Student Takeaways from the Goal Setting and Study Smarter UniSkills Webinars

And how to book onto the next ones!

You may have spotted sessions on Goal Setting and how to Study Smarter in our exciting Ready, Set, Revise! schedule. Given they were so well received during their pilot (as part of New Year, New UniSkills), we wanted to give you another chance to join in and reap the benefits in preparation for your upcoming exams and assessments. 

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From 19th-30th April it’s…

Ready, Set, Revise. Image of person running a race holding a graduation scroll.

Ready, Set, Revise

Although exams can be daunting, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to show your tutor or lecturers how much you’ve learnt and receive credit for doing so.  

It may be that this year some of your exams are online, or that they follow a different format you have not come across before. Your department will be able to advise you about how they will work and what to expect, but in the meantime Ready, Set, Revise is here to help you prepare to perform your best. 

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New Year, New UniSkills!

🎉 4th-10th January 2021 🎉

There’s no better time than January to start afresh and set some study goals for the year ahead. From action planning your feedback to productivity techniques and perfecting your mindset, we’ve put together a timetable of webinars to boost your motivation and make semester 2 your best yet.

Let’s get to it…

Monday 4 January

*New* Set Your Study Goals in 2021: 11am-12pm

This session looks at the power of goal setting, how to align your environment to support you and online tools for creating vision boards.

Turn your idea of success into clear, actionable goals with a measurable outcome. Along with looking at different ways to visually represent your goals to keep you motivated, this webinar will cover the science behind “goal stacking” and how this can help in your journey towards achieving them.

Tuesday 5 January

*New* Study Smarter in 2021: 11am-12pm

Jam-packed with hints and tips to help you avoid procrastination, revise effectively and find a note-taking method that works for you.

Introducing techniques such as “eat the frog” and the “Pomodoro”, this webinar looks at ways to manage and prioritise your time, as well as looking at why waiting for motivation can hinder your progress. It will also introduce participants to the Cornell and Flow methods of note-taking, as well as different productivity apps to supercharge your studies.

Wednesday 6 January

Grow your Academic Resilience: 3pm-4pm

Come along to this webinar and discover the importance of being academically resilient at University.

A webinar to equip you with practical tools to nurture your own academic resilience, help you recognise the qualities of those with a ‘growth’ as opposed to ‘fixed’ mindset, and help you feel confident in dealing constructively with feedback.

Thursday 7 January

Develop Your Academic Writing: 12pm-1pm

Recognise and understand assessment criteria, apply critical reading and analysis and the importance of integrating referencing.

Building on previous experience learn to recognise and understand assessment criteria, apply critical reading and show critical analysis in your writing and the importance of integrating referencing. This webinar is aimed at students who have some experience in academic writing.

Friday 8 January

How to Action Plan Your Feedback (Bitesize): 11am-11:30pm

Break your feedback down into digestible targets, and learn how to create an action plan that will keep you on track to improve.

We know that receiving academic feedback is not always easy. You might not have received the grade you hoped for, or you don’t fully understand what all the comments mean. This session looks at how to make the most of your tutor’s comments so you can approach your next assignment with confidence.

PLEASE NOTE: You will need to have received some academic feedback prior to attending this session. Please bring along one assignment with academic feedback to the session (this is for your use only).

Here in the Student Engagement team we’re so excited to welcome you back, but in the meantime, let us know which sessions you’ve booked on to, or even your own New Year Study Resolutions using the hashtag #NewYearNewUniSkills.

Sleigh your studies with UniSkills this December!

With the festive season creeping up faster than a reindeer can fly, you may find your motivation for drafts and deadlines is on a bit of a downhill slope. But never fear! In true UniSkills spirit we’re here to sprinkle your end of term sprint with a little more sparkle, and a little less stress.

Sleigh Your Studies

From the 1st December, keep your eyes peeled for:

🎄Daily tree-mendous tips from your Student Advisors

🎄A wintery selection of UniSkills webinars

🎄Virtual 1-2-1 appointments with our Academic Skills Elves

No need to freeze your studies just yet, here’s what we’ve got in store until the end of term:

❄️Develop Your Academic Writing – Monday 7th December 12-1

❄️Finding Academic Information – Tuesday 8th December 12-1

❄️Using Harvard Referencing – Wednesday 9th December 12-12.45

❄️Being Critical – Thursday 10th December 1-2

❄️Harnessing Digital Accessibility – Friday 11th December 10-11

❄️Develop Your Academic Writing – Monday 14th December 1-2

❄️Returning to Learning – Wednesday 16th December 2-4

While you may not be rockin’ around the library, we still look forward to seeing you in our webinars, 1-2-1s and keeping in touch on our social media channels over the winter break. After all, you didn’t think we were going to leave you out in the cold, did you?!

