Students: Build Accessible

What is accessibility?

You may have heard the term ‘accessibility‘ but do you know what it is and what it means for you? New regulations mean all public sector organisations have a legal duty to make sure their public facing websites, and internally shared content, meet accessibility requirements. Creating accessible content means you are ensuring it can be accessed and understood by as wide an audience as possible.

Four blue and white symbols that represent a range of disabilities including physical, audio and eyesight.
Accessibility supports all users to access and understand the content you are creating.
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Moving Forward With UniSkills

Do you struggle with referencing? Are you not sure of the difference between proofreading and editing? Then our fantastic Moving Forward With UniSkills webinars could be right up your street! They’re designed as a follow up to the Getting Started With UniSkills webinars that we ran earlier in the year, but if you didn’t attend those sessions, don’t worry you can still to come along to this one. They’re co-designed and co-delivered by your Student Advisors, myself (Lauren) and Charlotte and are useful for first year students who want to start developing their academic skills further or for anyone just wanting a refresher on the basics.

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eBooks: we want your student feedback!

eBooks! Love them, hate them or never used them? What ever your level of experience we want your feedback!

One of our main services to you, as the University Library, is providing access to high-quality academic resources. Since the pandemic hit we’ve prioritised eBook purchases and we want to find out how they’re working for you. As part of this process we’d love to hear your experiences, as a student using them (or not!) at Edge Hill University, so we can continue to improve our services. Complete our very quick survey and you could even be in with a chance of winning a £20 Amazon eVoucher.

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New Year, New Students: Welcome from Library and Learning Services.

Hello and a massive welcome to all new students starting courses this January, we look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all. We are the Student Engagement team and we are here to provide support with all aspects of academic skills. Although this year may feel a little different please be reassured that we are here to support you!

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UniSkills Spring 2021 Webinars

Semester one was a huge success with over a thousand of you booking onto one or more of the 64 UniSkills Winter Webinars we delivered between September and December 2020! But the fun (and learning!) doesn’t stop there! As we are here to support you throughout your entire course at Edge Hill University we would love for you to join us again this semester as we launch our UniSkills Spring Webinar programme!

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Get Set to Goal Set with your Student Advisors

Now that the whirlwind that was 2020 has come to a close and we’ve entered the part of 2021 where every conversation includes the phrase, ‘do you have any New Year’s resolutions?’ I’ve got a question for you; do you have any academic New Year’s resolutions?

My big goal for this year is to manage my time better! Like most students, I’m so busy with assignments and other commitments that it can be a bit chaotic to try and get everything done on time. It’s not unusual for me to work well into the evening, which isn’t exactly the best study habit to have. Time management is a big source of problems for a lot of students so here’s a quick post to share how I’m going about sticking to my study resolution this year. These strategies aren’t just specific to my goals though, whatever your study goals are, hopefully these points will help you in setting and sticking to your aims.

1.       Break it down

Having a big goal is great but wanting to ‘have better time management’ isn’t very specific. It’s good to have idea of what you’re going to do to reach that goal. For me, that means setting rules such as ‘no working past 10pm.’ It’s much easier to stick to a New Year’s resolution when you know exactly what you need to do, not just what you want as an end result.

2.       Give yourself a time frame

A year is a long time, it can be easy to put things off or lose steam when the goal is so far away so it’s a good idea to give yourself smaller deadlines that are more manageable. I like to set quarterly goals every three months because that time frame is short enough that I’ll stick to it but long enough to get a substantial amount done. What works for you will depend on your preferences, so think it through and choose what is best for you.

3.       Work with friends

If you and a friend both want to improve your timekeeping, why not get together (virtually) and make study timetables together? Keeping each other on track is a great way to stick to your plans and make it more fun. Even if your goals are different, just sharing them can help you stay motivated.

4.       Don’t overwhelm yourself at the start of the year

It can be easy to get carried away with everything you want to do and end up with a mile-long list of goals for the year, but that might not be the best approach. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s probably best just to pick a few goals to work at steadily rather than burning yourself out within a month.

5.       Come to a UniSkills session

Start the way you mean to go on by booking on to one of our brand new UniSkills webinars! The Spring programme will be available for you to book on soon and covers a wide range of subjects including academic writing, being critical, Harvard referencing, searching for academic information and much, much more. You can also book a 1-2-1 appointment for more tailored support with our knowledgeable Academic Skills Advisors

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates about what we’re doing in the Library and Learning Services department and how we can support you throughout the year. And while you’re here, let us know in the comments what your #NewYearNewUniSkills study resolutions are!

