With the festive season creeping up faster than a reindeer can fly, you may find your motivation for drafts and deadlines is on a bit of a downhill slope. But never fear! In true UniSkills spirit we’re here to sprinkle your end of term sprint with a little more sparkle, and a little less stress.
From the 1st December, keep your eyes peeled for:
🎄Daily tree-mendous tips from your Student Advisors
🎄A wintery selection of UniSkills webinars
🎄Virtual 1-2-1 appointments with our Academic Skills Elves
No need to freeze your studies just yet, here’s what we’ve got in store until the end of term:
While you may not be rockin’ around the library, we still look forward to seeing you in our webinars, 1-2-1s and keeping in touch on our social media channels over the winter break. After all, you didn’t think we were going to leave you out in the cold, did you?!
The happiest of holidays from your Student Advisors and Student Engagement Team! 🎁
Having gathered all of your brilliant entries across Twitter and Instagram, we’re pleased to announce the following winners:
🏆1st Place: @MissBolton8 winning a £30 Amazon eVoucher
🏆2nd Place: @MissDundon winning a £10 Amazon eVoucher
🏆3rd Place: @MissShakeshaft winning a £10 Amazon eVoucher
And for those still in need of some study space inspiration, we’ve collated a few more of your submissions…
Sim told us that ‘…regarding students having to transition to blended learning is that it might be daunting and troublesome initially but it is important to adapt to the situation we are in and make the most of the experience using available resources since we are already in this scenario and if need be, do not be hesitant in asking for help if they need it!“
Elizabeth’s new desk has really helped her productivity and I think it’s fair to say we are all missing campus cat! 🐈
“blended learning [is] definitely a big adjustment but luckily I’ve a support network of great friends and really approachable tutors who are all happy to help me. I do miss face to face teaching though (and the campus cat!)”
Laura says sweets are essential study companions for student nurses! 🏥🍬
“Blending learning has been hard, but taking time to come to the library gets me motivated to keep working!”
Again, thank you all for taking part in #StudyHappyWeek, and for sharing your inspiring #MyEHUStudyHappySpace’s. Keep your eyes on our social media for your next campaign coming in December, as we prepare to keep you motivated right through to New Year 🥳
In a continuation of our Study Happy campaign we decided to extend the #MyEHUStudyHappySpace competition until Monday 16th November…so you still have time to enter and a chance to win up to £30 Amazon eVoucher!
Study Happy is all about finding the perfect study-life balance for you. Part of that process is your study environment. We know this year has been a challenge for many, so it has been super inspiring to see your #StudyHappySpace’s on social media: Twitter and Instagram.
Hannah (and Hank!)
“At first I struggled with online learning during the end of last semester. However this year I am much more engaged in the blended learning approach. I am thoroughly enjoying the present in person sessions and I am engaging well with the online sessions too. My little puppy Hank certainly helps to motivate me, when he isn’t trying to get my attention! I am enjoying being at home and engaging with the sessions in a secure and safe environment.”
“I think blended learning is good, I like having lectures pre-recorded so I can watch them at my own pace and around other responsibilities. I also like having my seminars in person as it allows me to share my ideas properly and have a good discussion with peers and tutors. I have 1 online seminar though, and I find that good as my teacher makes everyone feel really comfortable and really helps us get our ideas out and discuss using the text feature 😊”
Eleanor claims the benefits of surrounding her study space with plants helps her feel “…calm before I attempt to study, it helps me get in the right mind set 🍃🍃”
Georgia is proving size doesn’t matter when it comes to your favourite study space as she “…love[s] to work in the study rooms in the Catalyst 💫”
Jodi (and Rocky!)
“I feel Edge Hill have gone above and beyond in supporting the transition to online learning, I could not be prouder to be a part of the University. All of the teachers have showed amazing resilience and motivated me to do the same, I now feel ready for whatever teaching throws at me! 😄”
If you have been inspired by these entries, get snapping and share your #MyEHUStudyHappySpace with us on Twitter or Instagram. Remember to tag us (so we see it!) and use the #MyEHUStudyHappySpace to spread the important message of Study Happy!
