All Aboard Revision Central 🚇

Spring is in the air and it is beginning to get warmer and lighter throughout the day. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing. It’s enough to fill anyone with joy and happiness. Until you remember that you’re a university student and you have a network of deadlines and exams (full steam) ahead!

Never fear, because UniSkills are here to help you on your revision journey!

We are offering a range of support throughout Revision Central (29th April – 17th May) including workshops to help you prepare for exams, practice those all-important presentation skills and help you arrive at your destination with assignments. Don’t delay, reserve your seat at one of these workshops today!

The full summer 2019 UniSkills workshops timetable is available now – printed copies will be arriving on campus shortly!

And don’t forget, Catalyst is open 24/7 so whether you are a sleeper train, or a morning express we can accommodate your study style. With dedicated silent study areas, individual and group rooms and our unique study pods available to book.

In addition to the workshops, from 7th to 17th May we will be hosting Revision Central Station on the ground floor of Catalyst. This is your platform where you can receive revision support to facilitate your assessment journey.

Take a study break and pay us a visit during these weeks and you will be able to pick up a Revision Survival Pack. These nifty little guides are full of top tips and strategies to help you reach your full potential and (if you catch the express!) you may also be in time to collect a FREE Catalyst goody bag! We will also be offering free healthy snacks and drinks, to provide your body with the ‘brain food’ it needs for an effective study session.

Throughout Revision Central you will still be able to access all our usual support services including;

  • Drop in (weekdays 11am-2pm) to the Catalyst Helpdesk for any quick queries
  • Book a peer to peer appointment with one of our knowledgeable Student Advisors
  • Book a 1-2-1 appointment with one of the UniSkills team for academic writing or information skills support
  • Ask Us a question anytime…and if you are studying away from campus there is lots of support available online 24/7 including advice and guidance around exam preparation on our UniSkills webpages and your My Library tab.

So, best of luck with your exams and next time you’re in Catalyst be sure to spot our inspiring quote of the day to help motivate and fast track your way to exam success!

Keep in touch with Library & Learning Services throughout your journey via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Digital Communication

The internet, social media and the media have now become an essential part of our everyday lives. Digital Communication is forever changing and evolving, with the sector becoming more dynamic and diverse in the way it creates and publishes digital content.

The Digital Communication pathway aims to provide staff with an understanding of how to communicate across various platforms, such as social media platforms and internet technologies, using new and exciting technologies to stay connected with others. It is important that staff are able to deliver quality content and information to a range of digital audiences in a way that is accessible and easy to navigate.

Upcoming Sessions

Presenting Yourself Online: Digital Footprint

It is important to be aware of your presence online, and to create a positive image of yourself for current and future employers to see. This session will help you to consider how to communicate effectively through a variety of digital tools to achieve this, as well as looking at the importance of online etiquette and online security.

Thursday 23rd May – 11am-12pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Twitter: Promotional Marketing

This session will introduce staff to online tools and strategies for creating engaging promotional material for Twitter. Social media is a key way to communicate with different audiences and it is important to know how to successfully create engaging promotional marketing material that will impact visual communications.

Wednesday 10th April – 3pm-4pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Digital Newsletters: Adobe Spark

This practical session will enable staff to create an eye-catching digital newsletter which can be shared online using Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark allows you to create your own unique and custom newsletter for your department or team in minutes, with a variety of templates, images, text and interactive features.

Tuesday 4th June – 2pm-3pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Digital Newsletters: MailChimp

This session aims to introduce staff to email marketing and how to make it exciting and eye-catching using MailChimp. By the end of the session staff will be able to create an email campaign using a variety of features (including text, images, links to websites and social media), send an email campaign to subscribers and track the success of the campaign.

Monday 3rd June – 3pm-4pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Whether you are an academic member of staff and want to use social media to connect with other academics and professionals in your field or you are a support member of staff looking to inform colleagues about new developments, then these sessions will give you an advantageous starting point to further improve your digital communication skills.