The happiest of holidays from your Student Advisors and Student Engagement Team! 🎁

You’re our Study Happy Winner 🌟

Thank you so much to those who have participated in this year’s #StudyHappyWeek competition, it’s been fascinating to see your creative home study setups and even a few furry friends (we’re looking at you Hank, Rocky and Rio)!

Having gathered all of your brilliant entries across Twitter and Instagram, we’re pleased to announce the following winners:

🏆1st Place: @MissBolton8 winning a £30 Amazon eVoucher

🏆2nd Place: @MissDundon winning a £10 Amazon eVoucher

🏆3rd Place: @MissShakeshaft winning a £10 Amazon eVoucher

And for those still in need of some study space inspiration, we’ve collated a few more of your submissions…

Sim

Sim told us that ‘…regarding students having to transition to blended learning is that it might be daunting and troublesome initially but it is important to adapt to the situation we are in and make the most of the experience using available resources since we are already in this scenario and if need be, do not be hesitant in asking for help if they need it!

Elizabeth

Elizabeth’s new desk has really helped her productivity and I think it’s fair to say we are all missing campus cat! 🐈

“blended learning [is] definitely a big adjustment but luckily I’ve a support network of great friends and really approachable tutors who are all happy to help me. I do miss face to face teaching though (and the campus cat!)”

View this on Twitter.

Laura

Laura says sweets are essential study companions for student nurses! 🏥🍬

View this on Twitter.

Miss Bolton

“Blending learning has been hard, but taking time to come to the library gets me motivated to keep working!”

Again, thank you all for taking part in #StudyHappyWeek, and for sharing your inspiring #MyEHUStudyHappySpace’s. Keep your eyes on our social media for your next campaign coming in December, as we prepare to keep you motivated right through to New Year 🥳

Top Study Happy Tips from your Student Advisor Lauren

I am really enjoying the move to blended learning, it’s nice to be able to work through study materials at my own pace and direct myself more. If I am reading through presentation slides and there is something that really interests me or something I don’t fully understand, I can go and research and come back to the presentation when I am ready. It has given me a lot more control and responsibility over my studies. My tutors have also been amazing with providing support over e-mail and through online meetings, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. There were a few teething problems at first with getting used to new technology but now that everything is settled, I’m happy with my new study arrangements. As I prefer to do most of my studying at home anyway, with blended learning I’ve been spending even more time here, so I have made myself a little study nook to work in. It’s got everything I need to stay comfy and relaxed so I can be as productive as possible. :

My #EHUStudyHappySpace: a scented candle, fluffy blanket, a bit of nerdy decoration and a cuddly Pokémon to keep me company!

My Five Top Tips for Studying Happy

This semester a lot different than other years and we’re all adapting to a new way of learning, blended learning, that combines online and in-person sessions. And it is fair to say that most of us will be spending a lot of time studying at home. So, for this unique Study Happy week, here are my top five tips for staying happy and motivated when working from home!

1. Keep your workspace separated from your recreational spaces

This might be harder for those in halls because your workspace is in your bedroom, but it’s not impossible. When I was in halls, I made sure that my desk was reserved for work and everywhere else was for chilling out. If you can’t allocate a specific space for studying, try to allocate somewhere, like your bed, for relaxing. I find that having designated areas for working and relaxing helps me switch my brain into the right mode. Trying to work in a place where you relax can make focusing harder and trying to relax in a study-zone can make switching off harder too. Finding ways to help you get into the right mindset is important and designating a specific study-space helps me with that a lot, so it’s the first thing I’d recommend for students to adopt now that a lot of us will be studying from home more frequently.

2. Try out a procrastination-beating browser extension

First thing I should mention is that you should always be careful when installing things to your computer and check reviews/ratings of browser extensions before you try them. But if you have trouble managing your time and avoiding distractions, like social media, there are plenty of browser extensions that might help. Most of them work by blocking or restricting your access to certain websites but there are lots of different ways they do this. Some will block all websites for a set amount of time or at a specific time, some let you block or restrict specific sites and some block everything except the ones you add to a whitelist. There’s a lot of variety and they can be a lot of help if you find it hard to concentrate when you’re working alone without anyone to chastise you for watching cat videos instead of finishing that essay!