With Christmas break just around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity to spend some time getting digital ready and learning about some new and interesting technologies.
Over the upcoming weeks, before Christmas, the Learning Technology Development Team have scheduled some fantastic sessions to get you up to speed with the latest technologies and support you with teaching and learning activities.
We understand that this is a busy time of year and in response have a variety of opportunities for staff development, including: live sessions, pre-recorded sessions, LinkedIn Learning Courses, online staff development toolkits and more.
Attending a live session with one of our team gives staff the opportunity to engage in discussion, ask questions and share ideas with other colleagues. Upcoming sessions include:
Achievements within the Blackboard, planning, implementing and monitoring – Thursday 12th November 12pm-1pm
Using Blackboard Collaborate with Students – Monday 16th November 12pm-1pm and Friday 4th December 12pm-1pm
Turnitin Dropbox set-up & Troubleshooting for Department Administrators – Tuesday 17th November 11am-12pm
Getting Started with Panopto: Basic Setup – Tuesday 17th November 11am-12pm
Vevox: Adding Interaction to online, hybrid and in person sessions – Monday 16th November 12pm-1pm and Tuesday 17th November 1pm-2pm
Using Microsoft Teams with Students (Part 3) – Wednesday 18th November (1pm-2pm)
Microsoft Teams (Part 1) – Thursday 19th November 11am-12pm
Microsoft Teams (Part 2) – Thursday 19th November 2pm-3pm
Making Documents Accessible – Tuesday 24th November 2pm-3pm
How to Deliver Engaging and Creative Presentations Online – Wednesday 25th November 1pm-2pm
Digital Tools to Facilitate a Flipped Classroom – Tuesday 1st December 1pm-2pm
Using Padlet to Facilitate Discussion and Interaction with Students – Thursday 3rd December 12pm-1pm
Getting Assessment and Grade Centre Ready – Friday 4th December 12:30pm-1:30pm
Another valuable resource for staff development is LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Learning is an online learning platform which contains a wide variety of courses on topics including business, management, design, photography, IT, marketing, media and much more.
As part of the My Staff Development offer, within each of the pathways you will find a range of LinkedIn Learning courses we have recommended. These have further been categorized into the framework of Build, Develop and Enhance.
We understand the importance of moving teaching and learning online, so in response to staff needs and seeking to enhance digital skills, Library & Learning Services have developed bespoke toolkits for staff to independently work through.
These toolkits aim to develop your digital skills and provide a greater awareness of the resources, services and support available to you.
I am really enjoying the move to blended learning, it’s nice to be able to work through study materials at my own pace and direct myself more. If I am reading through presentation slides and there is something that really interests me or something I don’t fully understand, I can go and research and come back to the presentation when I am ready. It has given me a lot more control and responsibility over my studies. My tutors have also been amazing with providing support over e-mail and through online meetings, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. There were a few teething problems at first with getting used to new technology but now that everything is settled, I’m happy with my new study arrangements. As I prefer to do most of my studying at home anyway, with blended learning I’ve been spending even more time here, so I have made myself a little study nook to work in. It’s got everything I need to stay comfy and relaxed so I can be as productive as possible. :
My Five Top Tips for Studying Happy
This semester a lot different than other years and we’re all adapting to a new way of learning, blended learning, that combines online and in-person sessions. And it is fair to say that most of us will be spending a lot of time studying at home. So, for this unique Study Happy week, here are my top five tips for staying happy and motivated when working from home!
