Creative Edge. On opening the can we found that water had leaked in, carrying a little rust onto the paper. But to my surprise and delight, the photographic paper had recorded an image of the view from the roof across to Scarth Hill. Neill quickly dried the paper and popped it onto the scanner and reversed and adjusted the image to a positive.
Although the water had damaged the image slightly, the ethereal image of the lake and the corner of Creative Edge appeared, but most importantly, the solography effect caught the passage of the sun across the sky, in beautiful streaks and even caught its reflection in the lake below!
The two other cameras, capturing views across the roof garden itself will remain in place until the end of the academic year in May 2020. We look forward to sharing more images with you in the new year!
Whilst Catalyst is home to thousands of books and a multitude of journal articles available online, Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is another great resource to help enhance your assignment writing.
BoB contains over 2 million online resources dating back to the 1990s and includes all your favourite channels such as BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4. TV shows, documentaries and other media formats are great ways to access research if you want to give your reading eyes a break.
With programs dating back over 30 years you can easily
create playlists of topics to suit your needs and analyse trends and patterns
of research to create a wider more informed view that will help in your assignment writing.
Besides assignment writing BoB can also be used to catch up on the latest TV shows and films as well as live programs. Available on all devices you can watch live; request and record and create your own playlists and it perfect for on the go viewing. It even has an easy to search format that helps with academic referencing.
Once you’ve finished your assignment, closed those 300 tabs you’ve had open for days and tidied up the remains of endless coffees and snacks, all you want to do is to upload your work to Turnitin and never see it again. But… you’re not quite finished. There are things to do BEFORE submitting your assignment. Luckily, I’ve put together some tips and tricks for submitting assignments. Trust me, as a fourth year, these are handy!
Check to see
if your references are complete
Depending on what subject you study depends on what referencing style you use. Each referencing style will have their own sets of rules and if used incorrectly, it could lose you a few marks! Make sure you are checking over your references by using a referencing guide – these are available from your My Library tab on Learning Edge. (If you’re struggling with your referencing, you can even book a peer to peer appointment with one of us Student Advisors!)
Word’s “Read Aloud” feature
Microsoft Word has a brilliant feature that will read your assignment aloud, helping you to hear where you might’ve made a mistake, or where a sentence is not as clear as you wanted it to be. Make use of this tool! To launch the Read Aloud feature go to Review and locate the Read Aloud feature. Take a look at the Assistive Technology pages for more great support.
where you have answered the questions / met the learning outcomes
can be easy, especially in essays, to go off topic and start writing about
content that doesn’t answer your topic question. Go through and highlight
places where you have answered your assignment title or question and try to
think of areas where things could be tightened or strengthened.
incorrect spelling and grammar
Microsoft Word often does this for you without you having to lift a finger.
However, if you’re like me, you might make spelling or grammatical mistakes
that Word might not pick up. For example, I often use words that are not in the
right place, or use an alternative correct spelling (e.g. there, their,
they’re). Also, make sure that you are avoiding contractions (can’t, shouldn’t,
won’t) and idioms (e.g. at the end of the day).
the format is correct
your assignment follow the formatting rules for your course? Usually, courses
will outline preferences for the format of assignments, so they look
professional. For example, they might specify a font style, font size, spacing
etc. Check with your module handbook or tutor if you are not sure.
Take a break
you have time, leave your assignment for a few days to allow yourself to come
back to it with a clear mind. Looking over your assignments with fresh eyes
will help you notice where you have made mistakes, or where you think your
assignment might need more work.
previous feedback from tutors
from previous assignments is your best way of achieving a better mark. Looking
back over you tutor’s comments and acting upon them will show that you have
developed and improved since your last assignment.
will provide you with an originality report that will let you know what
percentage of your assignment is matching other materials. The originality
report shouldn’t be used as a proofreading tool. However, you might want to
have a look through to see if you have referenced all of your quotes and ideas
DO NOT LEAVE
UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
this advice from an MA student… submitting your assignment at the last minute
can go awful if Turnitin goes down or is under scheduled maintenance. Make sure
you submit your assignment a few days before the deadline to ensure an easy and
that’s a wrap on my tips. Of course, there are many more things you could do
before submitting your assignment, but these are the tips I’ve found the most
Using Altmetric data, we can get a picture of the most-mentioned research from Edge Hill in terms of news media, policy, bloggers, social media and more. Here are the top results, broken down by faculty.
