Study Tools: Box of Broadcasts

Whilst Catalyst is home to thousands of books and a multitude of journal articles available online, Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is another great resource to help enhance your assignment writing.

Box of Broadcasts
Image : https://s3.amazonaws.com/libapps/accounts/21650/images/BoB1.jpg

BoB contains over 2 million online resources dating back to the 1990s and includes all your favourite channels such as BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4. TV shows, documentaries and other media formats are great ways to access research if you want to give your reading eyes a break.

With programs dating back over 30 years you can easily create playlists of topics to suit your needs and analyse trends and patterns of research to create a wider more informed view that will help in your  assignment writing.

Besides assignment writing BoB can also be used to catch up on the latest TV shows and films as well as live programs. Available on all devices you can watch live; request and record and create your own playlists and it perfect for on the go viewing. It even has an easy to search format that helps with academic referencing.

If you’re unsure of how to used BoB it really is simple (especially when you know how), but these helpful video tutorials provide a bit more information on how to make the most of what BoB has to offer: http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/bob/bob-video-tutorials

So, if you’ve not watched enough festive TV this season why not take a look at what BoB has to offer before you see in the new year!

Student Advisor Maisie
Maisie Masterman – Student Advisor
BSc Primary Education with QTS – 3rd Year

Submitting Your Assignment: Tips from a 4th year…

Once you’ve finished your assignment, closed those 300 tabs you’ve had open for days and tidied up the remains of endless coffees and snacks, all you want to do is to upload your work to Turnitin and never see it again. But… you’re not quite finished. There are things to do BEFORE submitting your assignment. Luckily, I’ve put together some tips and tricks for submitting assignments. Trust me, as a fourth year, these are handy!

Tips and Tricks for submitting your assignment. Tips from a 4th year.

Check to see if your references are complete

Depending on what subject you study depends on what referencing style you use. Each referencing style will have their own sets of rules and if used incorrectly, it could lose you a few marks! Make sure you are checking over your references by using a referencing guide – these are available from your My Library tab on Learning Edge. (If you’re struggling with your referencing, you can even book a peer to peer appointment with one of us Student Advisors!)

Use Microsoft Word’s “Read Aloud” feature

Microsoft Word has a brilliant feature that will read your assignment aloud, helping you to hear where you might’ve made a mistake, or where a sentence is not as clear as you wanted it to be. Make use of this tool! To launch the Read Aloud feature go to Review and locate the Read Aloud feature. Take a look at the Assistive Technology pages for more great support.

Highlight where you have answered the questions / met the learning outcomes

It can be easy, especially in essays, to go off topic and start writing about content that doesn’t answer your topic question. Go through and highlight places where you have answered your assignment title or question and try to think of areas where things could be tightened or strengthened.

Textbook highlighted

Check for incorrect spelling and grammar

Thankfully, Microsoft Word often does this for you without you having to lift a finger. However, if you’re like me, you might make spelling or grammatical mistakes that Word might not pick up. For example, I often use words that are not in the right place, or use an alternative correct spelling (e.g. there, their, they’re). Also, make sure that you are avoiding contractions (can’t, shouldn’t, won’t) and idioms (e.g. at the end of the day).

Check that the format is correct

Does your assignment follow the formatting rules for your course? Usually, courses will outline preferences for the format of assignments, so they look professional. For example, they might specify a font style, font size, spacing etc. Check with your module handbook or tutor if you are not sure.

Take a break

If you have time, leave your assignment for a few days to allow yourself to come back to it with a clear mind. Looking over your assignments with fresh eyes will help you notice where you have made mistakes, or where you think your assignment might need more work.

Look at previous feedback from tutors

Feedback from previous assignments is your best way of achieving a better mark. Looking back over you tutor’s comments and acting upon them will show that you have developed and improved since your last assignment.

Check your originality report

Turnitin will provide you with an originality report that will let you know what percentage of your assignment is matching other materials. The originality report shouldn’t be used as a proofreading tool. However, you might want to have a look through to see if you have referenced all of your quotes and ideas correctly.

DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE

Take this advice from an MA student… submitting your assignment at the last minute can go awful if Turnitin goes down or is under scheduled maintenance. Make sure you submit your assignment a few days before the deadline to ensure an easy and smooth submission.

So… that’s a wrap on my tips. Of course, there are many more things you could do before submitting your assignment, but these are the tips I’ve found the most important.

Happy submitting!

Student Advisor Dylan
Dylan Booth – Student Advisor
MA Creative Writing

World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day!

This is a perfect day for you poets to get hands on with your poetry – but also the perfect day for you non-poets to start your path to poetry!

Luckily, for those wanting to get deep into poetry reading, I’ve handily compiled a list of poetry publications, all on offer within Catalyst. I’ve touched upon a range, including US poetry, BAME, anthologies and translated poetry.

  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen, 811.6/RAN
  • Valzhyna Mort, Factory of Tears, 891.799/MOR
  • Forrest Gander, Core Samples from the World, 811.54/GAN
  • Mina Loy, The Lost Lunar Baedeker, 811/LOY
  • Edge Hill Press, Atlantic Drift, 821/BYR

There are hundreds of other poets within Catalyst, but these are a few starting points for those wanting to sink your teeth into well-written, strong poetry. Why not use the library catalogue to search for other poets and anthologies yourself?

If you’re struggling to get started with your poetry, don’t worry, there are exercises you can try. Why not write a book spine poem? Here is my blog post on book spine poetry for you to try out.

Also, why not try blackout poetry? Blackout poetry involves taking a page of a book (a photocopy would be best) and blacking out words to have fewer words that create a poem! This exercise can forge brilliant lines that you can use in your poetry or can make interesting poems themselves. Why not give it a try in Catalyst?

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year BA Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library and Learning Services

National Conversation Week

 

What is National Conversation Week?

Sometimes we get lost in our phones, whether it be social media, texting or emails. Occasionally, we get so engrossed that we forget how to speak to people in our day to day lives – without resorting to memes or funny pictures. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it can be nice to have a conversation that is not made up of emojis and gifs. National Conversation Week is designed to help us embrace talking to our peers in a more meaningful way or a different way to how we normally would. I am guilty of keeping conversations with my friends going just by sending funny videos and pictures. By the end of the conversation I have often not learnt anything about how my friend is doing or shared anything about my own day. That is why this week I am aiming to reflect on each of my conversations and how they have benefited myself or somebody else.

How can I improve my conversations?

Edge Hill offers free access to LinkedIn Learning which is a website that lets you do courses in a variety of topics such as time management, leadership skills and how to have successful conversations. There are a range of short courses centred around conversations and you can even get a certificate at the end of it!

If you want to take your learning further there are plenty of TED talks on the art of having meaningful conversations.

I found the TED talks to be very insightful. There is one called 10 ways to have a better conversation which I enjoyed very much. Celeste Headlee put an emphasis on the importance of face to face conversations, taking the time to listen to people as well as being open minded and kind. Why not put it to the test? You might be amazed by all the exciting things that you learn about people and the world.

The benefits of National Conversation Week

  • It gives us a chance to reflect on how we converse with people and give meaning to our interactions
  • We can learn new tips and tricks on how to improve the quality of conversations we have
  • It could help improve relationships with family and friends
  • The skill of conversation is important when making new friends at university
  • It can also help us communicate better and in a clearer way with our lecturers and personal tutors

Some tips on how to have good conversations:

  • Be polite
  • Ask questions. This will encourage the person to go into more depth and to help you have a clearer image of what they are trying to communicate
  • Do not be afraid to say you do not know or understand something. Bill Nye said, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t”. This is a useful tip to keep in mind
  • Go into conversations with an open mind. If you start every conversation with the mentality that your mind will not be changed, then you will not learn anything, nor will the conversation be helpful
  • Listen – this may seem obvious, but how many times have you found your mind wandering during a conversation?