1. Keep your workspace separated from your recreational spaces
This might be harder for those in halls because your workspace is in your bedroom, but it’s not impossible. When I was in halls, I made sure that my desk was reserved for work and everywhere else was for chilling out. If you can’t allocate a specific space for studying, try to allocate somewhere, like your bed, for relaxing. I find that having designated areas for working and relaxing helps me switch my brain into the right mode. Trying to work in a place where you relax can make focusing harder and trying to relax in a study-zone can make switching off harder too. Finding ways to help you get into the right mindset is important and designating a specific study-space helps me with that a lot, so it’s the first thing I’d recommend for students to adopt now that a lot of us will be studying from home more frequently.
2. Try out a procrastination-beating browser extension
First thing I should mention is that you should always be careful when installing things to your computer and check reviews/ratings of browser extensions before you try them. But if you have trouble managing your time and avoiding distractions, like social media, there are plenty of browser extensions that might help. Most of them work by blocking or restricting your access to certain websites but there are lots of different ways they do this. Some will block all websites for a set amount of time or at a specific time, some let you block or restrict specific sites and some block everything except the ones you add to a whitelist. There’s a lot of variety and they can be a lot of help if you find it hard to concentrate when you’re working alone without anyone to chastise you for watching cat videos instead of finishing that essay!
3. Get in a group chat!
Most people benefit from sharing ideas and talking ideas through together. When you’re spending less time with peers it might seem like you’ll miss out on that, but you don’t have to. Think about joining a group chat or setting up a study group. BlackBoard Collaborate (available on the VLE) allows screen-sharing so you can go through presentation slides together and work with other people. It also allows video and audio chat as well as text chat so you can pick whatever is most comfortable for you. A group chat can recreate some of the environment and collaboration of seminars and working with friends in general can help with keeping motivated. If you’re a more social worker, this might be a good thing to try out!
My course requires a LOT of reading, and one of the ways I get it done even when I’m not feeling up to it is with audiobooks. I like to listen to an audiobook whilst reading a physical copy/e-book because I find that it keeps me focused. This has come in handy a lot with online learning because it helps me manage my time better (since most audiobooks will say how long they take to listen too) so you can plan your reading more effectively and get through books more efficiently.
5. Talk to your tutors and get support from UniSkills!
Less face-to-face time doesn’t have to mean less support. You can contact your tutors via e-mail if you need help or even ask to set up a virtual meeting if you need to discuss your studies at length. And don’t forget about UniSkills! Although the support we offer might look a little different this year, we’re still here to help! We’ve moved a lot of our support online and have introduced Webinars, online seminars, that provide guidance for all things academic. From referencing to finding online resources, we’re adapting to distancing so you can get the support you need from the comfort of your home to make this year a great one!
That’s it for now! Even though this year is shaping up to be a bit unique, there are ways to make adapting to this style of learning easier. I hope my tips gave you some ideas to try out that will help you Study Happy this year!
I love blended learning! At first, I really struggled to adapt to working from home, with a new puppy and so many distractions it was a really big step away from what I was used to. I was quite overwhelmed over having to go through lectures myself however, I find it so much easier! It allows me to go through these lectures in my own time, which helps for topics I find more difficult. I usually commuted to University, so only being in one day a week makes so much more time to do more research for my modules and start to plan my assignments! Using weekly planners has really helped me to adapt to blended learning, as I provide myself a plan of what to do throughout the week and what goals I want to achieve! This has provided me some stability to ensure I am working throughout the day without getting distracted and also allows me to plan some ‘downtime’, whether this is walking my dog or catching up on Bake Off, which really helps to keep me motivated because I know when I get my next break!
My biggest struggle with blended learning was finding a space to do my studying, I tried to work from bed, but this left me unmotivated, but I moved away from my bed and onto a desk and it has improved my motivation to work! One of the best pieces of advice I could give for blended learning, is separate your sleep space from your workspace, getting out of bed and to a desk or table will make it a lot easier to concentrate on the task at hand! Adding my own personality to the space, with photos and decorations, makes me enjoy getting up and getting to my desk and I would advise everyone to do the same to make it more homely!
MY FIVE TOP STUDY HAPPY TIPS!