Altmetric is a company which provides an ‘attention score’ for research, measuring the number of times an article, book chapter, conference paper, etc is mentioned in government policy, on Twitter, in the news, or even in Wikipedia articles. In calculating the score, some sources have greater weighting than others – news mentions score higher than tweet for example. The score is visualised using a spiral, sometimes called an Altmetric ‘donut’:
In the above example, the Altmetric donut is blue and red – the blue part represents the number of tweets, and the larger red area represents news media.
In this excercise, the top 50 Altmetric scores for Edge Hill University research from November 2018 – December 2019 were recorded. The top three scoring research outputs for each faculty are presented below.
Faculty of Education
Research by Tim Cain, Karen Boardman and Annabel Yale received the highest scores. The primary source of attention for the research was via Twitter users, so the Altmetric ‘donuts’ display a blue colour. Professor Cain’s article benefitted from being free-to-read for a short period of time, which many education professionals sharing the access link.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Research by Linda Kaye, Gray Atherton & Liam Cross and Andy Sparks received the highest scores. Dr Kaye’s research benefitted from broad news outlet coverage – it was mentioned by The Telegraph, Yahoo, and many others and generated headlines such as ‘Spending a Lot of Time on WhatsApp May Actually Make You Feel Less Lonely And Boost Your Self Esteem‘. The next highest scoring research was ‘The Animal in Me…’ which received most of its attention via Twitter (193 tweets) and like the paper by Dr Sparks, is open access.
We have a trial to Sage Research Methods, a resource to answer all your research methods questions until 13 February 2020.
Sage Research Methods is an online platform with ebooks, videos, and tools that provide authoritative information on how to perform hundreds of research methods. The material is perfect for academic work, and is definitely worth using in your bibliography!
Use the Methods Map to learn about the features of a particular research methods and link through to relevant ebooks and videos:
Access over 1000 searchable ebooks to give an edge to your work such as ‘Corrupt Research’:
There are over 125 hours of videos, including tutorials and expert videos. Each video includes a trascript which auto-scrolls, allowing you to follow it through playback.
The trial lasts until 13 February, but if you want us to keep Sage Research Methods let us know! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how you feel.
We know this
time of year can be stressful with deadlines nearing and exam revision to do, on
top of an ever-increasing demand to be social for all those festive activities!
We want to help
ease the burden a little and give you a reason to carry on ploughing through
until the end of term, with our week-long campaign in Catalyst. Keep Calm
and Submit is happening 9th-13th December and you can
read all about what’s happening in our blog: tinyurl.com/EHUKeepCalmSubmit19
festive fun, study tips and exam revision prep is not enough, why not take some
time to join in our #EHUKeepCalmSubmit competition!
How to enter:
Pick up a competition entry elf from Catalyst – we will be handing them out around the building or you can collect one from the ground floor desk event space
Include #EHUKeepCalmSubmit and make sure to tag us in for your entry to count
So, come out of the freezing cold and join us in Catalyst to take part…we don’t mind if your sElfie is a resting Grinch face or happy little elf…and you could be in with a chance to win a £25 Amazon voucher or UniSkills festive goodie bag prizes! Who wouldn’t want to win a prize so close to Christmas?! Terms and conditions apply, see below.
Keep Calm and Submit Competition Terms and Conditions 1. Only EHU Students are eligible to win prizes, EHU staff may enter but are not eligible to win a prize. 2. Eligible competition entries must contain a sElfie photo with one of the competition elves. 3. There is one £25.00 Amazon voucher to win and two runners up UniSkills goodie bags. 4. You may enter the competition as many times as you wish, but only one entry will be entered in the final prize draw. 5. Only entries posted between 11am Monday 9th December to 4pm Friday 13th December will be eligible to be entered in the prize draw. 6. The winners will be contacted via their social media account and you must be able to provide your student number as identification to be eligible to win the prize. If no student number can be provided your entry will be null and void and another winner will be drawn. 7. The winners will be picked at random from a prize draw on Tuesday 17th December 2019. 8. The prizes are non-transferable. 9. All winners must be able to collect the prize from the Catalyst Helpdesk and be able to provide evidence/ID that they have won before we will award the prize. 10. Prizes must be collected by 4pm on Friday 20th December 2019. 11. If anyone cannot be contacted or prizes are not collected by Friday 20th December 2019 the entry will become null and void and a re-draw may take place in the new year.