You can still use your phone!

National Conversation Week is not about trying to reduce people using their phones and other devices. These are important for keeping connected in a modern world. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired this week to have more meaningful conversations with your friends, and try to have more face to face conversations.

Written by: NATASHA TAPERA

2nd Year BA Counselling and Psychotherapy

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Christmas Specials on BoB

Back in October, Claire introduced us to BoB or Box of Broadcasts, a really cool online service free to Edge Hill staff and students, with thousands of TV shows and films that have been broadcast on TV between last night and the 1990’s!

As you may have heard, Christmas is around the corner and everyone’s curling up on the sofa to watch some heart-felt winter warmers. There’s hundreds of lists of the ‘best’ Christmas films online, and like me, I know you’ll already have your favourites in mind (I can’t get enough of Jude Law in ‘The Holiday’!).

But, what about the Christmas Specials? All those classic episodes of your favourite shows with a seasonal touch of magic. Can you still remember the Doctor Who episode where they put a sci-fi twist on A Christmas Carol? Or who won the Great British Bake Off Christmas special last year? Well fortunately, there’s no need to panic, because I’ve popped 24 Christmas Special episodes from 24 different shows in a ‘Lead up to Christmas’ playlist!

Head over to BoB with the link below and watch these specials as if they’re little advent chocolates, keeping you in the festive spirit right up until Christmas!

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/playlists/187684

Don’t forget that term ends on December 14th, so make sure to book in any Student Advisor appointments before that date if you need support. We offer 15-minute appointments with a Student Advisor, during term time between 11am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Book your appointment here.

Check out the opening hours of Catalyst here.

And most importantly, have a very Merry Christmas on behalf of myself and the Learning Services team!

Written by: RACHEL ARLAND

3rd Year Early Year Childhood Studies Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Read a New Book Month

Did you know there are nearly 130 million printed books in existence? Did you also know that it would take 60,000 years to read all these books? That’s a lot to choose from…

To celebrate Read a New Book Month, I have created a list of book suggestions for you to read over the Christmas period. All the books mentioned are available via the Edge Hill University library!

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling (2nd floor 823.914/ROW)

Did you know that Harry Potter is among the three most read books in the world? If you haven’t read the series already, then grab the first installment from Catalyst. Forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs by his Aunt and Uncle, Harry leads a very unremarkable life. But on his eleventh birthday, Harry is introduced to the magic of the wizarding world.

  1. Fen – Daisy Johnson (2nd floor 823.92/JOH)

‘Fen’ brings together a collection of short stories inhabiting the English fenlands. English folklore and a contemporary eye, sexual honesty and combustible invention – in ‘Fen’, these elements have come together to create a singular, startling piece of modern fiction. Daisy Johnson infuses her stories with magic realism. This collection is great for those who love extraordinary elements in their everyday lives.

  1. After Dark – Haruki Murakami (2nd floor 895.6/MUR)

Did you know that less than 3% of English language books are translated from another language? This is remarkably low compared to other countries, Turkey stands at 40% and Slovenia at 70%. Why not read a translated novel over the Christmas period?

‘After Dark’ is the novel written by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. The midnight hour approaches in an almost empty all-night diner. Mari sips her coffee and glances up from a book as a young man, a musician, intrudes on her solitude. Both have missed the last train home. This novel is great for those who love mysterious and enigmatic narratives.

  1. My Friend Dahmer – Derf Backderf (1st floor 364.1523/DER)

‘My Friend Dahmer’ is a graphic novel that tells the story of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer before he committed his crimes. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, Dahmer was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. This book is great for those who are visual readers and love to read the real.

  1. Citizen – Claudia Rankine (2nd floor 811.6/RAN)

Claudia Rankine’s book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in 21st century daily life and in the media. The book is made up of essays, poetry and images that create a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, ‘post-race’ society. This one is great for poetry readers!