This year has led to a very different approach to University due to blended learning, with a lot of work being online it can be quite difficult to get motivated and if you are like me, you can find yourself procrastinating a lot. University is very different this year and can feel overwhelming, however, I have come up with a few Top Tips to make the move towards blended learning a little easier!
1. Make a schedule!
Your University Timetable will look a little different this year, with a mixture of on campus and online learning including live and pre-recorded lectures. Try to make your own timetable – there are resources available on Uniskills which will help you with this. This will help you keep on top of everything you need to do throughout the week, instead of panicking and doing everything before your face to face session. This is also really helpful for when deadlines start to arrive as you can prepare for these in advance.
This method means you focus your time in short bursts, around 25 minutes, and then take a short break. During this time, you fully concentrate on the task at hand, with no distractions. It helps to put your phone somewhere you cannot access it, such as a drawer in your bedside cabinet and download free apps such as ‘Pomodoro’ to help with this.
3. Keep your space tidy!
Whether you’re working in your bedroom, kitchen or any space in between, keep your space organised. A messy workspace will act as a further distraction! I find keeping on top of my workspace keeps me more motivated. A tidy room really does mean a tidy mind!
4. Get in touch with your course mates!
Speak to your course mates as much as you can, use sites such as ‘Zoom’ and ‘Microsoft Teams’ to have study sessions. These can help answer questions you might have regarding the topics you are studying and are also really important if you have group work. Studying doesn’t have to be something you do alone, having study sessions can make it more fun!
As part of #StudyHappyWeek, we asked our Student Advisors Lauren and Charlotte to introduce themselves and share their experiences of blended learning so far here at Edge Hill. Here’s what they had to say…
Hi, I’m Lauren. I’m currently doing an MA in English after having done my undergraduate degree here too, so I’ve been an Edge Hill student for five years.
I’m also a Student Advisor so it’s my job to provide peer-to-peer support and help other students develop their academic skills. I write posts for the Learning Services blog which is full of useful advice and updates (and which, coincidentally, I ended up on the banner image of!). I also help with the UniSkills webinars; online seminars that provide guidance for all things academic.
There’re sessions for everything from referencing to academic resilience, so they’re a great place to develop the skills you’ll need throughout your time as a student. Student Advisors are available all year to help make university life more manageable and fun.
I’m really enjoying the move to online learning, it’s nice
to be able to work through study materials at my own pace and direct myself
more. If I’m reading through presentation slides and there’s something that
really interests me or something I don’t fully understand, I can go and
research and come back to the presentation when I’m ready. It gives me a lot
more control and responsibility over my studies. My tutors have also been
amazing with providing support over e-mail and through online meetings, so I
don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. There were a few teething problems
at first with getting used to new technology but now that everything is
settled, I’m happy with my new study arrangements.
I prefer to do most of my studying at home and with online
learning I’ve been spending even more time here, so I made myself a little
study nook to work in. It’s got everything I need to stay comfy and relaxed so
I can be as productive as possible: scented candle, fluffy blanket, a bit of
nerdy decoration and a cuddly Pokémon to keep me company!
Hi! I am Charlotte, one of your Student Advisors working
with the Library and Learning Services Team. I am a third year History with
As a Student Advisor, I am here to provide support for
issues with a range of academic skills, such as how to use the Library
Catalogue and how to work TurnitIn and any other questions you may have! At the
minute this support is provided virtually through varying different means
including Webinars! The Webinars are a really big part of Uniskills this year,
I help with these by being a chat buddy to help with any questions you may
have! I will also be co-delivering a Webinar which will help you to move
forward with your academic skills! The ‘Moving Forward’ webinar will specialise
in referencing and proofreading, which will help you to ace your assignments!
Myself and my colleagues in the Library and Learning Services are here to help you! Use the UniSkills webpage to see all the services we offer! Make sure to sign up to webinars and we can’t wait to see you soon!