Student Advisor Lauren
Lauren – MA English
Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Catalyst at Christmas 🎄

The days may be getting colder and the term winding down to a close, but here in Library and Learning Services we’re still here to support you through the festive period. While Catalyst’s opening hours are a little different, the good news is you can still access help and information via our online web pages and handy knowledge base, Ask Us.   

Opening times for Catalyst and Helpdesk support this Christmas

Friday 18th December – Catalyst is open 8am-8pm

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December – CLOSED

Monday 21st – Wednesday 23rd December – Catalyst ground floor is open 10am-6pm
You will be able to access PCs, study space and printing. Virtual helpdesk support is also available 10am-6pm via our online knowledge base Ask Us and email.

Thursday 24th December – Monday 28th December – CLOSED

Tuesday 29th – 31st December – Catalyst is closed but virtual helpdesk support will be available 10am-6pm via our online knowledge base Ask Us and email.

Friday 1st January – CLOSED

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd January – Catalyst is open 10am-6pm

From Monday 4th January onwards – new opening hours
Monday to Friday: 8am-11pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am-6pm

Changes for 2021

New for 2021 and in line with COVID-safe guidelines we have:

  • Extended Catalyst opening hours from Monday 4th January and will stay open until 11pm Monday to Friday
  • We have opened up more study spaces, including the huts on the ground floor
  • We have increased capacity in the building to allow more students the opportunity to study and use the space
  • We have bookable individual silent study spaces available on our 3rd floor with the option to have a PC or a larger desk
  • Our coffee shop 53.3 Degrees has extended it’s opening hours and will now be open until 6pm Monday to Friday

From everyone in Catalyst, we’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2021!

#SleighYourStudies with motivational tips and techniques from your Student Advisor!

Hi, my name is Charlotte and I’m a Student Advisor in the Student Engagement Team, providing peer to peer support within Library and Learning Services.

Student Advisor Charlotte at her home study space.

The holidays can be a really great time to get ahead and sleigh your studies in preparation for any assignments or studying that needs to be completed for your second semester. But with the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder, it can be really hard to keep motivated during Winter.

Here are some of my best tips and techniques which help me to stay motivated:

Keep Organised

The holidays are a period where there is a lot of free time, but time is really easy to waste. Creating a timetable or a to do list is a great way of constructing a schedule at home!

Making a to-do list will help you see what you are working towards achieving over the holidays, knowing what your goals are will really help to keep motivated while working towards your end goal. There is brilliant software available to do this such as ‘Microsoft To Do’, which is a task management app available on most devices.

Creating a timetable will allow you to dedicate a few hours a day to studying, which will help you to keep on top of what you need to do while also allowing you to schedule in time to do things you enjoy and to take a break! It will allow you to break down your to do list into more manageable chunks while also providing a routine to stick to during the holidays.

Have a look at the useful guides and toolkits on the ‘Getting Organised’ section of the Edge Hill Uniskills webpages for more time management hints and tips .

Find a cosy workspace

For many of us, we will be returning back home during the holidays and one of the most important things to do is to create a cosy workplace. Doing your university work in a designated study space can help you to separate your workspace and social spaces in the home, make sure you choose a space with minimal distractions, to ensure you can stay really productive while you are studying! 

Another really important way to stay motivated to sleigh your studies is to stay warm, being cold can make you feel tired which will reduce your motivation, so make sure to wrap up with a fluffy jumper or blanket!

Use the Pomodoro Technique

The pomodoro technique encourages you to study in short bursts of 25 minutes with no distractions, and then to take a short break of 5 minutes. Sometimes it can be really hard to start studying but sitting down but spending 25 minutes to complete something on your to do list can make starting your studies a little easier. A short intensive burst will help you gain momentum and make you feel motivated to complete your task! There are loads of apps which use the pomodoro technique, my favourite is Flora, it locks your phone during the 25 minutes and begins to grow a tree, the more you use this technique while you’re studying the more trees you grow!

Get outside and enjoy nature

Going out for a walk is really good for staying motivated and to keep your mind and body healthy during the holidays! Starting your day this way will set you off on a really productive track for the day and you’ll feel like you have achieved something before you have even opened your books to start studying. Or you can venture out into your local area during one of your study breaks, this will help you to clear your mind and help you to produce endorphins, which will boost your mood and your motivation!

Reward Yourself

Using rewards is a great way to motivate yourself to keep on studying, by doing something you enjoy every time you complete a task on your to-do list, you can customise this to whatever you like, it could be catching up on your favourite TV series or having a sweet treat! Make sure you take time out during the holidays to reward yourself for all the hard work you have completed this semester as well, by spending time with family or roommates to celebrate all you have achieved or by treating yourself with something you love!

Keep an eye out on the Library and Learning Services Twitter and Instagram pages throughout December for more of our Student Advisor top motivational study tips.