3. Get in a group chat!

Most people benefit from sharing ideas and talking ideas through together. When you’re spending less time with peers it might seem like you’ll miss out on that, but you don’t have to. Think about joining a group chat or setting up a study group. BlackBoard Collaborate (available on the VLE) allows screen-sharing so you can go through presentation slides together and work with other people. It also allows video and audio chat as well as text chat so you can pick whatever is most comfortable for you. A group chat can recreate some of the environment and collaboration of seminars and working with friends in general can help with keeping motivated. If you’re a more social worker, this might be a good thing to try out!

4. Audiobooks!

My course requires a LOT of reading, and one of the ways I get it done even when I’m not feeling up to it is with audiobooks. I like to listen to an audiobook whilst reading a physical copy/e-book because I find that it keeps me focused. This has come in handy a lot with online learning because it helps me manage my time better (since most audiobooks will say how long they take to listen too) so you can plan your reading more effectively and get through books more efficiently.

5. Talk to your tutors and get support from UniSkills!

Less face-to-face time doesn’t have to mean less support. You can contact your tutors via e-mail if you need help or even ask to set up a virtual meeting if you need to discuss your studies at length. And don’t forget about UniSkills! Although the support we offer might look a little different this year, we’re still here to help! We’ve moved a lot of our support online and have introduced Webinars, online seminars, that provide guidance for all things academic. From referencing to finding online resources, we’re adapting to distancing so you can get the support you need from the comfort of your home to make this year a great one!

That’s it for now! Even though this year is shaping up to be a bit unique, there are ways to make adapting to this style of learning easier. I hope my tips gave you some ideas to try out that will help you Study Happy this year!

Student Advisor Lauren
Thanks for reading, Lauren ☺️

Top Study Happy Tips from your Student Advisor Charlotte

I love blended learning! At first, I really struggled to adapt to working from home, with a new puppy and so many distractions it was a really big step away from what I was used to. I was quite overwhelmed over having to go through lectures myself however, I find it so much easier! It allows me to go through these lectures in my own time, which helps for topics I find more difficult. I usually commuted to University, so only being in one day a week makes so much more time to do more research for my modules and start to plan my assignments! Using weekly planners has really helped me to adapt to blended learning, as I provide myself a plan of what to do throughout the week and what goals I want to achieve! This has provided me some stability to ensure I am working throughout the day without getting distracted and also allows me to plan some ‘downtime’, whether this is walking my dog or catching up on Bake Off, which really helps to keep me motivated because I know when I get my next break!

My biggest struggle with blended learning was finding a space to do my studying, I tried to work from bed, but this left me unmotivated, but I moved away from my bed and onto a desk and it has improved my motivation to work! One of the best pieces of advice I could give for blended learning, is separate your sleep space from your workspace, getting out of bed and to a desk or table will make it a lot easier to concentrate on the task at hand! Adding my own personality to the space, with photos and decorations, makes me enjoy getting up and getting to my desk and I would advise everyone to do the same to make it more homely!

Charlotte’s #EHUStudyHappySpace

MY FIVE TOP STUDY HAPPY TIPS!

This year has led to a very different approach to University due to blended learning, with a lot of work being online it can be quite difficult to get motivated and if you are like me, you can find yourself procrastinating a lot. University is very different this year and can feel overwhelming, however, I have come up with a few Top Tips to make the move towards blended learning a little easier!

1. Make a schedule!

Your University Timetable will look a little different this year, with a mixture of on campus and online learning including live and pre-recorded lectures. Try to make your own timetable – there are resources available on Uniskills which will help you with this. This will help you keep on top of everything you need to do throughout the week, instead of panicking and doing everything before your face to face session. This is also really helpful for when deadlines start to arrive as you can prepare for these in advance.

2. Use the Pomodoro Technique!

This method means you focus your time in short bursts, around 25 minutes, and then take a short break. During this time, you fully concentrate on the task at hand, with no distractions. It helps to put your phone somewhere you cannot access it, such as a drawer in your bedside cabinet and download free apps such as ‘Pomodoro’ to help with this.

3. Keep your space tidy!

Whether you’re working in your bedroom, kitchen or any space in between, keep your space organised. A messy workspace will act as a further distraction! I find keeping on top of my workspace keeps me more motivated. A tidy room really does mean a tidy mind!

4. Get in touch with your course mates!

Speak to your course mates as much as you can, use sites such as ‘Zoom’ and ‘Microsoft Teams’ to have study sessions. These can help answer questions you might have regarding the topics you are studying and are also really important if you have group work. Studying doesn’t have to be something you do alone, having study sessions can make it more fun!

5. Don’t Panic!

Things are different this year and there will be challenges but there are people to help you with whatever you are struggling with. Uniskills is here to help you with any issues you may have about Returning to Learning. All this week you can also join Lauren and myself in our Moving Forward With UniSkills webinars, where we will look at referencing toolkits and guides – book your place today: ehu.ac.uk/workshops

Student Advisor Charlotte
Thanks for reading, Charlotte

Meet Your Student Advisors!

As part of #StudyHappyWeek, we asked our Student Advisors Lauren and Charlotte to introduce themselves and share their experiences of blended learning so far here at Edge Hill. Here’s what they had to say…

Student Advisor Lauren

Hi, I’m Lauren. I’m currently doing an MA in English after having done my undergraduate degree here too, so I’ve been an Edge Hill student for five years.

I’m also a Student Advisor so it’s my job to provide peer-to-peer support and help other students develop their academic skills. I write posts for the Learning Services blog which is full of useful advice and updates (and which, coincidentally, I ended up on the banner image of!). I also help with the UniSkills webinars; online seminars that provide guidance for all things academic.

There’re sessions for everything from referencing to academic resilience, so they’re a great place to develop the skills you’ll need throughout your time as a student. Student Advisors are available all year to help make university life more manageable and fun.

I’m really enjoying the move to online learning, it’s nice to be able to work through study materials at my own pace and direct myself more. If I’m reading through presentation slides and there’s something that really interests me or something I don’t fully understand, I can go and research and come back to the presentation when I’m ready. It gives me a lot more control and responsibility over my studies. My tutors have also been amazing with providing support over e-mail and through online meetings, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. There were a few teething problems at first with getting used to new technology but now that everything is settled, I’m happy with my new study arrangements.

I prefer to do most of my studying at home and with online learning I’ve been spending even more time here, so I made myself a little study nook to work in. It’s got everything I need to stay comfy and relaxed so I can be as productive as possible: scented candle, fluffy blanket, a bit of nerdy decoration and a cuddly Pokémon to keep me company!

Student Advisor Charlotte

Hi! I am Charlotte, one of your Student Advisors working with the Library and Learning Services Team. I am a third year History with Politics student!

As a Student Advisor, I am here to provide support for issues with a range of academic skills, such as how to use the Library Catalogue and how to work TurnitIn and any other questions you may have! At the minute this support is provided virtually through varying different means including Webinars! The Webinars are a really big part of Uniskills this year, I help with these by being a chat buddy to help with any questions you may have! I will also be co-delivering a Webinar which will help you to move forward with your academic skills! The ‘Moving Forward’ webinar will specialise in referencing and proofreading, which will help you to ace your assignments!

Myself and my colleagues in the Library and Learning Services are here to help you! Use the UniSkills webpage to see all the services we offer! Make sure to sign up to webinars and we can’t wait to see you soon! 

I love blended learning! At first, I really struggled to adapt from working from home, with a new puppy and so many distractions it was a really big step away from what I was used to. I was quite overwhelmed over having to go through lectures myself however, I find it so much easier! It allows me to go through these lectures in my own time, which helps for topics I find more difficult.

I usually commuted to University, so only being in one day a week makes so much more time to do more research for my modules and start to plan my assignments! Using weekly planners has really helped me to adapt to blended learning, as I provide myself a plan of what to do throughout the week and what goals I want to achieve! This has provided me some stability to ensure I am working throughout the day without getting distracted and also allows me to plan some ‘downtime’, whether this is walking my dog or catching up on Bake Off, which really helps to keep me motivated because I know when I get my next break!

My biggest struggle with blended learning was finding a space to do my studying, I tried to work from bed, but this left me unmotivated, but I moved away from my bed and onto a desk and it has improved my motivation to work! One of the best pieces of advice I could give for blended learning, is separate your sleep space from your workspace, getting out of bed and to a desk or table will make it a lot easier to concentrate on the task at hand! Adding my own personality to the space, with photos and decorations, makes me enjoy getting up and getting to my desk and I would advise everyone to do the same to make it more homely!

Keep an eye out later in the week for Lauren and Charlotte’s top tips for staying on top of your studies. Plus – don’t forget to enter our Study Happy Week Competition!

#MyEHUStudyHappySpace Prize Draw Terms & Conditions

  1. The prize draw is open to all EHU students and staff (except Learning Services staff).
  2. The winner will be picked at random from a prize draw at 12pm on Monday 9th November 2020.
  3. The prizes are non-transferable.
  4. The winner will be contacted through their Twitter or Instagram account and asked to confirm their EHU student/staff number.
  5. The prize will be emailed to the Edge Hill student/staff email address corresponding with the student/staff number given.
  6. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not respond before 23rd November 2020, the entry will become null and void and a re-draw will take place.

