Learning Services On Location – bringing support to you!

During May, Learning Services will be ‘On Location’ in your faculty to offer academic and administrative staff help and advice on a wide range of services.  Engaging with staff is key to our service and recent feedback from the academic staff survey highlighted that staff would find it very useful if we could be around in your buildings and departments to provide bespoke support.

Each event will run between 10am-3pm and will offer different ways in which you can:

  • MEET a range of Learning Services staff to discuss your needs.
  • LEARN how Learning Services can help you achieve your (course/online/development) goals.
  • DEVELOP your (Library & Learning Edge) knowledge with practical discussions

Our first event is Wednesday 18th May in the Faculty of Education Building

There will be CPD events throughout the day from Learning Technology Development, Academic Support, Digital Capabilities Development, Classroom Technologies support and Learner Support (SpLD) teams, whilst Librarians, Learning Technologist and Skills Advisors will be available for help.

In E16 you can drop-in and meet the Learning Services FOE Teams for problem solving and learn more about how we can support you.

In E22 a range of our teams are offering bite-sized CPD to enhance your practice.
The programme for the day in E22 is:

10am  – Find out about Learning Technologies – LTD Team

11am – A partnership approach to education resources –
Ruth Wilson & Andy Tomkins

12pm – Digital capabilities – Heather Johnston

1pm – Lecture capture – Howard Turpin

2pm – Changes to Disabled Student Allowances and inclusive practices – Andrew Billington

Just before the event we will be dropping in to see people to ensure you know when and where we will be on the day and whether you want to make an appointment for a 1-2-1 on the day.
For more details or if you would like a 1-2-1 appointment with one of the teams (we can come to your desk), contact Rachel Bury, Academic Liaison Manager.
Email: rachel.bury@edgehill.ac.uk

Please make a note in your diaries for the Faculty of Health and Social Care (25th May) and Arts and Sciences (31st May) dates and we will be out and about with more information and reminders just before the day.  Again, colleagues in those faculties can make an appointment for a 1-2-1.

ON LOCATION

MEET. LEARN. DEVELOP.

RachelBury

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Semester 1 2015 – How was it for you?

As Semester 2 is now well underway we thought we would take a look back at some highlights of  the first term to just see how we were doing in terms of performance – our aim is to deliver services and support which are focused on our customers and what customers need…

LSPerformanceBlog

So how did we do?

We extended 24/7 opening which means the University Library was open 2,556 hours from September to the end of term, that’s a whopping 56% increase from last year.

Our focus in the early part of term is very much about new students and skills sessions and this year we welcomed 3,888 new students at inductions and library tours and also delivered 162 workshops to 5,305 students.

We know accessing resources is very important to our students and this year, so far, we have spent £409,010 on 7,708 new books and to improve access to your module reading lists, there are now over 700 reading lists available via our new service ‘Reading Lists Online’.

There are lots of different ways for customers to access help and support – so you can chose the one which suits you best – including 24/7 support via either our online knowledge bank ‘Ask Us’ or live chat or coming into the library for a consultation at the Ask desk.  Using the online help is very popular and 63.5% of users found what they needed to know via Ask Us

Our student advisors are based at the Ask desk but you will also see them roving out and about in the library, departments and the HUB – they helped 697 students during the first term which is excellent news.  The Ask desk team provide 1-2-1 help at the desk – this can be anything from help with Harvard Referencing to finding out which are the best databases for your subject, and in term 1 there were 670  consultations.

The new fairer fines approach is certainly having an impact – the system made 195,771 auto-renewals which is saving you both money and time!

And finally, just as important as finding resources is finding a PC.  The Web Team provide a really useful tool – PC Finder App – which was accessed 4,348 times during our busy first term. We recently had the good news around an additional 22 PCs for the University Library and those PCs will become part of the map of available PCs.

Using statistics is just one of the ways we measure our performance, we have also undertaken impact and evaluation studies of our induction offer, Uni Skills workshops we held in term 1 and also 1-2-1 support for both study skills and SpLD support.  Hearing the student voice and finding out if the support is making a difference is key to improving our services.  We will be reporting some of those findings in the coming months.

