Evaluating academic skills support

EHU181-2014-Prospectus-Front-Cover-Cover034Last term, as part of Learning Services quality framework, we undertook a full evaluation of the 1-2-1 academic skills support sessions we provide to students.

We provide a number of mechanisms for students to access support, these include sessions embedded within the timetabled curriculum, on-line help and on-line workshops, Steps to Academic Success workshops which are delivered across the term, and 1-2-1 appointments.

In terms of the number of students we see via this wide variety of mechanisms, the figures look like this:


  • Curriculum based sessions – this academic year we have delivered 210 sessions to 6,842 students.
  • Workshops – we have seen 109 students at the Steps to Academic Success workshops
  • 1-2-1 sessions – provided help and support to 814 students

Evaluation of group sessions is very well established in Learning Services and we regularly use feedback to help us reflect.  Examples of improvements following feedback include improving the relevancy of inductions sessions, changes to the days and times of day we delivered Steps to Success sessions and access to help and support using virtual tools. However, we have not previously evaluated the 1-2-1 sessions we deliver.

In early December 2014 we contacted all students who had attended a 1-2-1 session and asked them to anonymously complete an online survey, with a focus on whether the support they received was effective and has helped them move on with their studies.  The survey was short, just 6 questions but with opportunities for students to use free text to tell us changes they have made since accessing support and if the structure of the session was useful.

We are extremely pleased to report that:

  • 83.1% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that the advisor was able to provide guidance and answer my support queries
  • 84.7% of respondents said that the support they received was effective and helped me move on with my studies

Comments from the free text sections include:

My planning of assignments is better. This is reflected in my marks as they are getting better.

It helped me write in a more reflective and analytical manner

It has helped me back up my observations with theories and quotes and has enabled me to analyse more critically

The short survey has provided some valuable feedback around what the students liked and disliked (which was mainly around the booking process, turnaround time and location of where the support was held) and this feedback will also help us as we manage expectations in terms of support and also make the other mechanisms of support we provide more accessible.

This was the first time we have undertaken this form of evaluation, however this will now form a key part of gathering feedback and the process will be repeated at the end of April 2015, when we will contact those students we have supported via 1-2-1 in the Semester two time scale (January 2015 – April 2015).

Drop in to discover more








Come and see our librarians to get some helpful advice and tips for using the discovery tool.  We have produced a handy guide but if you would like to find out more, or ask questions and see how you can search more effectively and locate the full text, we are holding a couple of sessions in the run up to the Christmas break.

Our staff will be available:

Thursday 11th December 12.30pm – 1.30pm SPS001 in the Social Sciences building


Wednesday 17th December 1.00pm – 1.30pm HUB1 main building

Just pop in at  and see us at one of the events or you can get help with eResources everyday from 9.00am – 7.00pm (Monday – Friday) at the Ask desk.

Please also remember we have online help with questions and answers within Ask Us

The Academic Support team

Do you need to discover more?


It has come to that time of year when you will be researching for assignments or exams. One of Learning Services’ key resources to support you with your research is Discover More.

We have recently upgraded the tool and there are lots of new features which we hope will help you as you search for information – whether that be books or journals.

Some of the new features of the tool include:

  • Refining your results to books in the library and library location ( you can quickly see books on the subject and which library holds them)
  • Database recommendations – you can see at the top of your results page which database Discover More has found the most results in
  • You get a quick view of the item – hover over the title and check out the panel on the right
  • You can refine by discipline – this is really easy to use and will help you focus more; it also provides you with details of how many results there are so you can see if this is area to focus on

There is short guide which takes you through the basics of searching, refining and then saving and exporting your results.  Take a look at the guide or come and see a member of staff at one of our help desks.  Your subject librarian is also a good contact to have!  Take a look at the Learning Services webpage for your subject, there are full contact details of your librarian.  Your subject resources tab in Learning Edge is also a great starting point – your main databases and journal collections are recommended and also quick links into   the library catalogue and Discover More


Rachel Bury

Learning Services

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Assistive technology

Learning Services has a  newly developed space which provides access to a range of assistive technology to support all learners.  The new space provides an inclusive environment with space for working individually or in pairs. The space is also bookable.

Assistive technology equipmentAssistive technology roomThe  PCs have:

  • Inspiration
  • Mindview
  • Read & Write

And in addition to the assistive software:

  • Height adjustable desks
  • 65″ Interactive height adjustable screen
  • Bring Your Own Device area (BYOD)
  • Zoomtext – magnification software
  • Affinity magnification machine

The room has full wheelchair access. The room is bookable via the Learning Services room bookings panel in your subject resources tab in Learning Edge or via GO. Bookings can be made for up to 3 hours.

If you would like to find out more or take a look at the software and equipment, please see a member of staff at the Ask desk, 1st floor, University Library or or contact the SpLD team:

01695 584372

Rachel Bury
Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Get Connected with Learning Services

We are looking forward to providing a warm welcome to new (and returning!) students and week commencing 22nd September will see the return of our successful Get Connected activities in the University library and Hub.

Last year we welcomed 353 students for tours at the University library and just over 1,000 students came to see us and asked questions at the Get Connected stand in the Hub. The activities are a great way for our staff to meet new students and take the help and support to where they need it.

