If you weren’t able to join us LIVE on Instagram on Tuesday 26th July, fear not! You can catch up with all of Student Advisor Emma’s great advice over on our Library and Learning Services Instagram: @EHULibrary right now!Continue reading
Hello, and welcome, to all you lovely new Fastrack students arriving this week! You have a busy few weeks ahead of you, but Library and Learning Services are here to help and support you along the way!Continue reading
Library and Learning Services Student Engagement team (aka the UniSkills team) have recently recruited some new Student Advisors to join our already established (and award winning!) team. You may have already met Callie, Darren and Maya during #EHUReadySetRevise, or one of our recent UniSkills Webinars, but read on to find out more about who they are, what they are studying and how they can support you!Continue reading
In a continuation of our Study Happy campaign we decided to extend the #MyEHUStudyHappySpace competition until Monday 16th November…so you still have time to enter and a chance to win up to £30 Amazon eVoucher!
Study Happy is all about finding the perfect study-life balance for you. Part of that process is your study environment. We know this year has been a challenge for many, so it has been super inspiring to see your #StudyHappySpace’s on social media: Twitter and Instagram.
Hannah (and Hank!)
“At first I struggled with online learning during the end of last semester. However this year I am much more engaged in the blended learning approach. I am thoroughly enjoying the present in person sessions and I am engaging well with the online sessions too. My little puppy Hank certainly helps to motivate me, when he isn’t trying to get my attention! I am enjoying being at home and engaging with the sessions in a secure and safe environment.”
“I think blended learning is good, I like having lectures pre-recorded so I can watch them at my own pace and around other responsibilities. I also like having my seminars in person as it allows me to share my ideas properly and have a good discussion with peers and tutors. I have 1 online seminar though, and I find that good as my teacher makes everyone feel really comfortable and really helps us get our ideas out and discuss using the text feature 😊”
Eleanor claims the benefits of surrounding her study space with plants helps her feel “…calm before I attempt to study, it helps me get in the right mind set 🍃🍃”
Georgia is proving size doesn’t matter when it comes to your favourite study space as she “…love[s] to work in the study rooms in the Catalyst 💫”
Jodi (and Rocky!)
“I feel Edge Hill have gone above and beyond in supporting the transition to online learning, I could not be prouder to be a part of the University. All of the teachers have showed amazing resilience and motivated me to do the same, I now feel ready for whatever teaching throws at me! 😄”
If you have been inspired by these entries, get snapping and share your #MyEHUStudyHappySpace with us on Twitter or Instagram. Remember to tag us (so we see it!) and use the #MyEHUStudyHappySpace to spread the important message of Study Happy!
One of our main services to you, as the University Library, is providing access to high-quality academic resources and we do this in abundance – although at present you cannot access the physical book stock, you do have access to nearly 250,000 online resources!
Accessing Online Resources
The best place to start accessing your online resources is your Online Reading List, as your tutors will have compiled a list of great materials to begin your research journey. But really great research doesn’t limit itself to just one place, so be sure to make the most of all your resources via the Library Catalogue, Discover More and your online specialist subject databases.
Lots of eBooks remain multi-user, where available, with many extended to unlimited access until 30th June. We are also continuing to prioritise eBook purchases, looking into further electronic provisions and have a handy eBooks Guide to help you read online, or download, at your leisure.
If you come across any materials, such as books or journal articles, that are not currently accessible online then don’t despair – this isn’t the end of the line! Simply place a request via our You Want It, We Get It service, select the electronic option and we will do our best* to source a copy for you.
Many publishers around the world are still making additional content temporarily available to support teaching and learning where access to physical books and resources may be limited. Keep up to date with all of these extra resources, and how to access them, on the additional access to eResources webpage.
So, all these resources, and lots of ways to access them, may feel a little overwhelming but don’t worry because that’s another great service we provide – helping you find, navigate and make the most of all your online resources!
A great place to start is our Digital Library Induction and UniSkills Finding Academic Information webpages. On here we have created a package of online tutorials to guide you through how to access, and make the most of, your key learning resources. And don’t forget you can also book a UniSkills virtual 1-2-1 appointment for support with library search skills, finding resources and improving your search strategy, including:
- Finding resources for your assignment
- Searching the Library Catalogue for books and eBooks
- Using Discover More to find online journal articles and other online resources
- Discuss and develop search strategies
Further Help & Support
As we’ve mentioned before Library and Learning Services are no stranger to supporting students online and already offer a well-established digital library service…but we wanted to make sure you have a quick and easy list of just how (and who) to contact for more help and support!
For a lot of students, the online assessment period started on Monday 18th May and will run until Friday 5th June, so it’s important to know how to access support should you need it…
- Subject Specific Support: if you need any help with your subject specific content, the first person you should contact is your tutor or academic department. This includes if you are struggling with any deadline dates or understanding what you have been asked to do. Your tutors will be able to offer further guidance on these types of queries.
- Technical Problems: the Catalyst Helpdesk team are offering extended opening hours, and will be open from 7am on all assessment submission days, to support you as you complete and submit your assessment. You can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually, via email or live chat, if you have any technical issues such as accessing Blackboard or your university email account, opening documents, downloading/installing the FREE EHU Microsoft Office 365 software or any problems when you come to submit your work in TurnItIn. Don’t forget we have also produced a number of Online Assessment guides to help you successfully submit your work but if you do need to talk to someone you can get in touch…
- Getting online assessment ready: there is lots of great assessment preparation advice available on the UniSkills webpages, including guides on setting goals, advice on how to stay motivated and helpful tools and techniques you can use for successful revision. We even have an interactive online learning package for your Online Assessments, which includes an online assessment checklist!
- Additional support needs: We understand that working towards assessments at this time can be challenging, and if you have a specific learning difficulties (SpLD) such as Dyslexia our SpLD team are keen to support you towards feeling positive about this way of working and any upcoming assessments. If you need any additional support get in touch with the SpLD team to arrange an appointment or ask any questions you may have about the services and support available.
Academic Skills Support
- UniSkills: you can continue to access all your academic skills support online for help with everything from academic writing, being critical, paraphrasing, referencing, finding and navigating your online resources to creating effective search strategies. There are several ways you can access our support including:
- Guidance, videos and toolkits are available 24/7 via the UniSkills webpages
- Book a virtual 1-2-1 appointments for support with Academic Writing / Referencing and/or Information Skills (Search Skills and Finding Resources)
- SpLD and Learning Support Service: are committed to supporting students at the university who have or may have an SpLD, such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia, to develop study skills strategies and navigate your academic journey. There are many ways these teams can help you with exam preparation and assignment writing and our team of specialist study skills advisors are happy to meet with you through a virtual appointment to develop your study skills techniques. Contact the SpLD team to arrange an appointment or ask any questions you may have about the services and support available.
All of us in Library & Learning Services would like to wish you the very best of luck in your online assessments and remainder of your academic year!
Online Assessments will soon be here (Monday 18th May to Friday 5th June 2020) and we want to help you feel as prepared as possible for them. Usually this time of year we are supporting you with a Revision Central campaign but, this being a year like no other, we are bringing out the big guns to combine two campaigns, and will also be including all the great support from our Keep Calm and Submit campaign!
Preparing for your online assessment…
Assessments can be a daunting part of university life, and it is only natural that you will want to perform at your very best. When it comes to revision there are no right or wrongs, so you might find what works for your course mates doesn’t work for you.
Before lockdown our Student Advisors created this video for you with lots of great revision study tips that work for them – take a look to discover if any could also work for you!
There is lots more advice and guidance available on the UniSkills Exam Preparation webpages, but we’ve pulled out some good starting points for you below:
- Clearly mark the date, time and essential details of how you’re being assessed in your diary or calendar.
- Speak with your tutor well in advance if you are unsure of what to expect or to clarify any content you do not understand.
- Set some SMART Goals to help you visualise what you want to achieve but also take time to reflect on your achievements so far, look how far you’ve come!