We would love to hear what you think about any of the services highlighted so please do get in touch and give us your feedback…

RachelBury

 

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 – Feel prepared

Revision Central now available in Learning Edge

It’s been a busy few weeks with assignments being due and on top of that the upcoming festivities to plan for, finance and of course, enjoy. For many of you, however, there is the knowledge that the New Year also brings with it the exam period. Now there are some lucky people who thrive on exams – they enjoy the pressure and it actually brings out the best in them! For the rest of us though some exam stress is inevitable and the trick is not to fall into the usual trap of ignoring it (#handsonearslalalala) or overdosing on negative thinking and caffeine.

Help and support is at hand:

Working with our colleagues in Student Services and Counselling, we are providing

two sessions as soon as we all return in January.

We have a session on Tuesday 5th Jan entitled Exam Revision: How to relax when you don’t have time for it. This session will focus on taking a short space of time out – time out can help you to be more effective and regain a sense of calm, concentration and focus.

Then on Tuesday 12th January we are providing a second session, Keep calm and master your exam preparation. This will focus on better preparation.  It’s designed to offer top tips for improving mental wellbeing and reducing text anxiety.   It addresses exam and test stress through strategies to prepare better psychologically as well as physically.

Bookings for these sessions and a complete suite of resources are available via the Revision Central panel on your Learning Edge home page. The panel is a collection of services and resources to help you with the three stages of exam preparation: planning your revision schedule, doing the revision and entering the examination room. As well as the sessions you can come along to, why not listen to Avoiding Exam Stress Section by Professor Dave Puttwain’s, this is a great little podcast on avoiding exam nerves, then consult Revision Help for tips on making a revision plan and revision strategies. Opening Hours will tell you when the Library is open over the holiday period and in January and PC Availability will help you to track down a computer on campus. When you need a bit of head space, have a look at Useful Apps.

Good luck and we will see you all in 2016.

RachelBury

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Bury – Academic Liaison Manager – Quality Marketing and Communication

Learning Services

 

PC Space Finder

Find the right study and PC space for you

PCSpaceFinder

The Ormskirk campus offers a wide range of spaces, from serious study spaces in the University Library, and LINC  to specialist spaces in departments.

  • Please find a space which suits your study need –  The University Library has lots of spaces to support working on assignments and projects but if you are working collaborative why not try the HUB or if you just want to check your timetable or social media, there are express PCs in lots of  buildings.
  • The PC availability app is a quick and easy way to find out where there are free PCs in the University Library and LINC building – it updates every 5 seconds. ehu.ac.uk/computers
  • The University Library offers a range of space – for those who need to work quietly, there are bookable study rooms or dedicated quiet and silent spaces on the 2nd  Access to the booking system is via the Resources tab in Learning Edge.
  • The Ormskirk campus has a wide range of IT labs which students can access if they are not being used for teaching. Simply check the timetable on the door
  • There is 24/7 access to PCs in the University Library (term time) and all year round in the LINC
  • Wifi access is available across campus – Please link your devices to ‘eduroam’ using your device settings.  Learning Services staff can help with wifi settings.

ehu.ac.uk/eduroam

If you need help and support finding a space please ask a member of staff in the University Library or get in touch via Ask Us.  We are here to help you make the most of the resources and IT across campus.

RachelBury

 

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager –
Quality, Marketing and Communication

 

 

 

 

Find what you’re missing

We launched the new catalogue in June after a period of almost 12 months planning and testing.

LibCat

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you like the many new features of the catalogue, here’s some information about what’s new:

  • A powerful search tool for all print and electronic resources resulting in more resources at your fingertips
  • Seamless access to your library account from within the VLE so no need to leave the Blackboard environment to view your checked out items
  • Fairer fines for all and an automatic book renewal service – the library will renew items for you so you can get on with other things, fines will only be charged on items reserved by other borrowers

The new catalogue is just part of a suite of changes but if you have any questions or you can’t find what you need in the catalogue or our tool ‘Discover More please tell us so we can help you.  We will be undertaking extensive user testing over the next three months and will need all your feedback as we seek to improve on the initial design and functionality.