From 22nd – 26th September our Get Connected stand will be in the Hub everyday 11.00am – 3.00pm to help students with:

  • Connecting to WiFi
  • Accessing Learning Edge
  • Finding reading lists
  • Finding out about library facilities and learning spaces on campus
  • Where to access help and support
  • Using course resources

We have some fantastic freebies to give away including a cotton bag which helps promote our twitter handle @EHULearnService – this is one of the newest ways that students like to connect with us.

This same week there are also student led library tours everyday 11.00am – 2.00pm in the University library.  The library tours are every half hour (last tour at 1.30pm).

Please encourage your students to come along!

Rachel Bury

LS0353 Get Connected Plasma2

Learning Services newsletter – spotlight on technology enhanced learning and media and ICT

And so September and First Week planning begins….The latest edition of the Learning Services newsletter is a special issue dedicated to all those summer planning activities!

Find out about VLE enhancements, opportunities for training & development and the latest upgrade to Blackboard.

Articles include news to update academic colleagues both around the Blackboard upgrade and the latest development within the VLE – Blackboard Community, which some of you may already have heard about and want to introduce for your department.

Blackboard was successfully upgraded on Monday 21st July and there are two webinars to share the enhancements and new features and these take place on the 23rd and 24th of July.  More information about the new features of Blackboard can be found in the newsletter.

Also in the newsletter is an overview of the development of the classroom infrastructure across campus and helpful information about training and support if you are using new technology or rooms or lecture theatres you are unfamiliar with.

We have included some future gazing with a look at augmented reality uses in education and also the Horizon 2014 report.

Changes to technology can be very fast paced and we welcome your feedback about your experiences of using the VLE and technologies and very importantly, areas where you feel we can provide more training and opportunities for development so please get in touch.

email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Phone: 01695 650754 ex 7754

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication


What are your views about library charges?

We are currently exploring how we can improve our offer in terms of students/staff borrowing from the University Library. Our aim is to have a more flexible service, and to minimize charges. We are keen to hear your views about our fines and renewals policies.

We have a really short survey which if you could get involved and complete, will help us review how we manage loans of our materials.  It takes about 1 minute!.

If you would like to join us for a focus group, you can leave your details at the end of the online survey.

Or if you would like to know more or get involved in the focus group, please contact Mark Ramsden, Learning Spaces Manager. email mark.ramsden@edgehill.ac.uk

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication



Developing Digital Excellence sessions

We are offering a number of sessions in April which we hope will support and development staff skills in terms of using technology.

There are two sessions within our Digital Practitioner strand, including a session around using tools within Campus Pack to develop students portfolio skills.

The Digital Practitioner

Learn And Interact At The Touch Of A QR Code      1stt April               12.00pm – 1.00pm

A World Café in Campus Pack: Using Wikis & Blogs 3rd  April           12.00pm – 1.00pm



The Digital Office

Outlook Calendar                                                          7th April               2.00pm – 4.00pm

ECDL Induction                                                             8th April               10.00am– 11.00am

All session within the Developing Digital Excellence programme can be booked via the HR Staff Development booking system.

You can view our programme and plan your session for the next few months by using the booking system.

All sessions are held in the ICT training room, 2nd floor, LINC Building.

Have you noticed anything different?…..

Have you taken a look at the new Learning Services web pages.?

We launched our new pages on Friday 7th March using the new WordPress template, which is now used by many areas and departments across the University.

The new templates and widgets, which have been developed by our colleagues in the Web Team, offer us a much more flexible approach to both management and content.  We have worked collaboratively with colleagues across Learning Services and IT Services to bring these changes and new styles to our site and we hope you like them.

Exciting new features include:

  • Integration of our social media channels
  • Bold news feature to highlight new developments and events
  • Easier ways to get in touch and access to our online Ask Us service
  • All new content and help & support for subject resources
  • Access to our media equipment Youtube videos 
  • Easy navigation from our newly designed homepage

We have already had some great feedback about these new streamlined pages but welcome any comments or ideas for improvement, please get in touch.

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication


Your chance to see the new broadcast TV Studio

Developing Digital Excellence Event Thursday 13th February 1.00pm

This Thursday, the TV Studio Manager Ian Steel will be leading a tour of the new broadcast HD TV Studio in Creative Edge.

Staff from across the University are invited along to come and see the cameras, lighting and mixing galleries within the studio.

The studio houses industry standard broadcast equipment with:

  • Camera channels operated via either a studio configuration or hand held
  • Production galleries and control rooms with reference lighting
  • Totally tapeless workflow with a media asset management system
  • Fully independent talk back system to all studio areas

Here is a list of some of our equipment media students’ use in the studio:

  • Sony and JVC HD  Camera channels
  • Sony and For-A HVS Vision Mixers
  • Black magic design HD Router
  • Editshare media asset management system
  • Large Chroma Key infinity wall
  • Fully populated motorised lighting rig

Come along and find out some more about these amazing facilities.

We are limited to 15 on the tour and if you are coming along, please ensure you have flat shoes (sorry no heels due to the studio flooring).

Please book via the HR Staff Development booking system