Digital Communication Badge

 

Don’t forget that you can now achieve a digital badge – so why not attend these sessions as part of this pathway?

 

 

Stay up-to-date with our latest developments on our blog and WIKI.

Photograph of Laura

 

Written by: Laura Riella

Digital Capabilities Coordinator

Session Focus – Word: Formatting Long Documents

This blog post will focus on a recently delivered session – Word: Formatting Long Documents, which is part of the new Digital Workplace Technologies offer.

What were the objectives of the session?

This session focused on using the features of Microsoft Word to put together long documents or formal reports, including using styles, creating tables of contents, applying section footers and working collaboratively with master documents.

Formatting long documents can be tricky, particularly when working with multiple pages  of text, figures and tables. This session aimed to navigate staff through the features of Microsoft Word that will successfully enable them to create a professional document that is clearly organised, structured and accessible. Page numbering can also make many people apprehensive, especially when you need the first few pages to be in Roman numerals and the rest of your document in Arabic numbers. Again, this session aimed to guide staff through this process, with lots of opportunities to practice and ask questions.

The session

This type of session lasts 60 minutes and enables staff to cover many areas of Microsoft Word and put their new knowledge into practice.

At the end of the session staff should be able to do the following in Microsoft Word:

  • Use styles to apply headings to a document
  • Create a table of contents for a document
  • Add captions and create a table of figures
  • Use section breaks and apply section formatting
  • Add custom headers and footers
  • Work collaboratively on a document
  • Work with master documents and subdocuments

The session took place in Oak room, Catalyst and provided staff with the opportunity to use computers to have a go themselves at formatting long documents. Modelling examples on the board, staff could then follow steps to format several long documents.

Personal Reflection Activity

At the start of the session I asked staff to write down on a post-it note how they currently felt about formatting long documents.

How do you feel before the session?

Staff responded with a variety of feelings towards the prospect of formatting long documents, with many using this session as an opportunity to develop their skills and refresh their current knowledge. How do you feel after the session?

After the session I asked staff to complete the same activity, instead now writing down how they feel after the session about the prospect of formatting long documents. The responses were dramatically different, with many staff feeling more confident, happier and sorted!

Members of staff said:

“A very clear and informative delivery while maintaining a friendly approachable setting.”

“It was brill and really informative! I found it really helpful.”

Upcoming Sessions

If you are a member of staff and are interested in improving your knowledge of formatting long documents on Microsoft Word, then take a look below at the upcoming sessions.

Tuesday 9th April 2019 2pm-3pm

Tuesday 16th April 2019 11am-12pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Stay up-to-date with our latest developments on our blog and WIKI.

Photograph of Laura

 

Written by: Laura Riella

Digital Capabilities Coordinator

Pure research management repository: coming soon…

You may have heard about the new research management repository – Pure.  When Pure fully launches on Wednesday 17th April, it will also contain all the outputs which would have previously been available in EHRA (Edge Hill Research Archive).  All research outputs will have a new home in Pure.

The new system isn’t available to Edge Hill staff or the public via the portal quite yet, we are busy building the system in the background.

During the preparation time, you won’t be able to submit any outputs.  The previous online form you may have used to get in touch with Library and Learning Services has now been retired.

When we launch Pure – which is entirely browser-based so you can access it on any device, smartphone, PC or Mac, using your Edge Hill log-in details – you will be able to deposit your outputs using the publication and research type templates available within Pure. This will make for a quicker and simpler process. The Research Support Team in Library and Learning Services will be available to help you with deposits and Open Access questions and queries.

There will be several training sessions to help you with deposits and the Open Access agenda, we will let you know more details when we have launched the system.  If you would like to contact us to arrange training email RefCompliance@edgehill.ac.uk

Library and Learning Services are responsible for the management of the repository within Pure and can be contacted via REFCompliance@edgehill.ac.uk.

This post has been amended: the launch date for Pure was originally listed as April 5th

UniSpeaks takes off!