For more information about the changes or your resources in Blackboard, please contact your subject librarian.

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager Quality, Marketing and Communication

 

Hello to the new library catalogue

lib-catalogue3

We launched our catalogue on Monday 1st June after a period of almost 12 months planning and testing.

The new catalogue is just part of a suite of changes you will see over the coming months but if you have any questions or you can’t find what you need in the catalogue or our tool ‘Discover More please tell us so we can help you.

Please take a look at the Ask us service for help, support and ways to get in touch.

We hope you like the many new features of the catalogue, here’s some information about what’s new:

  • A powerful search tool for all print and electronic resources resulting in more resources at your fingertips
  • Seamless access to your library account from within the VLE so no need to leave the Blackboard environment to view your checked out items
  • Fairer fines for all and an automatic book renewal service – the library will renew items for you so you can get on with other things, fines will only be charged on items reserved by other borrowers

For more information about the changes or your resources in Blackboard, please contact your subject librarian.

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager Quality, Marketing and Communication

 

 

So, how user friendly are we? Learning Services UX experiences..

With a major UK conference last month, the subject of UX in libraries is very much on the agenda.  UX or usability can take a variety of forms and many of us have been engaging with the ideas, techniques and concepts of UX for the past couple of years.

image[2]

Helen Jamieson and I attended a UX in Libraries conference which was held at the University of Cambridge in March and what a conference it was.  We felt we were on a film set for most of the week!.  It was truly international with library colleagues, anthropologists, ethnographers and web designers from all over the world there to inspire us.

We were introduced to a new concept – ideation = idea generation. It was great fun with one exercise generating well over a 100 post-it notes of ideas around improving library spaces in one of the Cambridge libraries.

imageWhen we returned home, we decided to try out the 6-8-5 technique as a way of creating new ideas for student induction 2015.  We tried it out with our staff who are on the induction planning group and then with a group of students. You’ll have to wait until September to see the results…

If you’re not familiar with the technique (and we weren’t) 6-8-5 is where you have 5 minutes to write 6 to 8 ideas on post-its. You share with your group, this can spark your creative juices so you repeat the exercise again with another 5 minutes – you might have new ideas or you have honed one of your original ideas or one of the teams.  You do create lots of ideas but they do begin to fall into themes when you bring them together and start to discuss.

 

What else are we doing?

Something which was a running theme with the keynote speakers at the conference and the breakout sessions was the limitations of data. Questionnaires don’t help us find out how using a service or a library space feels to our users. With this in mind, and following the success of diary mapping student study habits on campus, next term we will be mapping and questioning how students approach an assignment.  We know we don’t know enough so finding out more about the touch points with Learning Services will help us improve our service and support for students.

Three years ago as we prepared to develop new web pages for Learning Services, we dipped our toe into the water of web usability working with some prospective students who were our volunteers.  The work we undertook was fascinating as we watched students find – or not find as the case maybe- the answers to some standard questions that we get asked all the time.  The feedback gave us some great insights and helped us re-design some of our site – unfortunately, we can only share the videos with colleagues who were involved in the project and were named on the consent form but we are happy to talk to anyone thinking of undertaking a similar exercise.

More recently, we have been applying the same techniques to our single search tool, ‘Discover More’ observing volunteers trying to answer a number of questions using its navigation. We have been recording their experiences using screen capture software and a small team has been evaluating the results.

This month we are beginning to undertake usability of our VLE, Blackboard.  We have a brand new group of students who have just started their course at Edge Hill and we are keen to develop an understanding of how intuitive new students find Blackboard, and how they find key information – timetables, announcements, course handbooks, library resources.

The conference however has inspired us to be even more pioneering. Although our ethnographic techniques will continue we will be starting to introduce a more anthropological approach to the use of library services, as well as beginning to look at UXing some of our online activities as well.

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Helen Jamieson

Customer Services Manager

 

 

 

 

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

DiscoverMorenews1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

And

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?

DiscoverMoreblog1

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

ehu.ac.uk/askus

Rachel Bury

Learning Services

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication