UniSpeaks – Our Ethos

Through UniSpeaks we are building a community of positive support where those new to presenting or nervous about speaking in front of an audience can learn strategies and techniques to develop their confidence. UniSpeaks offers an opportunity for students to develop their own style in a safe space and enjoy peer-to-peer encouragement in a welcoming environment.

To ensure that we continue to offer our students the best experience, we did some research! Public speaking comes in many guises and, for most, the road to becoming a confident presenter has been a long one. Lots of speakers who now appear confident will admit to starting out a bundle of nerves and even doubting their own abilities. With this in mind we felt it was important for us to attend some speaking events, where we could witness for ourselves how these skills are developed.

So, we began big… TED talks are well-known globally for being one of the leading public speaking platforms in the world and they are accessible to the public through independently organised TEDx events. With TEDx Manchester taking place on Sunday 3rd February 2019, it was too good an opportunity to miss! We were able to witness an array of topics, speakers and styles. From the bold and exuberant to the quietly confident, all the presenters captured our attention and inspired us in numerous ways. Having learned how the seasoned speakers engage their audience, we then moved to focus on how we could successfully facilitate a safe space for public speaking.

To do this we decided to tap into current local events with the same ethos. We spent an evening attending the brilliant Ignite Liverpool, which brings together a range of ‘creators, thinkers, innovators, makers and dreamers’ to present in front of members of the pubic in an informal and intimate setting. By attending this event we identified the value in setting up a space where students can come together and support each other without our intervention. We came away idea-poppingly inspired, not only by the incredible range of fascinating topics presented, but by the enthusiastic, supportive and nurturing environment. The event was so motivating, that we are even considered the possibility of delivering our own presentations at the next event in May!

The combination of seeing public speakers on the big stage at TEDx Manchester, and the small stage at Ignite Liverpool, helped us to really appreciate the need for a small, local Community of Practice where anyone can share their experiences, and develop their confidence alongside their peers.

It was at this point we decided to delve into the pedagogy, identifying that routinely getting likeminded people together to share their knowledge (Wenger, McDermott and Snyder, 2002) could reap benefits in terms of developing communication skills and even a bank of useful resources (Bing-You and Varaklis, 2016). We also discovered that Communities of Practice tend to function well when they’re left to simmer on their own – to grow organically as ‘a process rather than an entity that can simply be set up’ (Pyrko, Dorfler and Eden, 2017: 390). For this reason, we’ve held back on some of our usual marketing, trusting instead in growth generated through the community’s own outreach.

We are proud to be creating UniSpeaks at Edge Hill and look forward to welcoming more students to be part of this innovative new venture. If you’re feeling inspired to join us book your place here (sessions take place on the last Wednesday of every month).

BING-YOU, R. G. and VARAKLIS, K., 2016. Organizing graduate medical education programs into communities of practice. Medical Education Online. 21 (1), pp. 1-6.

PYRKO, I., DÖRFLER, V. and EDEN, C., 2017. Thinking together: What makes Communities of Practice work? Human Relations. 70 (4), pp. 389-409.

WENGER, E., MCDERMOTT, R. A. and SNYDER, W., 2002. Cultivating communities of practice: a guide to managing knowledge. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

Spotlight on… Study skills resources

Welcome to the last of our ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, our Student Advisors have been bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

If you’re struggling with finding academic help resources within Catalyst, then look no further. Here, I’ve compiled a list of Palgrave Macmillan Study Skills handbooks that will enhance your study skills.

The handbooks can be found on the 2nd floor of Catalyst, usually in the 370s. Here are just some of the titles on offer:

  • The Study Skills Handbook (371.30281/COT)
  • Teaching Study Skills and Supporting Learning (378.170281/COT)
  • Presentation Skills for Students (808.51/VAN)
  • E-learning Skills (371.334/CLA)
  • Study Skills Connected: Using Technology to Support your Study(371.30281/COT)

Not only does Catalyst have these useful books available, you can also book onto any of the Learning Services workshops or one-to-ones. There are multiple workshops available, including Academic Writing, Paraphrasing, Presentations and Lit Reviews. You can book onto any of these workshops here. There are much more resources for study skills available in Catalyst, why not use the library catalogue to check some of these out?

