Get Started this summer with UniSkills

We are already looking forward to welcoming all the new students who will be joining us this September, and if you are a one of them and fancy a taste of what support UniSkills can offer you during your time at the University check out our Getting Started With UniSkills offer.

Getting Started With UniSkills

Getting Started With UniSkills is a series of webinars and toolkits to specifically support new students who will be enrolling at Edge Hill University this coming autumn, and there is a choice of three topics you can choose from:

  • Prepare Your Academic Resilience – will help equip new students with practical tools to nurture your academic resilience, help them recognise the qualities of a ‘growth’ as opposed to ‘fixed’ mindset, and help prepare them to feel confident in dealing constructively with feedback.
  • Introduction to Academic Writing at University – introduces new students to what academic writing is, and what it involves at university level. We will look at what to expect as a new student at Edge Hill University, how to get the most out of your learning and how to maintain your study motivation.
  • Research Skills at University discover more about developing your research skills in preparation for studying at Edge Hill University. We will introduce new students to the concept of academic information, the importance of using dedicated search tools to find information and discuss good note-taking techniques for carrying out your research.

New students are welcome to join our live webinars throughout August and September and can access the accompanying interactive toolkits at a date/time that suits you. Please note the toolkits will be live from mid-August, as they are being specially developed in conjunction with the live sessions.

For more information, and to book your place on a Getting Started With UniSkills webinar please visit our Getting Started With UniSkills web pages. And don’t forget to visit the university’s Getting Started web pages for further advice and support for all new students at Edge Hill University.

So, enjoy the rest of your summer and we will see you (hopefully in a webinar) soon!

Getting Started With UniSkills Logo

Welcome to our new Fastrack students!

All the team in Library and Learning Services want to say a big virtual HELLO to all the new Fastrack students who are joining us from 15th June. We know that it is an usual time to be starting a new course but we would like to reassure you that even though the University Library is currently closed, there is still lots of help available. All our staff are working virtually to provide all the support that you would normally receive on campus.

The University Library, based in Catalyst, is currently closed but we do have an extensive range of online resources including thousands of eJournals and eBooks that you can access online at a time that suits you. Search for online resources via our Library Catalogue and Discover More. There are lots of guides, toolkits and videos available to help you access and make the most of these resources on our Finding Academic Information webpages.

Your DASS module will give you lots of information about how to develop your study skills at University. The UniSkills service is also available to provide extra help, support and guidance should you need it. We have webinars running all over the summer and we are also running a special webinar for Fastrack students called Grow Your Academic Resilience on 18th June at 11am and 2pm – put the date in your diary!

If you have, or think you have, a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia or dyspraxia then you can contact the SpLD team via email for more information about what support is available.

For general enquiries about resources for your study, IT related enquiries or academic skills support you can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk Monday to Friday between 08am and 8pm and Saturday and Sunday between 10am – 6pm.

Studying and learning online can seem challenging at first so why not check out our top tips for studying off campus. We would like to wish you all the very best of luck with your Fastrack course and we look forward to supporting you very soon.

UniSkills Webinars – join us in June!

UniSkills provides 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 provide academic skills support, albeit in a slightly different way.

Our 1-2-1 appointments and UniSkills workshops (now webinars!) are being offered virtually using Blackboard Collaborate. Our webinar programme in May was really popular with a range of students from across all years of study, so we are delighted that our June programme, which includes all our popular webinar topics, is now open for booking!

Booking on a UniSkills webinar couldn’t be easier. There are no limits to how many webinars you can attend, so book your place today via You will receive a booking confirmation email immediately to confirm your place and, closer to the event, you will receive another email with more details on how to join your online session. Please note bookings close 24 hours before the webinar start time.

UniSkills Virtual Support

Don’t forget there is a wide range of online support and information available 24/7 on the UniSkills webpages, and your ‘My Library’ tab in Blackboard Learning Edge, and you can still access individualised 1-2-1 UniSkills support online with one of our Academic Skills Advisors.

