Specialist Catalyst Software – New Computer Workstations

TechSkills is a brand-new package of workshops, online resources, activities and face to face support to help you develop and enhance your technology skills. We have recently installed several high-performance computer workstations in Catalyst to facilitate student access to specialised professional applications 24 hours a day during term times.

The specialist workstations are adjacent to the Catalyst Helpdesk and can be booked in 1-3 hour periods.

The available professional applications include:

Creative Media:

Adobe Creative Cloud, Maxon Cinema 4D, Autodesk Maya, Toon Boom Harmony; StoryBoard Pro.

Toon Boom StoryBoard Pro is used by some of the best animation studios in the world. It can be used to bring storyboard art, graphic design and game design to life.

Geography:

ArcGIS Pro, ESA SNAP, Google Earth Pro, Leica Geosystems XPro, Trimble Coordinate System Manager, UASMaster.

Google Earth Pro is used by Scientists to share geographic locations in real time. It is also used to import Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data in Google Earth.

Computing:

NetBeans IDE, Python, Unity, Blender, BlueJ, GlassFish Server, HoloLens Emulator, Visual Studio Community, Microsoft Web Deploy, Weka, Windows Software Development Kit.

Python is a programming piece of software which is used globally by analysts, software engineers, developers and data scientists.

Come and use these new work stations which will save you time, with faster downloading speeds and enjoy the lovely views looking out on to the lake, at the same time!

Check out the new TechSkills webpages here.

Upcoming Event

On Thursday 13th December come along to @CatalystEHU 12pm-2:30pm and get involved in our 3D printing technology event. Learn more about 3D printing technology and print your very own 3D snowflake just in time for Christmas ❄️

Written by: JADE KAUR

3rd Year Nutrition and Health Student

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

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

Educational Resources – What is available to you?

What is a resource? It’s more than you may initially think, and there are many different resources available to you here at Edge Hill University. It is something that can help aid you in doing a specific job, writing an assignment or your dissertation.

The resources available to you throughout Catalyst are more than you may initially think. So, let’s take a look…

The Printing Hub

The printing hub is the place for all of your printing needs. The printing hubs are located within the “landmarks” which are the black circular structures on each floor of the Catalyst building. Every student at the start of each academic year is issued with printing credit. Black and White printing is 2p/sheet and colour is 5p/sheet. Once your printing credit has ran out you may top it up via cash or card at the Catalyst help desk located which is located on the ground floor.

Stationary and Binders

Also, you may not know but located within each Printing Hub are stationary tools such as; a hole puncher, staplers, cello tape and paper binders. These are all completely free to use, all we ask is that once you have finished that you please return them to the Printing Hub for the use of other students.

Newspapers

Newspapers are a great resource especially when writing assignments. There are range of newspapers covering a variety of topics and stories. These are free to use, read and reference however we do ask that you do not remove these from Catalyst as they are on a “No-Loan” policy as they are fragile and irreplaceable. These are located on the 2nd floor of Catalyst by the spiral staircase.

Magazines

Magazines are the perfect resource when writing assignments and dissertations. They also cover a range of topics and academic areas. Again, they are completely free to use, however the University pay a lot of money for these publications and they are on a “No-Loan” policy. These can be found on the 2nd floor of Catalyst by the spiral staircase.

 

 

Journals

Journals are a fabulous resource when writing assignments and dissertations. They are reliable academic resources, and really help boost your assignment grades with accurate academic resources. These can be located on the 2nd floor of the Catalyst by the spiral staircase, opposite the Magazine and Newspaper section.

Teaching Resources and Books

These are the perfect resources for students who are studying education related degrees. These resources are perfect for when students go out on placement and have to take classes and teach. There are boxes of classroom activities and fictional books such as Harry Potter. So, whether you are teaching or want to read one of the many fictional books, they are available to loan. They can be found on the 1st floor by the bottom of the spiral staircase.

DVDs and CDs
Finally, there are hundreds of DVD’s and CD’s available to students and staff too. They are also available for loan! They are the perfect resource for media or film students however if you fancy a movie night or want to be “old school” and listen to a CD because you’ve ran out of your free month from Netflix and Spotify then these are amazing. They are free to take out and are located on the 2nd floor of Catalyst by the toilets. From Disney classics to Horror there is something for everybody.

So, next time you are struggling to form an assignment or perhaps are having trouble finding reliable academic resources visit the Catalyst building and check out one of our many books or view one of the available journal or newspaper articles. Or why not borrow one of the many CDs or DVDs, whether it’s for academic use or personal use and you just fancy a movie night with your flat mates, feel free to check them out. There are also many other hidden resources within Catalyst like the Archive Room on the ground floor and you can borrow webcams for video interviews etc. These can be borrowed from Catalyst help desk.

So if there is something you might need then pop down to Catalyst, because you never know we might just have it.

Written by: SHELBY LUND

2nd Year International Business Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

November UniSkills Workshops

UniSkills is a package of workshops, hands-on support and online resources to help you develop a range of essential academic skills and to enable you to produce high quality University assignments. UniSkills workshops are a series of small group sessions, focusing on a particular set of academic skills and techniques, available to book via ehu.ac.uk/workshops.

This November why not attend one of our UniSkills workshops to get support with academic writing, finding academic information, Harvard Referencing, presentations, proofreading strategies or a session to support you with writing your undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation. This November will also see the introduction of our Shut Up & Work workshops, which are 2-hour structured sessions aimed at encouraging work and productivity.

Introduction to Academic Writing

This workshop will introduce you to the style of academic writing used at University. Discover how to plan, structure, use feedback and cover the basics of Harvard Referencing.