- Take a look at our Exam Preparation Checklist to help develop your unique revision intentions to keep you motivated.
- During a busy assessment period, it is important to take some time out of your day to relax, read more about maintaining a good study-life balance in our Top Tips for Studying Off Campus blog.
- There are lots of revision tools and techniques you can try – read more about these in our Effective Tools & Techniques guide to discover which ones work best for you.
- We know that this round of assessments will be different, so if you need some extra guidance take a look at our Getting Online Assessment Ready blog for lots of great advice.
- This is a great life tip in general, but ensure you get a good night’s sleep and eat a brain-fuelling breakfast on the morning of your assessment.
Another great way to prepare for your online assessment would be to complete our UniSkills Online Assessment Toolkit. In here you will find lots more advice, tips, videos and even an online assessment checklist quiz!
Accessing Help & Support…
Even though you cannot physically see us right now, there is still lots of help and support available to you online:
- Visit our ehu.ac.uk/OnlineAssessment webpages for lots of useful guidance when accessing technology at home for learning and assessment.
- Read your online submission assessment guide before your assessment date to make sure you are ready to submit!
- Time Limited Assessment Paper Submission
- Time Limited Assessment Handwritten Submission
- Timed Blackboard Online Test
- Video Submission
- You can continue to access academic skills support online – visit the UniSkills webpages for more info.
- If you need any technical assistance, experience any technical problems or would just like some 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.
So remember, we are here for you if you need us and wish you all the very best with your upcoming assessments – you’ve got this guys!
If like all of us in Library & Learning Services you are missing Catalyst, and haven’t quite perfected your new study space, we hope these handy tips will provide some useful guidance on how to make the most of your off campus studying.
Tip 1: Plan (and adapt) your new study routine
It can be challenging when your regular routine changes, even more so when it is out of our control, so taking time to plan a new study routine is a great place to start – think about what works best for you! Start small and plan a day/week at a time or look ahead and plan backwards from future deadlines and/or assessment dates. Although it isn’t always possible to plan for every eventuality it is sensible to set boundaries and consider other commitments, such as childcare or employment, when adapting to your ‘new’ routine.
A good daily routine can be as simple as getting up at a set time, changing out of your sleepwear and eating breakfast before starting your day ahead…and don’t forget to include an end routine to bring your study to a close. Take a look at our UniSkills Getting Organised webpages for lots of useful guides and toolkits to help you effectively prioritise your time.
Tip 2: Study Happy 😊
It is equally important to factor in some downtime alongside your studies to ensure you maintain a good study-life balance. By creating your own physical ‘study’ space (which could be as lavish as a home office, or as simple as a comfy spot on your bedroom floor) it will establish one of those all-important boundaries and help put you in the right mindset to work when you are there…and it will also enable you to ‘leave’ and get some headspace away from your studies. Why not revisit Student Advisor Maisie’s Study Happy Student Tips blog or remind yourself of all our Student Advisors’ top study happy tips in the UniSkills: Be Study Happy! video:
Although it can be tempting to sit in front of a screen all day (computer/smartphone/TV) it isn’t healthy nor productive. Make the most of your daily exercise and get outside! Be that on a walk/run/bike ride, sitting in your garden reading or digging up some weeds, it is all extremely beneficial for your mental wellbeing! And if you don’t have access to a garden, why not create your own eco-friendly planters out of old newspapers or empty toilet rolls and grow some seeds on your windowsills!
Tip 3: Engage with your learning communities
Don’t forget that as an Edge Hill University student you are part of a wider learning community, so make sure you are engaging with your peers and wider support networks. Your tutors will be keeping in touch with you through online teaching and making sure you have the necessary information about your research, coursework and assessments, but they are also there for you if you have any subject specific queries or just feel a little bit overwhelmed by it all – and they can direct you to other support services, if needed. You could also set up/join an online study group with your course mates to discuss research and keep each other motivated!
UniSkills also offers a learning community where you can take part in online webinars alongside students from a variety of courses and years – a really great way to share knowledge and experience with peers from across the University! There are a wide range of academic skills webinars available for you to join including academic writing, referencing and being critical – check out the latest schedule and book your place online today.