If you have any questions or queries about how we can support you with your academic skills during this period contact us via email at [email protected] or use our Ask Us service.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our June webinars soon!

Get Online Assessment Ready…

We know that, along with many other University activities at the moment, this round of assessments will be different but Library and Learning Services are here to help and support you to complete your Online Assessments.

Our new Online Learning and Assessments web pages have been designed with you in mind. They will help guide you through the process of preparing for and completing your Online Assessment whether that be a video submission, online test or a time limited assessment (TLA). The pages contain lots of useful information including technical guides to the different types of assessments, Internet/WiFi troubleshooting information and recommended web browsers.

To get Online Assessment ready we recommend following this pre-assessment checklist the week before your first assessment to avoid any pesky technical problems 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.

Remember that being prepared is one way to help you feel more organised and minimise any assessment nerves – so why not make a start and complete your pre-assessment checklist today.

Join a UniSkills webinar online!

UniSkills provides a wide range of support designed to help you develop your academic skills and confidence at University and beyond. We are committed to continuing our support during this uncertain time, albeit in a slightly different way…

We know our popular UniSkills workshops are valued by students across all years of study to help you find high-quality academic information online and develop your academic writing and referencing skills. Over the next few weeks we will be delivering these workshops via an online classroom which means you can join us wherever you are.

UniSkills Virtual Support

UniSkills Webinars

Finding Academic Information
Improve your search strategy, make the most of the library catalogue, online reading lists and Discover More to find eBooks and journal articles for your assignments, and learn how to evaluate your sources.

Friday 1st May | 11am-12pm
Thursday 14th May | 2pm-3pm

Reading Academic Texts
This session will give you some great tips for active reading and help you develop effective reading skills.

Thursday 21st May | 12pm-1pm

Become a Paraphrasing Pro
This webinar will teach you handy techniques to avoid plagiarism, as well as how to strike that all-important balance between paraphrased sentences and direct quotes.

Wednesday 6th May | 2pm-3pm
Friday 22nd May | 1pm-2pm

Being Critical
This webinar will help you develop the crucial academic skills of critical reading and conveying critical thought in your writing.

Tuesday 5th May | 10am-11am
Tuesday 12th May | 12pm-1pm

Academic Writing
Join us for an Introduction to Academic Writing webinar or, if you are looking to take your writing to the next level, why not join our Develop Your Academic Writing.

Introduction to Academic Writing
Monday 27th April | 11am-12pm
Monday 11th May | 2pm-3pm
Tuesday 26th May | 10am-11am

Develop Your Academic Writing
Tuesday 28th April | 1pm-2pm
Thursday 7th May | 1pm-2pm
Wednesday 13th May | 10am-11am
Wednesday 20th May | 2pm-3pm
Wednesday 27th May | 2pm-3pm

Harvard Referencing
An introduction to the Harvard referencing style including in-text citations, bibliography/reference lists and the importance of referencing to avoid plagiarism.

Wednesday 29th April | 2pm-2:45pm
Thursday 14th May | 11am-11:45am
Monday 18th May | 10am-10:45am
Thursday 28th May | 12pm-12:45pm

There are no limits to how many webinars you can attend, so book your place today via the date links above or visit to browse them all. You will receive a booking confirmation email immediately to confirm your place and, closer to the event, you will receive another email with more details on how to join your online session. Please note bookings close 24 hours before the webinar start time.

Don’t forget there is a wide range of online support and information available 24/7 on the UniSkills webpages, and your ‘My Library’ tab in Blackboard Learning Edge, and you can still access individualised 1-2-1 UniSkills support online with one of our Academic Skills Advisors weekdays 8am-6pm.

If you have any questions or queries about how we can support you with your academic skills during this period contact us via email at [email protected] or use our Ask Us service.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our webinars soon!

UniSkills Goes Virtual

During this period of uncertainty let us reassure you that you can still access lots of help, support and guidance with your academic skills via our UniSkills service.