There are hundreds of more books to choose from within Catalyst. Why not go and check one out before you head home this Christmas?

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Keep Calm and Submit 🎄

Keep Calm and Submit Week (3rd-7th December 2018) will host an array of activities, workshops and resources to encourage students to keep calm during the assignment and exam period.☃️

Activities

We have a range of fun and enjoyable activities for students to get involved with in Catalyst including a book display, colouring activities, Christmas card quotes and time management and revision handouts. Our book display will feature titles that will help you with all things academic, including writing assignments, organising your time and boosting your confidence. There will also be a Christmas-themed display with a Christmas tree🎄, crackers and cards printed with inspirational quotes, tips and information about the week to come. There will also be useful handouts for students to take away such as time management tips, revision tips and revision timetables accommodated for the Christmas period. So, make sure to come to the ground floor of Catalyst to check out what is available.

Workshops

This week aims to boost the confidence of students and ease their minds about any worries they might have about submitting their assignments or preparing for exams. In order to support students during this period we will be hosting a range of workshops led by our Student Advisors.

Turnitin *EXPRESS* Sessions

These Turnitin sessions, led by our Student Advisors, will give advice to students about submitting their assignments.This Turnitin *EXPRESS* session will give advice to students about submitting their assignments and tips on how to stay calm and submit with confidence.This session will cover what Turnitin is, how to submit an assignment, and provide students with the opportunity to ask questions and gain support with their submission.

The sessions will run as follows:

  • Monday 3rd December: Willow, 11am-11:30am
  • Tuesday 4th December: Willow, 11am-11:30am
  • Wednesday 5th December: Willow, 12pm-12:30pm
  • Friday 7th December: Oak, 12pm-12:30pm

Book your place here.

If you would like more support using Turnitin outside of these sessions, why not book a 15 minute appointment with a Student Advisor?

We will also be hosting a range of other workshops led by our team of Student Advisors. Take a look below at the exciting and informative workshops we have to offer.

Monday 3rd December:

Revision Tips and Techniques (Oak Training room 2pm-3pm)

With January exam season looming, this workshop will offer students advice on revising through the Christmas period. ‘Revision Tips and Techniques’ will be led by our Student Advisor Dylan. This workshop will not only visit the different forms of revision but will question how to make revision techniques useful and effective. The session will also cover approaches to revision and the do’s and don’ts when revising. Students will be encouraged to take part in several group activities where discussions will take place.

Wednesday 5th December:

Tips, Tricks and Christmas Hits (Oak Training room 2pm-3pm)

This workshop will offer students some useful tips and tricks when it comes to revising over the Christmas period and how to make the most of the Library Catalogue, Discover More and the UniSkills resources. ‘Tips, Tricks and Christmas Hits’ will be led by our Student Advisor Shelby. This session will allow students to come along with their exam or assignment timetables and make use of the revision tips and tricks that will be provided in a presentation and on worksheets and will allow them to use the information to create their own revision / assignment timetables, all whilst listening to Christmas hits and having fun. ❄️ 🎵

Friday 7th December:

Christmas Cards (Willow Training room 2pm-3pm)

To celebrate Keep Calm and Submit week this workshop will allow you to create and design a beautiful Christmas Card. This workshop will be led by our Student Advisor Jade. Come along to this workshop and get involved in some therapeutic card making, learning some useful tips on how to make cards for your family and friends. No artistic talent required, just come along and have fun.☃️

A Day in the Life of a Student Advisor

Hi, I am Jade and I am currently in my 3rd year studying Nutrition and Health. I am one of five Student Advisors, working for Library and Learning Services in Catalyst. We work from 11am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and we are here to help students along their academic journey. We can help by providing support with Harvard referencing queries, searching for physical or virtual books and navigating around the Virtual Learning Environment.

I have created a preview of a typical day for us but we may be able to help with your other queries too!