Tip 4: Make the most of your eResources
A physical trip to the bookshelves might not be an option right now but with access to over 248,900 online resources, via the Library Catalogue, Discover More and online specialist subject databases, and many publishers around the world making additional content temporarily available, there’ll be no stopping you! And if you need any help finding and/or navigating your online resources you can book a UniSkills virtual 1-2-1 Information Skills appointment. Read more about studying online, and the support available from Library and Learning Services, in our Studying Online: Your Digital Library blog.
Tip 5: You are not alone!
Although it may feel like you are fully self-isolated right now it is important to remember you are not alone and there is lots of help and support available…
- Keep in contact with your social circle of friends/family through regular video calls or online chats!
- Engage with your online learning, speak to your tutors and maintain connections with your peers!
- Join a UniSkills Webinar to develop your academic skills and chat with other students!
- Book a 1-2-1 appointment for help finding/navigating your online resources and academic writing/referencing!
- Keep up to date with Accessing Library and Learning Services Online!
- If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing Student Services have put together a range of resources to help you during this time and you have 24/7 access to the Big White Wall.
- And remember, you can always contact the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually via email or live chat.
As we find ourselves transitioning to a digital study environment Library and Learning Services are here to help you know what online resources are available for you, how to access them and how to get the most out of them.
Library and Learning Services are no strangers to offering a digital library service and have been supporting students studying online and at distance for many years, so don’t worry if this is a totally new experience for you because we are here to help.
A great place to start your digital learning journey is our Digital Library Induction and UniSkills Finding Academic Information webpages. On here we have created a package of online tutorials to guide you through how to access, and make the most of, your key learning resources.
You have access to over 248,900 online resources via the Library Catalogue, Discover More and online specialist subject databases. If you need any help navigating and finding your online resources help is available from the UniSkills team – you can even book a virtual 1-2-1 appointment for support with Information Skills (Search Skills and Finding Resources).
Most of the eBooks we currently have are now unlimited access (meaning no limits to numbers accessing at any one time), we are prioritising eBook purchases, looking at further electronic provision moving forward and even have a handy eBooks Guide to help you read online and download at your leisure. Many publishers around the world are also making additional content temporarily available to support teaching and learning where access to physical books and resources may be limited. Details of all these extra resources and how to access them can be found on the additional access to eResources webpage.
If you are struggling to get hold of any resources, please use our You Want It, We Get It service and select the electronic option and we will do our best to help.
So, remember even though you cannot see us right now we are still here to support you. If you need any further help or support you can keep up to date on our COVID-19 Keeping You Updated webpages or get in touch with us via email or live chat.
It’s true, the biggest of all book-related days is on the horizon and there’s no better way to join in with the festivities than by discovering something new to read (or add to an ever-expanding list of ‘to-be-read’s if you’re anything like me!).
The theme for this year is ‘Reading is Power,’ which encourages everyone to celebrate the ways in which books promote growth, choice, power and knowledge. With that said, here’s an eclectic list of favourites put together by some of the Student Advisor team to give you some ideas of what to read next!
Student Advisor Lauren has chosen…
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
A brief description: A man named Dorian Gray prays on a portrait to stay young and beautiful forever. It works, but whilst he stays pretty the portrait gradually becomes grotesque because of the increasingly immoral things Dorian does.
Why is it your favourite?: The concept is really cool; the way the portrait measures out Dorian’s moral decline is interesting. Oscar Wilde’s writing always mixes pretty and witty tones, and that style works amazingly here. The characters are awesome; especially Dorian’s friend, Basil. This is the only book that I find myself flipping through to re-read specific passages or end up mentally reciting bits of.
Who would you recommend it to?: Anyone who likes morally ambiguous characters and pretty prose.
Book cover image source.