Last month saw the first gathering of Edge Hill’s UniSpeaks group, and what a beautiful day to get together! The gorgeous February sunshine brought with it a small but enthusiastic group of students to discuss their fears and concerns about public speaking.

The environment was friendly and welcoming, and we were all able to share our worries about situations where we felt out of our comfort zones. Some were anxious about academic presentations, others about prospective interviews, and I am still nervous about delivering sessions to groups of students (despite it being my job!) … public speaking anxiety can happen to us all!

The discussion ranged from how people felt when they presented, to ideas about creating formal structures to follow in different situations. Some of the group also discussed times that they had experienced unusual ways of developing confidence in speaking in front of others, which has inspired an idea for an activity in our next get-together.

February’s UniSpeaks was an inspiring session, why don’t you come along and join us in March?

You can learn more about ways to present, join in the conversation, or simply sit back and watch others practice until you feel confident enough to have a go yourself at a later date.

Unispeaks runs on the last Wednesday of every month, and our next session takes place on 27th March at 2pm. Book here to join us: https://bit.ly/2Sv2yFy

World Book Day

Earlier this month we celebrated World Book Day! Our staff in Learning Services decided to display their love of books across our social media platforms. Individuals took part from our Ormskirk campus, as well as our Manchester and Aintree sites. We have picked out some of our favourites for this blog but if you would like to see all of the pictures shared then head over to our twitter page @LearnService 

Lots of pets got involved, from dogs to kittens and even rabbits! They all embraced their owners love of reading – 

More traditionally, kids were loving the opportunity to dress as their favourite characters – 

Our staff enjoyed dressing up and getting out and about to showcase their favourite reads – 

Finally, some staff preferred to take the creative approach to showcase their love of literature – 

Don’t forget, it’s not too late to get involved in world book day – here are our top suggestions on how to share a love of reading:

  • If you have any pre-loved books why not take them to a local charity shop? This is a great way to pick up affordable literature and spread the joy of reading.

  • Recommend a book you are currently absorbed in to a friend and ask for some suggestions from them. This way you can both enjoy a variety of books.

  • Visit the Catalyst, or your local library, and pick up a book from a genre that you have never read before. For example, if you normally read romance maybe try a thriller. You might be surprised to find something new which you enjoy. Our library in Aintree library has a brilliant collection of fiction books to motivate you to read for pleasure. Any students can browse these books using the online library catalogue and get them sent to either the Manchester campus library or the Catalyst.

  • Inspire the younger generation by taking the opportunity to read to a young person. This could be a family member, or you could volunteer at a local school or charity.

  • Start a book club with some friends. This can encourage you to read more as well as being social.

  • Come down to the Catalyst and see all the amazing books that are on offer, both fiction and non-fiction.

World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day!

This is a perfect day for you poets to get hands on with your poetry – but also the perfect day for you non-poets to start your path to poetry!

Luckily, for those wanting to get deep into poetry reading, I’ve handily compiled a list of poetry publications, all on offer within Catalyst. I’ve touched upon a range, including US poetry, BAME, anthologies and translated poetry.

  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen, 811.6/RAN
  • Valzhyna Mort, Factory of Tears, 891.799/MOR
  • Forrest Gander, Core Samples from the World, 811.54/GAN
  • Mina Loy, The Lost Lunar Baedeker, 811/LOY
  • Edge Hill Press, Atlantic Drift, 821/BYR

There are hundreds of other poets within Catalyst, but these are a few starting points for those wanting to sink your teeth into well-written, strong poetry. Why not use the library catalogue to search for other poets and anthologies yourself?

If you’re struggling to get started with your poetry, don’t worry, there are exercises you can try. Why not write a book spine poem? Here is my blog post on book spine poetry for you to try out.

Also, why not try blackout poetry? Blackout poetry involves taking a page of a book (a photocopy would be best) and blacking out words to have fewer words that create a poem! This exercise can forge brilliant lines that you can use in your poetry or can make interesting poems themselves. Why not give it a try in Catalyst?