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

 

Spotlight on… the Silent Study space

Welcome to the sixth of our ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, our Student Advisors will be bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

From group rooms to private desks, Catalyst provides a range of study space options to cater for diverse student needs. On the top floor you will find the Silent Study space, which allows you not only room to concentrate on your studies free from distraction, but also a range of other unexpected benefits…

Have you taken in the incredible views from the floor-to-ceiling windows? This allows for students to take a glimpse of their surroundings and enjoy the sights of our beautiful campus, Lancashire and beyond. Perfect for when you need that quick study break!

Did you know… silence benefits brain chemistry improving your learning and remembering ability.

When it comes to that all-important study pause, just outside of the Silent Study space you will find an array of comfortable furniture where you can regroup with friends or simply grab a bite to eat from the vending machine.

Did you know… silence decreases stress by lowering blood cortisol levels and adrenaline.

One of the best features of the Silent Study space is that it caters for individual study preferences. There are computers that are available to use by all students, either on a singular desk or next to another computer. As well as this, individual study spaces are available where students can use their own laptop.

The printing hub for the Silent Study space is located on the third floor right outside the study area, resulting in quick and easy access to printing and scanning any work you may have. There is also a rover phone located here which means you can contact the helpdesk from the third floor if you require any assistance. You just have to pick up the phone and it will automatically connect you through to the helpdesk.

Happy silent studying!

Written by: Anna Krawiecka

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Spotlight on… the Educational Resource Collection

Welcome to the fourth of our ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, our Student Advisors will be bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

In today’s post, Jade explores Catalyst’s selection of educational resources. Did you know we house more than just books and journals?

Edge Hill College opened in Liverpool in 1885 as the first non-denominational teacher training college for women. From its roots as a specialist establishment with 41 female trainee teachers, Edge Hill University now has over 10,000 full-time students and has been at the forefront of initial teacher training for 130 years. The primary education teaching degrees combine expert tuition and a significant amount of time spent in schools gaining hands on experience.

So, considering all the to-be teachers here on campus, we have complied some facts about our Educational Resources Collection. We hope you’re inspired to use them on your placement!

Where are the resources located?

First floor   >   Near the spiral Staircase   >    000 – 999

What can the resources be used for?

  • To inspire lesson planning across the curriculum
  • To enhance the development of soft skills through interactive activities
  • To encourage creativity through play

If you are interested in the resources but are unsure which of them would suit you, I recommend booking out one of the group rooms on the ground floor to check them out with your peers. By sampling and getting to know the resources better, you can avoid any surprises in the classroom and teach with confidence!

See how to book your group room here.

Written by: Jade Kaur

3rd Year Nutrition and Health Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

 

‘Love Your Library’ round-up and Twitter Competition

Catalyst is a particularly pleasant place at the moment – cheery help desk staff, students smiling at one another, it’s as though the whole building is enveloped in a bubble of loveliness! We can’t quite put our finger on it, but we think it might be something to do with national #LoveYourLibrary month.

If you hadn’t noticed, since the start of February we’ve had a little digital celebration of all things Library. While our ‘Spotlight On…’ blog series has been showcasing lesser-known facts about your favourite study space, this week we will be going all in with special Student Advisor-led workshops, social media competitions and more.

To kick things off, our wonderful Student Advisors have decked out the ground floor desk space with an aptly-timed Valentines themed display. Think heart balloons, book ‘couples’, and enough red sequins to prompt a romantic proposal. If that weren’t enough, we’ve also set up a whopping 2-ways-to-enter competition with prizes for every entrant (while stocks last). We told you there was something in the air…

The first way to get your name in the pot for this year’s most coveted competition is to visit the event desk space and have a go at guessing the location of our list of famous libraries. Do you know your Bodleian from your St Marks? Are you search savvy enough on Google to find out?

Alternatively, keep your beady eyes peeled for an #EHULoveYourLibrary heart poking out from one of the Catalyst bookshelves. Simply tweet a picture of your discovery to @EHULearnService including the hashtag and we will take care of the rest. The prize you ask? Check out our heart-themed hamper below…

You also don’t want to miss our #LoveYourLibrary month book recommendations display. Not only have the Student Engagement Team been busy reviewing their top-picks from our very own Library Catalogue, but they’ve also paired some books they think go together better than Edge and Hill. We apologise in advance for inspiring you to use up all your book allowance!