Student Advisor Arifa has chosen…
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, Malala Yousafzai
A brief description: A courageous memoir on a girl who survived a bullet shot by the Taliban (an extremist group) in the city of Mingora. A young education activist, her refusal of silence lead to World Leaders being inspired by her ambitions to fight for the rights of education for girls. The Taliban took control of the area and dictated how women should live their lives. Despite the struggle of commuting to school with her books hidden under her shawl, she strived to study and excel.
Why is it your favourite?: It was a fantastic read and so well illustrated. I enjoyed the book as it was a chronicle on purity and honesty based on the situation in her village in Pakistan.
Who would you recommend it to?: To anyone that is need of motivation and inspiration!
Book cover image source
Student Advisor Dylan has chosen…
Deaf Republic, Ilya Kaminsky
A brief description: In the fictional town of Vasenka, a protest starts after the tragic murder of a deaf child. The town protest in silence and create their own sign language
Why is it your favourite?: The narrative is told through a series of poems, and through several different characters. I find myself checking, and checking again, that Vasenka is fictional; its nature and issues ring too true with the real world. Kaminsky writes like no other poet I’ve read before.
Who would you recommend it to?: I’d recommend it to people who love poetry, people who love fiction, people who love film and those that love everything in between.
Book cover image source.
Student Advisor Anna has chosen…
Good Vibes, Good Life, Vex King
A brief description: This book is all about transforming negative emotions into positive ones to reach a high level of happiness. The book incorporates Vex’s own personal life experiences and explains how he has overcome the more challenging stages in his life. He discusses ways to practise self-care, positive lifestyle habits, taking opportunities, reaching life goals, overcoming possible fears and finding what you feel is your purpose in life.
Why is it your favourite?: I liked this book as it teaches you how to be a positive person and creates a feeling of happiness. His real-life experiences give context to advice that he is saying. I found this book a really good read whilst at university as life can become stressful at times, especially when I had quite a few deadlines to meet. It also gave me a good mindset when reading feedback on my work or talking to my tutors as I took the advice as constructive criticism rather than letting it dishearten me.
Who would you recommend it to?: Everyone! I feel as though it is a good book that can be useful to everyone, it helps you remain positive throughout life. This means it could be beneficial in your personal life, work life or throughout your studies.
Book cover image source.
Student Advisor Maisie has chosen…
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A brief description: A first person narrative from perspective of Jean-Louise Finch that follows Jean-Louise, or Scout as she is more affectionately known, and her brother get to learn some crucial lessons about judging others, tolerance and justice throughout the story which is set in Depression era Alabama.
Why is it your favourite?: An oldie but goldie- don’t let the fact it was published in 1960 put you off this is a timeless classic. The simple and child-like narrative helps to convey Scout’s raw emotions throughout the novel which helps readers realise the injustice of the actions that occur. Every time I (re)read it, I am always reminded not to judge a book by its cover and although this book may make you cry it will also fill you with joy!
Who would you recommend it to?: As it is quite an easy read I’d say anyone. Don’t let the memories of it being a school read put you off either.
Book cover image source.
Student Advisor Jen has chosen…
Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly
A brief description: A collection of funny / interesting wee stories about life in Scotland, Billy’s childhood, life in Glasgow and his adventures travelling around the world.
Why is it your favourite?: I think my favourite book changes all the time. I finished this book a few days ago. It gave me comfort and reminded me of home at a time where I was feeling quite home sick. His happy wee stories about life in Scotland made me laugh out loud, which is rare when I read books.
Who would you recommend it to?: Everyone and anyone. I think the way he tells stories can bring us all joy and happiness. You can dip in and out of the chapters, you don’t have to read them in order or fully. Making it perfect to fit into our busy lives.
Book cover image source.
Whether you spend all your free-time reading or you haven’t picked up a book since high school, World Book Day is all about creating life-long readers! The charity does great work by providing children across the country with access to books, and we can all join in by sharing the stories we love! To find out how to get involved with the charity directly, click here!
There are as many reasons to love books as there are books themselves, so why not get involved in the World Book Day fun and try something new or re-discover an old favourite? Head over to the library catalogue to see what stories are waiting for you in the Catalyst!
Happy reading everyone!
Lauren Gallagher – Student Advisor