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year BA Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library and Learning Services

National Conversation Week

 

What is National Conversation Week?

Sometimes we get lost in our phones, whether it be social media, texting or emails. Occasionally, we get so engrossed that we forget how to speak to people in our day to day lives – without resorting to memes or funny pictures. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it can be nice to have a conversation that is not made up of emojis and gifs. National Conversation Week is designed to help us embrace talking to our peers in a more meaningful way or a different way to how we normally would. I am guilty of keeping conversations with my friends going just by sending funny videos and pictures. By the end of the conversation I have often not learnt anything about how my friend is doing or shared anything about my own day. That is why this week I am aiming to reflect on each of my conversations and how they have benefited myself or somebody else.

How can I improve my conversations?

Edge Hill offers free access to LinkedIn Learning which is a website that lets you do courses in a variety of topics such as time management, leadership skills and how to have successful conversations. There are a range of short courses centred around conversations and you can even get a certificate at the end of it!

If you want to take your learning further there are plenty of TED talks on the art of having meaningful conversations.

I found the TED talks to be very insightful. There is one called ‘10 ways to have a better conversation’ which I enjoyed very much. Celeste Headlee put an emphasis on the importance of face to face conversations, taking the time to listen to people as well as being open minded and kind. Why not put it to the test? You might be amazed by all the exciting things that you learn about people and the world.

The benefits of National Conversation Week

  • It gives us a chance to reflect on how we converse with people and give meaning to our interactions
  • We can learn new tips and tricks on how to improve the quality of conversations we have
  • It could help improve relationships with family and friends
  • The skill of conversation is important when making new friends at university
  • It can also help us communicate better and in a clearer way with our lecturers and personal tutors

Some tips on how to have good conversations:

  • Be polite
  • Ask questions. This will encourage the person to go into more depth and to help you have a clearer image of what they are trying to communicate
  • Do not be afraid to say you do not know or understand something. Bill Nye said, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t”. This is a useful tip to keep in mind
  • Go into conversations with an open mind. If you start every conversation with the mentality that your mind will not be changed, then you will not learn anything, nor will the conversation be helpful
  • Listen – this may seem obvious, but how many times have you found your mind wandering during a conversation?

You can still use your phone!

National Conversation Week is not about trying to reduce people using their phones and other devices. These are important for keeping connected in a modern world. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired this week to have more meaningful conversations with your friends, and try to have more face to face conversations.

Written by: NATASHA TAPERA

2nd Year BA Counselling and Psychotherapy

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

UniSpeaks – Our Ethos

Through UniSpeaks we are building a community of positive support where those new to presenting or nervous about speaking in front of an audience can learn strategies and techniques to develop their confidence. UniSpeaks offers an opportunity for students to develop their own style in a safe space and enjoy peer-to-peer encouragement in a welcoming environment.

To ensure that we continue to offer our students the best experience, we did some research! Public speaking comes in many guises and, for most, the road to becoming a confident presenter has been a long one. Lots of speakers who now appear confident will admit to starting out a bundle of nerves and even doubting their own abilities. With this in mind we felt it was important for us to attend some speaking events, where we could witness for ourselves how these skills are developed.

So, we began big… TED talks are well-known globally for being one of the leading public speaking platforms in the world and they are accessible to the public through independently organised TEDx events. With TEDx Manchester taking place on Sunday 3rd February 2019, it was too good an opportunity to miss! We were able to witness an array of topics, speakers and styles. From the bold and exuberant to the quietly confident, all the presenters captured our attention and inspired us in numerous ways. Having learned how the seasoned speakers engage their audience, we then moved to focus on how we could successfully facilitate a safe space for public speaking.

To do this we decided to tap into current local events with the same ethos. We spent an evening attending the brilliant Ignite Liverpool, which brings together a range of ‘creators, thinkers, innovators, makers and dreamers’ to present in front of members of the pubic in an informal and intimate setting. By attending this event we identified the value in setting up a space where students can come together and support each other without our intervention. We came away idea-poppingly inspired, not only by the incredible range of fascinating topics presented, but by the enthusiastic, supportive and nurturing environment. The event was so motivating, that we are even considered the possibility of delivering our own presentations at the next event in May!