UniSkills provides a wide range of support designed to help you develop your academic skills and confidence at University and beyond. Our team are ready and waiting (virtually!) to provide advice and support around assignment planning, academic writing and referencing, finding academic information and more.

We are no strangers to providing information virtually and many of you will be familiar with accessing UniSkills information via the UniSkills webpages and your My Library Tab in Blackboard. Here you will find a wide range of support materials including online guides, videos and toolkits on topics from time management to presentation tips.

UniSkills Virtual Support

The Finding Academic Information pages are a great place to start if you are looking for tips on how to access high-quality information for your assignment. Here you will find a package of online video tutorials to guide you through how to make the most of your key learning resources.

The Academic Reading and Writing pages provide information about academic writing including being critical, paraphrasing and proofreading.

Individualised 1-2-1 UniSkills support continues to be available but we have relocated our face to face appointments online and will be offering virtual appointments for the foreseeable future. If you would like an appointment with one of our Academic Skills Advisors just book online and we will send you all the details you need to join the session:

If you cannot find a suitable date or time then just get in touch.

Our popular UniSkills workshops will be returning w/c 20th April with a fully online programme of webinars – lookout for the new virtual timetable coming soon!

If you have a question or query about how we can support you with your academic skills during this period contact us via email at [email protected] or use our Ask Us service. Don’t forget – we are here to support you – just in a slightly different way.

12 years of Customer Service Excellence!

In January 2017 we had our annual Customer Service Excellence visit and we are delighted to share that not only are we still fully compliant in all elements of the CSE framework, the assessor awarded us 7 compliance pluses for our innovative work in the following areas:

  • The ‘On Location’ initiative; taking our services and expertise across campus
  • Learning at Work Week; a chance for our staff to learn, develop and share skills with colleagues from across the Service
  • The development of a pre-entry course; Stepping Up To Edge Hill was the University’s first pre-entry course to support English and Creative Writing students with the transition to University
  • Our UX work around the My Library Tab, Discover More and the Library Catalogue; a number of improvements have been made to our online resources making it easier for customers to find the resources they need
  • Our #WillonCampus campaign and the work of the social media squad; our #WillonCampus campaign won the CILIP Social Media Award in 2016
  • Our use of SnapChat; the first University library in the UK to use SnapChat to engage with customers
  • Our use of Blackboard Collaborate; using an online classroom environment for staff training and development

We have now been award holders since 2005 and have been awarded 19 compliance pluses over those 12 years!

If you would like to know more about Customer Service Excellence please do get in touch.

Helen Jamieson, Customer Services Manager

Developing a learning culture: Learning Services celebrate Learning at Work Week 2016

We have always had a strong commitment to staff development within Learning Services but over the last 12 months we have been focussing on how we can develop a real learning culture.  Learning at Work Week seemed an ideal vehicle to support this and so we decided to celebrate national ‘Learning at Work Week 2016′ with a fantastic programme of activities and events.

Harnessing the theme of CONNECT the main objective was for staff within our diverse ServiceImage-1 was to re-connect with each other, share knowledge, skills, expertise and ultimately learn something new!

The programme contained a mix of work related and non work related topics.

Despite the topic – the focus was always on the learning.

There was something for everyone with sessions ranging from new learning tImage-2echnologies and digital capabilities, to drawing for fun, photography and finding bargains online.  We even had a make up masterclass!  We certainly discovered some very talented staff in Learning Services!

Take up of the programme was excellent with lots of staff offering to facilitate sessions and even more staff coming along, listening and asking questions. A massive 242 places were booked over the 17 sessions offered.

The week concluded with a ‘collective break’ for all the staff (a cup of tea, a chocolate biscuit and a chat!) plus a ‘Guess Who’ baby competition which was lots of fun and generated some interesting conversations….

We also took the opportunity to take a group photo, something we would like to do every year.









