Catalyst Guidelines update – Keeping all students and staff safe

Due to the 3rd national lockdown that is currently in place we have made some changes to services and facilities within Library & Learning Services and Catalyst.

Borrowing Books

As a temporary measure we have replaced our usual reservation service with a Click and Collect Service. This allows you to place reservations on available items through the Library Catalogue. You will receive a notification when your request is ready and then all you need to do is collect it from the reservation shelf in Catalyst and issue to your account using our self-issue machine. You can monitor your request via the My Account function in the library catalogue. Our book stock remains open for you to browse if you are on campus and using Catalyst.

Opening Times

We have reviewed our opening times and during the lockdown Catalyst will be open 8am – 8pm weekdays and 10am – 6pm at weekends. We will continue to review our opening times.

Face Coverings

We have reviewed our risk assessments and due to the 3rd national lockdown and the new, highly transmittable variant of Covid-19 it is now mandatory to wear a face covering at all times in public areas of Catalyst (unless you are exempt). This includes whilst studying at a desk or PC, borrowing books and moving around the building.

Staff will be monitoring this, and you will be approached if you are not wearing a mask or a pink lanyard. We ask that you support us in following this guideline by wearing your face covering at all times and show understanding to our staff.    

Ventilation

Government guidance states that areas should be kept well ventilated therefore you will notice that windows will be open in Catalyst. We know it may get chilly but we ask that you do not shut the windows. Please bear in mind that it may be cold and bring an extra layer or two if you are planning to study. Staff will periodically open windows throughout the day, please be understanding to our staff.

University Community Pledge

We will continue to ask all students and staff to abide by our Community Pledge.

We are asking each and every individual to agree to:   

  1. Fully adhere to official Public Health guidance in relation to Covid-19. 
  2. Protect myself and others by maintaining appropriate physical distance and hygiene.
  3. Unless exempt, wear a face-covering when and where required to do so.
  4. Not attend University if they feel unwell with, or if I have been in close proximity to others with, Covid-19 symptoms or who have tested positive for the virus.
  5. Raise and respond to concerns of Covid-inappropriate behaviour in an open, constructive and respectful manner and, if necessary, adjust their behaviour to be in line with Public Health and University guidelines.

Thank you from Library and Learning Services

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.

Reservations Are Back!

Click and Collect/Reservation:

Our 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.

Reservations are back.

Reservations

Users 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.

You will be emailed when your item is ready to collect, and you will have 7 days to collect it.

All loans will automatically renew 3 days before their due date and, if the item is not reserved, this process will continue with unlimited renewals.

You can manually renew items, without reservations,  via the My Account function in the library catalogue or by contacting us.

If any 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.

Reservations may take longer to fulfil as all returned stock is quarantined for 3 days prior to processing.

If you are shielding or self-isolating & require access to library stock, please contact us ehu.ac.uk/askus

Roll Up, Roll Up! Autumn UniSkills Webinars are here!

We know that you’ve all been eagerly awaiting our Autumn timetable and we can announce that bookings are now open!

The UniSkills webinars are delivered by our knowledgeable team of Academic Skills Advisors and are jam packed with the very best advice to help you ace your assignments. Whether you’re just starting out on your student journey, or you’re a postgraduate who need help with your Masters dissertation, there really is something for everyone. There’s everything from academic writing, critical analysis, proofreading, referencing and all the way through to writing your dissertation.


If you’re new to writing at university level and have your first assignment title but you’re not sure how to get started then Introduction to Academic Writing would be ideal for you. There’s also Being Critical, Become a Paraphrasing Pro and Using Harvard Referencing which can be useful as you approach each stage of your assignment. If you are struggling to find resources for your assignment and want some help finding your eBooks and eResources, we even have bite size sessions such as Finding Online Resources via the Library Catalogue and your Reading List and Finding Electronic Journals in Discover More.


If you have had a break in your studies, and possibly feeling a little overwhelmed, the Returning To Learning community is a chance to meet other students, chat about your learning experiences, and discover study tips and strategies, as you settle back into University life.


UniSkills also has loads to offer returning students so you may be interested in Developing Academic Writing further as you move in to higher level writing and our Grow Your Academic Resilience session can help you to cope with the challenges this may bring. If you’re going in to your final year then I’m sure that lots of you are thinking about your dissertation and Writing Your Undergraduate Dissertation can help you on this journey. We haven’t forgotten about postgraduate’s either as the Writing Your Postgraduate Dissertation session will help you consider how to keep a narrow focus and originality of research.


Also for the first time this year we are offering UniSkills Extra sessions. Find out how assistive technology software can be used to support your studies with the Using Assistive Technologies at University and Harnessing Digital Accessibility sessions or if you want to stop procrastinating Developing Strategies for Learning is ideal for helping you to devise strategies to manage your time better.


You can check out the full line-up and book your place at ehu.ac.uk/workshops. There are various times and dates to choose from and there is no limit on the number of webinars you can attend. All the sessions are delivered virtually through Blackboard Collaborate and can be accessed on or off campus. Don’t worry if you haven’t used this technology yet as we’ll send you a link to join the session along with a handy technical guide. You can also watch our useful video guide, for how to really get the most out of attending a UniSkills webinar.

If you are unable to attend a session but would like some additional guidance on any of these topics then please get in touch with us or book a 1-2-1 appointment here.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

New Students: Welcome to Library and Learning Services

Hello and a massive welcome to all our new students, we look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all. Welcome back to all returning students too. 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!

Induction

Head over to the Learning and Support Services Induction pages to find out more information about who lives in Catalyst, what they do and how they can support you. There’s an interactive induction toolkit that you can work through at your own pace, which will introduce you to Library and Learning Services, Student Services and Careers, or you can even watch an induction video if you prefer.

Uniskills

The best place to find out more about how we can support you is to head over to the UniSkills web pages where there’s a vast wealth of information around academic writing and research skills. Here you’ll find our interactive online UniSkills Toolkits which contain loads of tips and tricks to help you with assignment planning, critical thinking, punctuation, proofreading and much more. There’s also some handy guides and videos too!

We’ve also put on some some ‘Getting Started With Uniskills’ sessions especially for new students. They’ll help you log in, explore the Blackboard Institution homepage, show you how to find academic information for your university assignments and give you an overview of the UniSkills support available – all the essentials to ensure you’re ready for the start of your course.  There’ll even be a prize drawer for a £25 Amazon voucher simply for attending the session so book your place now!

You can also check out what Uniskills Webinars we have on offer throughout the year or if you require more specific support you can also book a 1-2-1 virtual appointment with an Academic Skills Advisor who can work with you on a piece of work or research.

Finding Your Resources

Once you start your tutor will provide with your reading list and I’m sure many of you will be keen to get started! To find your resources the Library Catalogue is a great place to start. From here you can access your Reading List online and, by clicking on the book titles, you can jump straight through to the catalogue where you will find details on the items location and availability.

You can collect items directly from the shelves and check them out on the self-issue machines located around the building or you can currently reserve items straight from the shelves using our temporary ‘Click and Collect’ service. All you need to do to use this service is place a reservation on the book you want, we’ll grab if from the shelves for you and let you know when it’s ready to collect.

As an Edge Hill student you also have access to thousands of high quality academic e-resources which are particularly useful whilst on placement as they can all be accessed off campus. The Subject Resource web pages contain all the relevant journals and databases for your course or you can browse the e-resource collections using the Discover More search tool. You also find links to newspaper collections and useful websites relevant to your course.

And, if there is ever a book or journal article that we don’t have in our collection you can ask us add a copy by using the You Want It, We Get it service. Just fill in the details on the form and we’ll do our best to get it in for you – how cool is that?

Further Help and Support

If you have any general enquiries about resources for your study, IT related enquiries or academic skills support you can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm and Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 6pm.

We wish you all the best for this coming academic year and look forward to supporting you soon!

PGCE Students: Welcome to Library and Learning Services!

Hello and a massive welcome to all our PGCE students, 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!

Welcome PGCE students.

Induction

Head over to the Learning and Support Services Induction pages to find out more information about who lives in Catalyst, what they do and how they can support you. There’s an interactive induction toolkit that you can work through at your own pace, which will introduce you to Library and Learning Services, Student Services and Careers, or you can even watch an induction video if you prefer.

UniSkills                                                            

The best place to find out more about how we can support you is to head over to the UniSkills web pages where there’s a vast wealth of information around academic writing and research skills. Here you’ll find our interactive online UniSkills Toolkits which contain loads of tips and tricks to help you with assignment planning, critical thinking, punctuation, proofreading and much more. There’s also some handy guides and videos too!

You can also check out what Uniskills Webinars we have on offer throughout the year or if you require more specific support you can also book a 1-2-1 virtual appointment with an Academic Skills Advisor who can work with you on a piece of work or research.

Finding Your Resources

Once you start your tutor will provide with your reading list and I’m sure many of you will be keen to get started! To find your resources the Library Catalogue is a great place to start. From here you can access your Reading List online and, by clicking on the book titles, you can jump straight through to the catalogue where you will find details on the items location and availability.

You can collect items directly from the shelves and check them out on the self-issue machines located around the building or you can currently reserve items straight from the shelves using our temporary Click and Collect’ service. All you need to do to use this service is place a reservation on the book you want, we’ll grab if from the shelves for you and let you know when it’s ready to collect.

As well as the academic textbooks, which you’ll need for writing your assignments, there’s also a dedicated Education Resource Collection which has lots of resources that you can borrow. There are Key Stage 1 and 2 children’s books, larger picture books for whole class reading sessions, phonics resources, subject packs and interactive kits which are available on longer loan, so ideal for using in the classroom while you’re on placement.