Finally, make sure to book a space on our Student Advisor-led workshop ‘Getting the most out of ‘My Library’ here:

This hands-on session will show you everything you need to know about navigating our online tab. Whether you need to download the referencing guide or access subject specific journals, your Advisors will be on hand to answer or signpost any of your burning questions.

So don’t hold back, there’s plenty of ways to get involved with #LoveYourLibrary month and show Catalyst how much you care.

#LoveYourLibrary Competition Terms and conditions

  1. Only EHU Students are eligible to win prizes, EHU staff may enter but are not eligible to win a prize.
  2. To collect your goody bag for entering you will need to bring evidence of your competition entry to Catalyst Help Desk and quote ‘UniSkills competition’.
  3. Twitter competition entries must contain the hashtag #EHULoveYourLibrary with the heart(s) visible in the image.
  4. The prize will be given to the owner of the Tweet or student number on the ‘Famous Libraries’ competition slip.
  5. You may tweet as many times as you wish to share your heart, but only one entry (per method of entering) will be entered into the final prize draw.
  6. The winner will be contacted through their Twitter or student email account.
  7. The winners will be picked at random from a prize draw on Tuesday 19th February 2018.
  8. The prizes are non-transferable.
  9. All winners must be able to collect the prize from Catalyst Help Desk and be able to provide evidence/ID that they have won before we can hand over the prize.
  10. Prizes must be collected by 5pm on Tuesday 26thFebruary 2019.
  11. If anyone cannot be contacted or prizes are not collected by Tuesday 26th February the entry will become null and void and a re-draw will take place.

Spotlight on… Quick queries!

Welcome to the third of our ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, our Student Advisors will be bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

Catalyst is a large building and when in need, trying to track down the exact person you need can be timely. While the help desk is a great place to go with any query you might have, this blog shines light on the other services available designed to minimize disruption to your precious study time.

Roving phones

These phones are located within the printing hub on each floor and are free for students to use. To use this phone, you just pick it up and it will ring the Catalyst Helpdesk for you. You may wish to report an issue with the printer, such as it having jammed or run out of paper. These phones can also be used to report any noise concerns.

Blinds

Did you know that students have control over the blinds in Catalyst? You can request for a blind to be lowered or heightened by texting +44 (0)1613 751608.

Noise issues

There may be times in Catalyst where the noise in your study area becomes too loud. You can inform members of staff about the noise without leaving your study space by texting +44 (0)1613 751608. Simply include your location in the text and a member of staff will deal with the issue.

Board pens

There are wipe boards and pens in the study rooms located on the ground floor that students are welcome to use (provided they book the room in advance). If there aren’t any wipe board pens in your study room, the help desk staff will happily provide you with some.

Written by: Anna Krawiecka

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

 

Spotlight on… Language Resources

Welcome to the second of our ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, our Student Advisors will be bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

Learning a language has an exciting array of benefits. So why not enhance your memory, improve your first language, benefit your academic performance and even widen your career choices with a multilingual library pick?

Fortunately, Catalyst has lots of foreign language resources you can delve into as a starting point. Whether you’re beginning from scratch or are already a seasoned Spanish speaker, browse the library’s inspiring collection of both grammar and teach-yourself exercise books. There’s no excuses!

On the 2nd floor of Catalyst (400-470) you can find extensive books on learning several languages. These include (but are not limited to):

  • French
  • German
  • Celtic
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish

If that wasn’t enough, Catalyst also offers sign language resources…

With so many languages to choose from, half the fun may even be in discovering a tongue you didn’t know existed!

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Spotlight on… Catalyst Curiosities

Welcome to the first of our ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, we will be bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

Catalyst is brilliant for so many reasons. From finding academic resources and facilitating group work, to simply being an inspiring and positive study space, there is an abundance of services designed to help you including some you may not know about! Here, we collate some of the features that tend to spark students’ curiosities.