I love blended learning! At first, I really struggled to adapt from working from home, with a new puppy and so many distractions it was a really big step away from what I was used to. I was quite overwhelmed over having to go through lectures myself however, I find it so much easier! It allows me to go through these lectures in my own time, which helps for topics I find more difficult.
I usually commuted to University, so only being in one day a week makes so much more time to do more research for my modules and start to plan my assignments! Using weekly planners has really helped me to adapt to blended learning, as I provide myself a plan of what to do throughout the week and what goals I want to achieve! This has provided me some stability to ensure I am working throughout the day without getting distracted and also allows me to plan some ‘downtime’, whether this is walking my dog or catching up on Bake Off, which really helps to keep me motivated because I know when I get my next break!
My biggest struggle with blended learning was finding a
space to do my studying, I tried to work from bed, but this left me
unmotivated, but I moved away from my bed and onto a desk and it has improved
my motivation to work! One of the best pieces of advice I could give for
blended learning, is separate your sleep space from your workspace, getting out
of bed and to a desk or table will make it a lot easier to concentrate on the
task at hand! Adding my own personality to the space, with photos and
decorations, makes me enjoy getting up and getting to my desk and I would
advise everyone to do the same to make it more homely!
Keep an eye out later in the week for Lauren and Charlotte’s top tips for staying on top of your studies. Plus – don’t forget to enter our Study Happy Week Competition!
Study Happy Week helps you to find a study-life balance that works for you. Whether you’re a first year still finding your feet, returning to learning after a period of time, or juggling your assignments around other commitments, the UniSkills team are here to inspire and support you.
As a completely online event, there are plenty of ways to get involved:
Catch daily study tips from our Student Advisors on our social media pages
Win a prize for sharing a photo of your study space in the Study Happy Week Competition
Keep an eye out on the blog later in the week to see how our Student Advisors are finding blended learning
Book on a UniSkills Webinar
Access a range of useful guides and toolkits on the UniSkills webpages
There are lots of
UniSkills webinars available throughout the year, all of which are designed to
help you develop confidence in your academic skills for university and beyond.
From a quick
referencing refresh to handy paraphrasing strategies, they are a great way to
virtually meet both the UniSkills team and students outside of your course.
They are free to book and there are no limits on how many you can attend. Here is what we have in store during Study Happy Week:
For this year’s Study Happy Week competition, we’re asking you to send in a snap of your study space. Whether your bedroom or an outdoor spot, with pets or without, simply upload your photo to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MyEHUStudyHappySpace and tagging @EHULearnService for the chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher, or one of two £10 Amazon vouchers for the runners-up.
The prize draw is open to all EHU
students and staff (except Learning Services staff).
The winner will be picked at random
from a prize draw at 12pm on Monday 9th November 2020.
The prizes are non-transferable.
The winner will be contacted through
their Twitter or Instagram account and asked to confirm their EHU student/staff
The prize will be emailed to the Edge
Hill student/staff email address corresponding with the student/staff number
If the winner cannot be contacted or
does not respond before 23rd November 2020, the entry will become
null and void and a re-draw will take place.
Hello from our Student Advisors!
Here’s a sneak peek of
just some of the tips from our Student Advisors on how they ‘Study Happy’:
Keep your workspace separated from your recreational spaces
“This might be harder for
those in halls because your workspace is in your bedroom, but it’s not
impossible. When I was in halls, I made sure that my desk was reserved for work
and everywhere else was for chilling out.”
Get in a group chat!
“Most people benefit from
sharing ideas and talking ideas through together. When you’re spending less
time with peers it might seem like you’ll miss out on that, but you don’t have
to. Think about joining a group chat or setting up a study group.”
Try out a procrastination-beating browser
“First thing I should
mention is that you should always be careful when installing things to your
computer and check reviews/ratings of browser extensions before you try them.
But if you have trouble managing your time and avoiding distractions like
social media, there are plenty of browser extensions that might help.”
Keep your eyes peeled
on our social media channels from the 2nd November for more.