The combination of seeing public speakers on the big stage at TEDx Manchester, and the small stage at Ignite Liverpool, helped us to really appreciate the need for a small, local Community of Practice where anyone can share their experiences, and develop their confidence alongside their peers.

It was at this point we decided to delve into the pedagogy, identifying that routinely getting likeminded people together to share their knowledge (Wenger, McDermott and Snyder, 2002) could reap benefits in terms of developing communication skills and even a bank of useful resources (Bing-You and Varaklis, 2016). We also discovered that Communities of Practice tend to function well when they’re left to simmer on their own – to grow organically as ‘a process rather than an entity that can simply be set up’ (Pyrko, Dorfler and Eden, 2017: 390). For this reason, we’ve held back on some of our usual marketing, trusting instead in growth generated through the community’s own outreach.

We are proud to be creating UniSpeaks at Edge Hill and look forward to welcoming more students to be part of this innovative new venture. If you’re feeling inspired to join us book your place here (sessions take place on the last Wednesday of every month).

BING-YOU, R. G. and VARAKLIS, K., 2016. Organizing graduate medical education programs into communities of practice. Medical Education Online. 21 (1), pp. 1-6.

PYRKO, I., DÖRFLER, V. and EDEN, C., 2017. Thinking together: What makes Communities of Practice work? Human Relations. 70 (4), pp. 389-409.

WENGER, E., MCDERMOTT, R. A. and SNYDER, W., 2002. Cultivating communities of practice: a guide to managing knowledge. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

Get on your digital pathway – Digital Creation

As part of the Digital Workplace Technologies offer, we have created 8 pathways for staff to explore. These pathways have been specifically designed to allow staff to enhance their knowledge in that area in more depth.

What's new? Get on your digital pathway.The pathways include:

  • Digital Productivity
  • Digital Communication
  • Digital Collaboration
  • Digital Creation
  • Digital Wellbeing
  • Digital Proficiency
  • Digital Participation
  • Digital Learning and Teaching Technologies

 

Focus on … Digital Creation.

Digital images, infographics, videos, presentations and photographs are just some of the ways digital creativity can be expressed. Digital creation is the ability to create, use and evaluate digital technologies, designing digital materials to present and communicate information.

These sessions aim to provide staff with the opportunity to design and create digital materials, to communicate information, to learn about new pieces of creative software and to develop new digital talents.

Upcoming Digital Creation Sessions

Picktochart

Infographics are visually engaging ways to present information quickly and clearly, allowing people to learn about a topic without too much heavy reading. They often contain images and charts and do not use lengthy amounts of text. Piktochart is an online program which allows the free creation of infographics. This session will look at using Piktochart to create infographics which contain text, charts, images and videos and look at how these can be shared via print and online methods.

Thursday 28th March 2019 – 10am-11am

Friday 24th May 2019 – 11am-12pm

Book your session on MyView here.

PowToon

This session will introduce staff to the animated presentation software PowToon and explore the different features available for adding text, images, audio files and applying animations.

Tuesday 16th April 2019 – 2pm-3pm

Monday 3rd June 2019 – 11am-12pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Sway

This session will cover the basics of using Sway, a presentation software available as part of Office 365. Staff will learn how to navigate the application, how to add, edit and embed material, and how to publish their finished presentations.

Monday 25th March 2019 – 1pm-2pm

Wednesday 3rd April 2019 – 3pm-4pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Prezi

This session will look at using Prezi as an alternative way to create engaging and interactive presentations. This session will allow staff to create, design and share online presentations.

Friday 5th April 2019 – 11am-12pm

Book your session on MyView here.

Stay up-to-date with our latest developments on our blog and WIKI.

Photograph of Laura

 

Written by: Laura Riella

Digital Capabilities Coordinator