From the 2nd – 6th November it’s…

Study Happy Week helps you to find a study-life balance that works for you. Whether you’re a first year still finding your feet, returning to learning after a period of time, or juggling your assignments around other commitments, the UniSkills team are here to inspire and support you.

As a completely online event, there are plenty of ways to get involved:

  • Catch daily study tips from our Student Advisors on our social media pages
  • Win a prize for sharing a photo of your study space in the Study Happy Week Competition  
  • Keep an eye out on the blog later in the week to see how our Student Advisors are finding blended learning
  • Book on a UniSkills Webinar
  • Access a range of useful guides and toolkits on the UniSkills webpages

UniSkills Webinars

There are lots of UniSkills webinars available throughout the year, all of which are designed to help you develop confidence in your academic skills for university and beyond.

From a quick referencing refresh to handy paraphrasing strategies, they are a great way to virtually meet both the UniSkills team and students outside of your course.

They are free to book and there are no limits on how many you can attend. Here is what we have in store during Study Happy Week:

Monday 2 November

Moving Forward with UniSkills: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Grow Your Academic Resilience: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Tuesday 3 November

Moving Forward with UniSkills: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

How to Action Plan Your Feedback: 1:00pm – 1:30pm

Wednesday 4 November

Moving Forward with UniSkills: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Returning to Learning: 2:00pm-4:00pm

Thursday 5 November

Grow Your Academic Resilience: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Moving Forward with UniSkills: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Friday 6 November

Moving Forward with UniSkills: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Book your place on one, or all, today at ehu.ac.uk/workshops

Competition – share your study space with us!

For this year’s Study Happy Week competition, we’re asking you to send in a snap of your study space. Whether your bedroom or an outdoor spot, with pets or without, simply upload your photo to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MyEHUStudyHappySpace and tagging @EHULearnService for the chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher, or one of two £10 Amazon vouchers for the runners-up.

#MyEHUStudyHappySpace Prize Draw Terms & Conditions

  1. The prize draw is open to all EHU students and staff (except Learning Services staff).
  2. The winner will be picked at random from a prize draw at 12pm on Monday 9th November 2020.
  3. The prizes are non-transferable.
  4. The winner will be contacted through their Twitter or Instagram account and asked to confirm their EHU student/staff number.
  5. The prize will be emailed to the Edge Hill student/staff email address corresponding with the student/staff number given.
  6. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not respond before 23rd November 2020, the entry will become null and void and a re-draw will take place.

Hello from our Student Advisors!

Here’s a sneak peek of just some of the tips from our Student Advisors on how they ‘Study Happy’:

  • Keep your workspace separated from your recreational spaces

“This might be harder for those in halls because your workspace is in your bedroom, but it’s not impossible. When I was in halls, I made sure that my desk was reserved for work and everywhere else was for chilling out.”

  • Get in a group chat!

“Most people benefit from sharing ideas and talking ideas through together. When you’re spending less time with peers it might seem like you’ll miss out on that, but you don’t have to. Think about joining a group chat or setting up a study group.”

  • Try out a procrastination-beating browser extension

“First thing I should mention is that you should always be careful when installing things to your computer and check reviews/ratings of browser extensions before you try them. But if you have trouble managing your time and avoiding distractions like social media, there are plenty of browser extensions that might help.”

Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels from the 2nd November for more.

Wellbeing Support

Student Wellbeing have lots of useful resources on their webpages to support you in staying mentally and physically well during your studies. Alongside signposting to a range of apps, websites and tutorials, you can also book in and speak with a member of the team: edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/wellbeing/

Wellbeing Workshops

Student Wellbeing have also created 2 digital workshops on perfectionism and procrastination that you can work through at your own pace. Complete with captions, these are perfect for those who might be struggling to get things done, or find they spend so much time on one assignment it puts them behind on the rest of their work: edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/wellbeing/groups-workshops/

Togetherall

Edge Hill University students going through a tough time can now access free online support with Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall). Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope, Togetherall can help you get support, take control and feel better. You will have access to a 24/7 online community and professional support from trained counsellors. Togetherall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.

To join, simply go to togetherall.com and sign up under ‘organisation’ with your Edge Hill University email address.

With #StudyHappyWeek going virtual for the first time ever, we look forward to welcoming you to our webinars, connecting you with our Student Advisors and seeing all of your fantastic competition entries. Remember, you can get involved as much or as little as you like!