Student Wellbeing have lots of useful resources on their
webpages to support you in staying mentally and physically well during your
studies. Alongside signposting to a range of apps, websites and tutorials, you
can also book in and speak with a member of the team: edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/wellbeing/
Student Wellbeing have also created 2 digital workshops on perfectionism
and procrastination that you can work through at your own pace. Complete with
captions, these are perfect for those who might be struggling to get things
done, or find they spend so much time on one assignment it puts them behind on
the rest of their work: edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/wellbeing/groups-workshops/
Edge Hill University students going through a tough time can now access free online support with Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall). Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope, Togetherall can help you get support, take control and feel better. You will have access to a 24/7 online community and professional support from trained counsellors. Togetherall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.
To join, simply go to togetherall.comand sign up under ‘organisation’ with your Edge Hill University email address.
With #StudyHappyWeek going virtual for the first time ever, we look forward to welcoming you to our webinars, connecting you with our Student Advisors and seeing all of your fantastic competition entries. Remember, you can get involved as much or as little as you like!
Open Access Week is celebrated by universities and researchers from around the world, aiming to make openness a default value for research and how we share it. It could not take place at a busier time for academic libraries but, ever year the community comes together to share great practice and talks by inspiring individuals who are seeking to bring greater equity to research.
What was everyone doing?
There were loads of great events, but the British Library’s fantastic ‘Open and Engaged‘ conference stood out. This focussed on inequities in scholarly communications and showed what we can do to level the playing field for global research, so voices from researchers all places and institutions can be heard and valued. One takeaway was the need for ‘denorthernization’ – that is, shifting the focus away from just research written in English and from authors in the Global North.
What did we do at Edge Hill?
The Library and Learning Services Research Support Team ran a virtual poster exhibition on Twitter and delivered a webinar on sharing research and teaching materials openly on Figshare.
This poster promoted Edge Hill Pure, reminding researchers that by openly sharing your work, you can bring a whole new audience to it.
Tuesday– ‘the Invisible Researcher’
Here we highlighted ORCID, the research ID platform. This great initiative helps individuals with popular names stand out from the crowd and claim ownership of their research outputs.
Wednesday – ‘Don’t get held hostage by copyright’
Nothing illustrates copyright better than a werewolf! With this tweet we wanted to show how researchers can keep their copyright rather than signing it over to the publisher and by doing so, they can share their outputs far more widely and openly.
Like it or not, the open research movement (also known as ‘open science’) is gaining ground, and research funders are insisting on open research practices such as reproducibility and open access with zero embargoes. The future then, is looking bright for bringing true structural equity to research. Here we highlighted Edge Hill Figshare as a platform for making research outputs ore open.
Together with Dr Dawne Irving Bell from the Centre for Learning and Teaching, Liam delivered a webinar on sharing data openly with Figshare and introducing the National Teaching Repository, an open way to share teaching materials. It was great to show what we’re doing to make both research and teaching more open and accessible and discuss the benefits witht he community. You can here see the webinar recording here: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.13123106.v1
temporary click and collect service finished on Friday 16th October as
we reintroduce the reservation process to enable fair access to stock for all
students, including Distance Learners.
Users will be able to reserve items currently out on loan, as well as request items from our Manchester site.
will be able to reserve items currently out on loan, as well as request items
from another site. You
will not be able to reserve items which are showing available at Ormskirk, if
you are collecting from Catalyst.
will be emailed when your item is ready to collect, and you will have 7 days to
loans will automatically renew 3 days before their due date and, if the item is
not reserved, this process will continue with unlimited renewals.
manually renew items, without reservations, via the My
Account function in the library
catalogue or by contacting us.
item(s) are reserved, you will be notified by email, and the reserved item(s) should
be returned by their due date. Fines will start to accrue after a grace period
to allow for quarantine and fewer days attendance on Campus.
may take longer to fulfil as all returned stock is quarantined for 3 days prior
are shielding or self-isolating & require access to library stock, please
contact us ehu.ac.uk/askus