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 6th November @ 1:00pm
  • 8th November @ 1:00pm

Book your place here.

Developing Academic Writing

Are you looking to build upon previous academic writing experience and skills?

Building on previous experience, this workshop focuses on understanding and recognising assessment criteria, how to apply critical reading, how to demonstrate critical analysis in your writing and the importance of integrating referencing.

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 7th November @ 1:00pm
  • 12th November @ 12:00pm
  • 19th November @ 12:00pm
  • 21st November @ 1:00pm
  • 28th November @ 12:00pm

Book your place here.

Finding Academic Information

Are you struggling to find relevant academic information? Do you want to enhance your search strategy?

This hands-on workshop aims to help you improve your search strategy, find resources for your assignment (including books, eBooks and journal articles) using the Library Catalogue and Discover More and how to evaluate the reliability and strength of your sources. These workshops will take place in Oak Room (Top Floor, Catalyst).

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 2nd November @ 1:00pm
  • 13th November @ 12:00pm

Book your place here.

EXPRESS: Harvard Referencing

Referencing is an important part of your assignment as it allows you to acknowledge other writers and authors who have contributed to your thinking and argument. This workshop is ideal for students who want extra support with Harvard referencing and the chance to look at examples of how to reference correctly. This workshop will introduce you to the Harvard referencing guide, including in-text citations, bibliography/reference lists and the importance of referencing to avoid plagiarism.

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 8th November @ 12:00pm
  • 14th November @ 12:00pm
  • 20th November @ 12:30pm
  • 22nd November @ 1:00pm

Book your place here.

Powerful Presentations

Giving a presentation as part of your next module? Need help putting together a powerful presentation? This workshop will allow you to recognise the importance of planning and structuring your presentation, how to create an accessible yet visually appealing presentation and tips for presenting with confidence and poise. These workshops will take place in Oak Room (Top Floor, Catalyst).

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 5th November @ 1:00pm
  • 14th November @ 1:00pm

Book your place here.

Shut Up & Work

Do you just need to shut up and work? These workshops provide a quiet, comfortable environment to encourage a more productive study experience. Each session runs for 2 hours with a mixture of structured study time and (free) breakout refreshments. There will be academic support on hand throughout if you need help searching for resources, Harvard referencing support etc.

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 6th November @ 10:00am
  • 13th November @ 10:00am
  • 21st November @ 10:00am
  • 29th November @ 10:00am

Book your place here.

Writing Your Undergraduate Dissertation

This workshop may be of interest to those who are starting to plan and think about their undergraduate dissertation. This workshop will cover how to keep a narrow focus, what is originality of research, explore the structure and function of each section. This workshop also includes a troubleshooting group discussion (Level 6).

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 26th November @ 1:00pm

Book your place here.

Writing Your Postgraduate Dissertation

This workshop is aimed at postgraduate students who are starting to plan and think about their dissertation. This workshop will cover how to keep a narrow focus, what is originality of research, explore the structure and function of each section. This workshop also includes a troubleshooting group discussion (Level 7).

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 5th November @ 12:00pm
  • 27th November @ 1:00pm

Book your place here.

Proofreading Strategies

Before submitting your next University assignment, essay or academic research paper, it is very important to spend time proofreading your work, checking it carefully to ensure that you have made no errors such as grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. This workshop will teach you tips and techniques on proofreading strategies and how to proofread your work effectively before you submit. Learn how to use software (Read & Write 11) to speed up the process of editing and proofreading your work.

Here are the dates and times below.

  • 9th November @ 1:00pm
  • 15th November @ 12:00pm

Book your place here.

Five spook-tacular things to do this Halloween 🎃

We have compiled a list of five spook-tacular things you could get up to this Halloween.

1. Check out the Halloween titles on BoB
BoB (Box of Broadcasts) is a service that Edge Hill students all have access to with 1000s of programmes. Why not try and find yourself a scary Halloween title?

2. Check out our DVD collection
If you’d rather, why not check out the DVD collection on the 2nd floor of Catalyst? Edge Hill have an array of scary and spooky movies including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn and The Devil’s Rejects.

3. Look out for our UniSkills Workshops
Keep a look out for our UniSkills workshops over the Halloween period. We have our Shut Up & Work sessions to help students discipline their study time.

4. Catalyst is open 24/7
Why not make use of the 24/7 opening times and come over to the Catalyst after hours when the building is dark and the wind is howling… 👻

5. Grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte 🎃
Halloween means one thing: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Head down to the 53.3° café on the ground floor of Catalyst to grab your hot drink.

We hope you have the most fang-tastic time!

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Halloween with BoB 🎃

BoB? What is it? Have you ever wondered what that BoB link is on your ‘My Library’ tab is?

Well wonder no more! Box of Broadcasts is available for all staff and students to access free on any device.  Whether you are looking for a programme that was aired on TV last week or last year, a documentary or a film which you should have watched for your next lecture, or you just fancy watching a film to wind down after a hard week studying, I am sure you will be able to find something on BOB.

As Halloween is fast approaching why not search for a scary film to watch, there are lots available from the classic 1978 version of Halloween to the more recent The Babadook, or the not-so-scary Zombie romance Warm Bodies.

If these don’t do the trick, try one of my seasonal playlists:

Classic Halloween Films definitely not for the children…or the fainthearted!

Or if you prefer something a little tamer how about trying my Family Halloween Playlist

And if these still don’t do the trick, The Ultimate Harry Potter playlist will be definitely be a treat.

You can also create your own playlists or use playlists other people have put together which is great if you need some ideas.

What is your favourite film to watch at Halloween?

Written by: CLAIRE MORRIS

MSc Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services