Black Study Lamps

You may have seen the black study lamps in certain study spaces around Catalyst, but there has been some confusion as to how you turn them on! To use these, you just touch the base of the lamp, tapping more than once to dim the brightness. These study lamps also have a USB port which can be used to charge electronic devices (you need to bring the correct cable).

Library Catalogue Machines

The library catalogue machines are computers which allow you to search for a book or journal article that is available in Catalyst. They are ready to be used which saves you having to find a computer and log on! They are located on the first and second floors next to the printing hubs.

Printing PCs

There are computers located within the printing hubs that can be logged onto if you just have something to print.

Stationery

There is also stationery available to use which can be located within the printing hubs.

The Video Wall

The video wall is located on the Catalyst ground floor to the right of the coffee shop. This has a rotational display which informs students of useful information, such as upcoming workshops and the building layout.

Have you spotted any other curious features in Catalyst? Tweet us at @EHULearnService using #KeepUpWithCatalyst so we can spread the word!

Written by: Anna Krawiecka

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

 

 

Perfect your presentations with UniSpeaks

How do you feel when you look at your module overview and see that one of the assessed elements is a presentation? Fearful? Anxious? Nervous?

You are not alone! Almost every course at university includes an assessed presentation at some point … and almost every student has felt anxious or nervous about presenting in front of other people.

A great way to reduce anxiety and improve your confidence levels is to practice in a safe environment. Some of you may already do this with family or friends, but finding an audience that is welcoming, friendly and can offer positive feedback, can often be a challenge.

This is why we have developed UniSpeaks!

UniSpeaks offers a safe space to come together with other students in the same boat to practice presenting in front of an audience. These sessions will take place once a month – you can come along and listen to others present, and even have a go yourself.

Our aim is to build a community of positive support where those new to presenting, or speaking in front of any audience, can learn strategies and techniques to develop their confidence. UniSpeaks offers the space and opportunity for you to develop your own style and provide constructive feedback to the other speakers. This is a great opportunity for you to meet other students, develop your skills, and become a more confident presenter.

Book your place today!

‘New year, New Uniskills’ Twitter Competition

Research shows that if we commit to doing something, we are far more likely to succeed if we publicly declare our intentions. So, motivate yourself this semester by sharing a pledge with a friend. You could pledge to:

  • Not leave your assignments to the last minute
  • Eat well and get enough sleep
  • Prioritise study over social media

… or think up one of your own.

If that’s not motivation enough, enter our competition to win yourself a motivational study snack! Simply upload a picture of your #MyEdgePledge bookmark (available in Catalyst) using the hashtag, for a chance to win.

Still struggling to find some motivation to get back into semester 2? Jumpstart your January by coming to our ‘How to be keen in 2019’ workshop this Wednesday, which will offer tips and techniques to motivate yourself and avoid procrastination. Learn to manage your time, set achievable goals, and make study fun! Book on now at: https://bit.ly/2ACYkpl

Or, maybe you and a friend could pledge to attend a Uniskills workshop together to help you both make the most out of your university experience. Friday offers a fantastic opportunity to discover how to make the most of your contact (and non-contact!) hours and find a study strategy that works for you by attending our ‘Learn to engage to start on the right page’ workshop. Book here: https://bit.ly/2FPWWmS

We look forward to seeing you at the #NewYearNewUniskills stand on the ground floor of Catalyst this week, or at one of our popular workshops!

 

#My Edge Pledge Competition Terms and conditions

  1. Only EHU Students are eligible to win prizes, EHU staff may enter but are not eligible to win a prize.
  2. Competition entries must contain the hashtag #MyEdgePledge with the bookmark(s) visible in the image.
  3. The prize will be given to the owner of the Tweet.
  4. You may tweet as many times as you wish to share your pledge, but only one entry will be entered into the final prize draw.
  5. The winner will be contacted through their Twitter account.
  6. The winners will be picked at random from a prize draw on Monday 28th January 2018.
  7. The prizes are non-transferable.
  8. All winners must be able to collect the prize from Catalyst Help Desk and be able to provide evidence/ID that they have won before we can hand over the prize.
  9. Prizes must be collected by 5pm on Friday 1st February 2019.
  10. If anyone cannot be contacted or prizes are not collected by Friday 1st February the entry will become null and void and a re-draw will take place.