Early evaluation of the week shows that staff really engaged with the sessions, took something tangible away in terms of a new skill, and especially enjoyed re-connecting with colleagues from across the Service.

For more information about Learning at Work Week go to:

Helen Jamieson, Customer Services Manager


Learning Services staff are Edge Hill students for the day!

This week 8 staff from Learning Services will join staff from across the University to find out what it’s like to be a student for the day!  The aim of the Student For A Day project is for Edge Hill staff to get a better understanding of what it’s like to be a modern day student here at the University.

Learning Services staff will accompany a student for a full day and experience all aspects of University life. This will include lectures, library visits, use of other services such as food outlets, society activities etc, even going to lectures and seminars with them (although they won’t be writing any essays!).

Student for a DayA wide variety of staff from across the Service have volunteered to take part in the project to get a better insight into the student experience. Chris McCabe and Claire Hallworth from Customer Services, Joan Cullen from the SpLD team, Kate Johnson, Paul Reece, Michelle O’Connell and Louise Speakman from Academic Support and Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Manager, are all looking forward to taking part.

The project is being managed by a group of staff on the University’s Development of Potential programme.  Our very own Help and Support Co-ordinator, Kathy Kinsella, is part of this years cohort and has been instrumental in getting the project off the ground.  Kathy says “The Student for a Day project gives staff a unique opportunity to walk in the shoes of our students and develop a real life understanding from the student’s perspective.  By capturing the participant’s insight on what aspects of the student experience work well and which areas can potentially be improved we hope to develop the delivery of our service going forward”

We wish our staff the best of luck!

Helen Jamieson, Customer Services Manager


Learning Services continue to go the extra mile!

Not only are we celebrating our 12th year of Customer Service Excellence (where does the time go?!) – but following our full 3 year re-accreditation in January 2016, we are delighted to announce that Learning Services are fully compliant in all 57 elements of the award PLUS we received another 2 compliance pluses for going that ‘extra mile’ for customers.

After his visit in January the assessor gave this feedback:

“There is a determination shown by staff to provide a quality service and go above and beyond expectations of customers. A positive caring attitude in their approach and an obvious interest in meeting their customers’ needs was evident during the assessment. There was also a strong determined leadership from senior management with the customer at the heart of their plans and service.  It was clear that all staff are committed and motivated to promote the best service possible through a customer focused approach.”

In this our 12th year as award holders, we are delighted that our work continues to be recognised in this waUniversity Libraryy.  The first compliance plus we received was for our peer review framework that underpins all our sessions with customers, on a 1-2-1 or group basis, the second compliance plus was for MAVIS (Mobile Audio-Visual Information Service) which is an app designed by our classroom support team to provide staff with information about known technical issues in classrooms across campus.

So where did our journey begin?  In 2004 Learning Services were one of a small number of academic libraries who achieved the award (originally called Chartermark).  In 2010 the government reviewed the award and it became known as Customer Service Excellence.

What is Customer Service Excellence?  The award is based on 5 key strands:

  • Customer Insight; knowing who your customers are, consulting with them, involving them in decision making.
  • Culture of the Organisation; showing a commitment to building a customer focused culture right through the organisation from senior managers to the front line staff.
  • Information and Access; providing accurate and comprehensive information and ensuring it is delivered via most appropriate channels.
  • Delivery; achieving positive outcomes for customers, listening to their views, achieving key performance targets.
  • Timeliness and Quality; ensuring prompt action, keeping to agreed timescales, always trying to ensure that speed of service doesn’t come at the expense of quality.

Each strand is then broken down into a number of elements – 57 in total.  At our assessment in January the assessor reported that Learning Services are fully compliant in all 57 elements of the award and commented:

“The service offered to customers continues to develop and there is a real commitment to provide the best service to customers through a committed staff enabling the customers’ individual needs to be met with positive results.”

If you would like to find our more about Customer Service Excellence in Learning Services visit our web pages or contact [email protected]

Helen Jamieson

Customer Services Manager