UniSkills Workshops – Spring 2020

New Year'S Day, Target, Resolutions

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!

Want to get your research out there?

Some tips for promoting your research online and tracking how it’s doing

Logos of three different tools: Figshare, Almetric, and The Conversation

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.

Figshare

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

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.

An altmetric figure (sometimes called a 'donut') showing the figure 2249.
An Altmetric ‘donut’ showing the score received by the paper ‘Herring gulls respond to human gaze direction’. The different colours represent different sources of impact.

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 research@edgehill.ac.uk.

‘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.

The Conversation

the image shows a man walking in London. He is dressed in Union Jack clothing, which covers the top half of his body. Big Ben can be seen in the background.
A recent article in The Conversation published by an Edge Hill academic

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.

New Year, New UniSkills!

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.

Moodboard of images

Mindset Matters

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.

You Want it, We Get It!

From our Collections and Archives Team

You want it we get it logo

If there is a book, chapter, or journal article that you want to read but can’t find through our library holdings, ‘You Want It, We Get It’ is the service to go to!

The combined service provides a one-stop-shop for all your access requests. Simply fill out the request form with as much detail as you have, and we’ll do the rest.

We’ll contact you once a route to access has been established, whether that be Inter Library Loan, a purchase on your behalf or on the rare occasion where we can’t get it.

You can find the request forms and further information on using our services here: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/library/ and by clicking on the ‘You want it, We get it’ tab.

Catalyst Pin Camera

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!

Neill Cockwill
Neill Cockwill, Media and Performing Arts Technology Development Manager

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.

Pinhole Camera in situ
Pinhole Camera in situ

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.

Actual image from pinhole camera
Actual image from pinhole camera

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!

Final processed image
Final processed image – comparison shots 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!


Written by Bill Bulloch
Catalyst Helpdesk Advisor

Study Tools: Box of Broadcasts

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.

Box of Broadcasts
Image : https://s3.amazonaws.com/libapps/accounts/21650/images/BoB1.jpg

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.

If you’re unsure of how to used BoB it really is simple (especially when you know how), but these helpful video tutorials provide a bit more information on how to make the most of what BoB has to offer: http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/bob/bob-video-tutorials

So, if you’ve not watched enough festive TV this season why not take a look at what BoB has to offer before you see in the new year!

Student Advisor Maisie
Maisie Masterman – Student Advisor
BSc Primary Education with QTS – 3rd Year

Submitting Your Assignment: Tips from a 4th year…

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!

Tips and Tricks for submitting your assignment. Tips from a 4th year.

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!)

Use Microsoft 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.

Highlight where you have answered the questions / met the learning outcomes

It 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.

Textbook highlighted

Check for incorrect spelling and grammar

Thankfully, 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).

Check that the format is correct

Does 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

If 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.

Look at previous feedback from tutors

Feedback 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.

Check your originality report

Turnitin 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 correctly.

DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE

Take 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 smooth submission.

So… 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 important.

Happy submitting!

Student Advisor Dylan
Dylan Booth – Student Advisor
MA Creative Writing

Which Edge Hill research gets the most attention?

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.

The Altmetric company logo

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’:

A screenshot from Pure showing that the article has an Altmetric score of 24
A journal article presented in Pure. An Altmetric score of 24 is displayed

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

An image showing the top scoring research for the Faculty of Education. Professor Tim Cain is the author of the highest scoring piece, which received 54 based on Twitter users.

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

An image showing the top scoring research for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Dr Linda Kaye is the author of the highest scoring piece, which received 157 based on news outlets and Twitter users.

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.

Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

An image showing the top scoring research for the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine. Professor Lucy Brayis the author of the highest scoring piece, which received 67 based on Twitter users and one news outlet.

Scoring 67, the article by Professor Lucy Bray, Victoria Appleton and Ashley Sharpe was followed by papers by Richard Williams and Emma Jayne Pearson et al. ‘The information needs of children’ was featured in ‘The Medical News’, which focused on the study’s use of the Xploro app with children to reduce anxiety about hospital procedures. All three articles here were published open access and benefitted from attention via Twitter.

Contact

If you would like to know more about altmetrics, please contact Liam Bullingham, Research Support Librarian: liam.bullingham@edgehill.ac.uk.

Sage Research Methods: here until 13 Feb!

We have a trial to Sage Research Methods, a resource to answer all your research methods questions until 13 February 2020.

An image for Sage Research Methods. In the image, a laptop, books and other items can be seen. The slogan reads 'what every researcher needs'.

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:

This shows the Methods Map , which is a model displaying how different research methds relate to ewach other. This particular image displays survey research.
You can choose any research method in the Methods Map and see how it relates to narrower or broader terms and concepts

Access over 1000 searchable ebooks to give an edge to your work such as ‘Corrupt Research’:

A cover image for the ebook 'Corrupt Research: the Case for Reconceptualising Empirical Management and Social Science'.

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.

An example video called 'Learning to Design a Survey Study'

The trial lasts until 13 February, but if you want us to keep Sage Research Methods let us know! Please email eresources@edgehill.ac.uk and tell us how you feel.

You can access Sage Research Methods here: https://edgehill.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://methods.sagepub.com

A poster promoting Sage REsearch Methods. It shows a picture of a gorilla with the slogan 'there's method to the madness'.

#EHUKeepCalmSubmit Competition 🎄

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  

If the 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
  • Write your study tip on the entry form
  • Take a study sElfie with your tip and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
  • 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.