As an Edge Hill student you also have access to thousands of high quality academic e-resources which are particularly useful whilst on placement as they can all be accessed off campus. The Subject Resource web pages contain all the relevant journals and databases for your course or you can browse the e-resource collections using the Discover More search tool.

On the Subject Resource web pages you will also find links to newspaper collections, classroom resources, useful websites and the Times Higher Education, so you can keep up to date with current affairs and recent developments in the education sector. If you need any help finding your academic information or navigating your online resources don’t forget we have lots of handy UniSkills Toolkits, videos and guides on the UniSkills web pages – all available 24/7!

And, if there is ever a book or journal article that we don’t have in our collection you can ask us add a copy by using the You Want It, We Get it service. Just fill in the details on the form and we’ll do our best to get it in for you – how cool is that?

Further Help & Support

If you have any general enquiries about resources for your study, IT related enquiries or academic skills support you can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm and Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 6pm.

We wish you all the best for this coming academic year and look forward to supporting you soon!

Summer Reassessment

For some students the academic year hasn’t ended yet, so we just wanted to let you know that we are still here to support you throughout your reassessment period in August.

Are you online assessment ready? We know this round of assessments will be different but Library  and Learning Services are here to nelp you

You can find all the usual support on our UniSkills web pages and you might want to check out the exam preparation tab in particular. Here you’ll find information on goal setting, staying motivated, how to avoid common mistakes and links to some helpful online guides & tutorials.

Assessment periods can be a stressful time and you may be feeling anxious about completing your online assessment or resubmission. To help manage your worries it’s a great idea to start planning ahead now, so you are as prepared as possible for any unexpected problems on the day.

Take a look at our Online Learning and Assessments web pages where you will find lots of useful information which will should help tackle those fears head on. Here you will find online assessment guides and toolkit, a pre-assessment checklist and IT troubleshooting tips. Preparation is the key to exam success so here are our top tips to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the day:

  • Install Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox onto your PC or laptop as the University systems work best on these web browsers. We don’t recommend trying to complete assessments using a tablet or phone. If you don’t have access to a PC or laptop contact the Catalyst Helpdesk.
  • Read and digest any information provided by your tutors for the assessments you will be taking. It is a good idea to have the information about how the assessment will work clear in your head prior to the assessment date itself.
  • Make sure you have access to the software you will need, including Microsoft Word or another text editor. Remember that you have access to Office 365 and can download the software to your device for free.
  • Log into Blackboard on the device you will be using to check your access.
  • Update your alternative email. This is so you can easily reset your password should you need to.
  • Access our Help and Support guides which provide lots of step by step technical information on how to access and submit your assessment.

If you experience any technical issues, or would like advice and guidance on how to set up your technology in an optimum way for your assessment, then help is available by contacting the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually via email or live chat. The Helpdesk is available from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 6pm at weekends.

Last but not least good luck from everyone at Library & Learning Services. We know you can do it!


Summer UniSkills

We know being away from campus over the last few months has been difficult for many people and you may feel out of touch with the university. If you want to reconnect, avoid that ‘summer slide’ and get a head start for the new term in September, then our Summer UniSkills offer may be just what you need.

Here in the Student Engagement team we provide a wide range of support designed to help you develop your academic skills and confidence at University and beyond. Since the University closed in the middle of March we have continued to support students virtually and there are a number of ways you can access our services.

Summer Uniskills image

UniSkills Webinars

We have a series of online workshops on offer over the summer which are an opportunity to dive deeper into a specific skill that will support you on your academic journey. Sessions include:

  • Finding Academic Information
  • Develop Your Academic Writing
  • Being Critical
  • Harvard Referencing
  • Grow Your Academic Resilience (new addition for the summer)

You can book your place today via ehu.ac.uk/workshops

1-2-1 Appointments

As well as our UniSkills webinars you can also book a 1-2-1 appointment throughout the summer months with an Academic Skills Advisor. If you have a specific assignment, or piece of research you would like support with, they can help you develop your academic writing & referencing skills and show you how to find resources.

UniSkills Webpages

If you’d prefer to study in your own time and at your own pace then feel free to browse the UniSkills web pages, available 24/7! Here you’ll find our interactive online toolkits which contain loads of handy tips and tricks to help you to brush up on assignment planning, critical thinking, punctuation, proofreading and much more. There’s also some really handy guides and videos too!

LinkedIn Learning

If you are interested in expanding your skills in other areas, such as IT or your personal and professional development, then LinkedIn Learning is the place for you! It’s free for EHU students to use and has over 10,000 online courses for you to choose from, covering everything from Arithmetic to Zoom. We have even created some LinkedIn Learning playlists to get you started on topics such as public speaking and employability skills. Click here to find out more and for details on how to access LinkedIn Learning

Further Help & Support

For any general enquiries about resources for your study, IT related enquiries or academic skills support you can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm and Saturday and Sunday between 10am – 6pm.