11:00 am – Welcoming students and pointing them in the right direction of all the services in Catalyst…

11:20 am – Guiding students on how to use the Virtual Learning Edge

12:00 pm – Attending Uniskills workshops with students, on varied subjects such as; Proofreading Strategies or Developing Academic Writing

1:00 pm – Break for lunch / coffee at 53.3 North

1:30 pm – Writing blog posts to inform students about upcoming events and to provide academic tips and techniques

2:00 pm – Walking around Catalyst helping students find books, CDs, DVDs, Teaching Resources and assisting with checking them out

2:20 pm – Directing students to the free television service called Box of Broadcasts or the UniSkills online toolkits

3:00 pm – Providing one-to-one appointments to assist students with:

4:00 pm – Leave Catalyst thinking about how diverse the job is and how the next shift may be completely different!

1-2-1 Appointments

We offer 15-minute appointments with a Student Advisor, during term time between 11am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Book your appointment here.

Written by: JADE KAUR

3rd Year Nutrition and Health Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

How do Edge Hill Students revise? What techniques do they use?

During Study Happy Week Learning Services asked students to write on a sticky note how they learn and what techniques they may use when studying or revising. There are three core types of learners these are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. We discovered that there were many types of learners at Edge Hill University. Here are some of their Revision and Study Techniques.

Display It On A Wall

This means that by drawing a poster or putting information in plain sight on a wall you are able to take it in and study it, this is a key way to study if you are a visual learner.

Pictures & Diagrams

Revising by looking at pictures and diagrams helps you to break down and understand key information and concepts. You can do this by using pictures or diagrams online, drawing your own, or by copying out certain pictures and images from textbooks you may have used.

Drawing Memorable Cartoons

This is a quirky and fun way to be able to remember information. Some people are able to transfer written information into images and drawings and cartoons which allows them to be able to creatively take in information.

Visuals (Mind Maps, Diagrams & Flowcharts)

Many people use some form of visual aid when studying, whether it’s copying out pictures, making flowcharts or even making colourful posters which are all an easy and often fun way to revise, and you can often link this to the first method of studying which was displaying it on a wall.

Flashcards

We found that this was a very popular choice of study here at Edge Hill. Flash cards are perfect for copying down relevant and short pieces of information relevant to your topic. Also, you’re able to get them in several colours allowing you to categorise them easily.

Repetition

Repetition is also a very popular method of study, as it allows you to practise and understand information until you remember it clearly, this is often used in relation to the two point above flashcards and studying with friends. By writing out and rereading information it allows, you to eventually remember it and this can be very useful in exam situations.

Bullet Points

Bullet points are the perfect way to revise, you are able to grab core ideas, concepts and keywords from large passages of information and break it down into simple points via bullet points. Excellent if you find working with lots of information difficult and overwhelming.

Highlighting

At some point in a student’s academic lifetime they will have used a highlighter, and for some people they find this a useful way of pointing out key ideas and words in text. Using a highlighter enables you to visually see key points quickly and easily without having to reread bulks of information.

Read & Reread

Although some students may think this seems like a boring and tedious way of revising some people learn by reading information and then rereading that information until they understand it and remember it.

Reading Journals & Books

This can relate to the point above. Often reading information from a variety of books and journals can help you study and understand information clearer by reading information from several viewpoints. This enables you to be able to understand information clearly before entering an exam or explaining information in assignments.

Reading & Breakdown Notes

Following on from the two points located above is reading and breaking down information in order to study. Although some people study and revise well by reading excessive amounts of information, some people revise better by reading information and then making notes in order to break down that information and take it in better.

Lists

Often when making notes people like to revise them by putting information into lists of information or making to do lists when studying so you know what topics you may need to revise for.

Practise Papers for Exams

Another very common way to study especially if you are studying for exams is by practising past exam papers from previous years. So, this allows you to be able to understand the format and layout of exams so that you know what to expect. You can often find these online.

Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a way of managing your time productively by studying in intervals, for example you would study for 30 minutes and then have a 15 minute break, maybe a drink and a snack and then you would return to studying for a further 30 minutes followed by another break. This help to stimulate focus and allows you to be more productive when studying, when you know you are being rewarded with a break. In the upcoming weeks Learning Services will be offering a “Shut Up and Work” workshop, it will be a 2-hour work shop where you can bring your own work and you will be following the Pomodoro technique. There will be refreshments available. You can book this online via the ‘My Library’ tab on Learning Edge.

Motivated by Snacks

Some students said that they were motivated by food. This again would link nicely into the Pomodoro technique. Perhaps boil the kettle and have some snacks ready for your break, take a short break and then return to work.

Drink Water To Help Focus

Some students suggest drinking lots of hydrating fluids before studying allowed them to be able to study harder for longer and enabled them to remain focused throughout revising.

So why not try a few of the techniques mentioned above and see if they could help you when it comes to studying and revising for upcoming exams and don’t forget you can always book onto one of our upcoming workshops.

Written by: SHELBY LUND

2nd Year International Business Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

#SussTheStress for National Stress Awareness Day

All of us at some point in our lives have known the feeling of stress, the cause can vary but a commonality we all share is finding ourselves under pressure from anything from coursework deadlines to dissertations. Stress is a normal part of life, but what happens when that stress becomes consuming, overwhelming even? The first Wednesday of each November is marked as National Stress Awareness Day, an opportunity for us to come together across our communities and start a conversation.

To help you Suss the Stress, we have put together this handy blog full of useful ways to support you in reducing and managing academic stress. Did you know that the Catalyst Helpdesk has knowledgeable staff on hand to help you, every day of the week? From accessing support to tackling tricky assignments, there’s plenty of people dedicated to supporting you with any query you might have.

The helpdesk is accessible 8am-8pm on weekdays, and 10am-6pm on weekends. And of course, the Student Advisors (like me!) are here on weekdays between 11am and 4pm to give you a helping hand getting started with checking out books, accessing printers and other resources, understanding referencing and so much more. Just pop to the helpdesk to book a 15 minute appointment or book online through the ‘My Library’ tab.

Workshops

If there is a particular topic that’s got you stressed out such as procrastination or presentation skills, why not book on to a workshop? There’s a little section on the My Library tab called ‘What’s On’ with a link to ‘Join a Uniskills Workshop’. Here you can access and book on to a wide range of workshops. For example, a great one that’s running each week till Christmas is Shut Up & Work where you can come along to a structured study session that uses the popular Pomodoro Technique to help you stay focused and get things done. This workshop also has refreshments and academic support throughout!

Appointments

As mentioned, you can book a 15 minute appointment with a Student Advisor to get started with the library, but did you know you can also book a longer more in-depth UniSkills appointment in the same place? Whether it’s referencing, academic writing, or just generally getting to grips with your work, everyone is here to help.

Online resources and Toolkits

So if you’ve not heard the word ‘UniSkills’ enough already, here it is one more time to help you access really useful resources and toolkits. Again, pop over to the ‘My Library’ tab and you’ll see a long list of links you can use to help improve your academic skills, it looks like this:

Here there are presentations and even quizzes to help you get ahead on a variety of skills. To the right of this you can also find subject-specific links setup especially for your field which give you the perfect tools to nail an assignment, so make sure to take a look!

Playlists

To help you #SussTheStress, here are 3 playlists you can use to understand, combat and overcome stress:

  • On Lynda.com you will find this playlist of short online courses and videos looking at stress, time management and resilience. Click here for the playlist.
  • On the Library Catalogue check out some self-help books all about stress management and making the most of your studies.
  • Finally, once all is said and done, kick back and relax with this Feel-good Films playlist on BoB, with all-time film favourites from Shrek to Matilda. Click here for the playlist.

We hope this blog has given you plenty of things to try out and suss your stress. Make sure to use the hashtag and let us know how you #SussTheStress!

Written by: RACHEL ARLAND

3rd Year Early Year Childhood Studies Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services