Meet Your New Student Advisors

Library and Learning Services Student Engagement team (aka the UniSkills team) have recently recruited some new Student Advisors to join our already established (and award winning!) team. You may have already met Callie, Darren and Maya during #EHUReadySetRevise, or one of our recent UniSkills Webinars, but read on to find out more about who they are, what they are studying and how they can support you!

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Good luck with your assessments!

As Ready, Set, Revise comes to an end, we wanted to take this opportunity to showcase some highlights from the past 2 weeks. From those who attended our special edition Ready, Set, Revise webinars, to our fantastic Student Advisors who shared their revision strategies, it’s been wonderful to have so much enthusiasm and involvement in sharing your experiences.

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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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Moving Forward With UniSkills

Do you struggle with referencing? Are you not sure of the difference between proofreading and editing? Then our fantastic Moving Forward With UniSkills webinars could be right up your street! They’re designed as a follow up to the Getting Started With UniSkills webinars that we ran earlier in the year, but if you didn’t attend those sessions, don’t worry you can still to come along to this one. They’re co-designed and co-delivered by your Student Advisors, myself (Lauren) and Charlotte and are useful for first year students who want to start developing their academic skills further or for anyone just wanting a refresher on the basics.

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Get Set to Goal Set with your Student Advisors

Now that the whirlwind that was 2020 has come to a close and we’ve entered the part of 2021 where every conversation includes the phrase, ‘do you have any New Year’s resolutions?’ I’ve got a question for you; do you have any academic New Year’s resolutions?

My big goal for this year is to manage my time better! Like most students, I’m so busy with assignments and other commitments that it can be a bit chaotic to try and get everything done on time. It’s not unusual for me to work well into the evening, which isn’t exactly the best study habit to have. Time management is a big source of problems for a lot of students so here’s a quick post to share how I’m going about sticking to my study resolution this year. These strategies aren’t just specific to my goals though, whatever your study goals are, hopefully these points will help you in setting and sticking to your aims.

1.       Break it down

Having a big goal is great but wanting to ‘have better time management’ isn’t very specific. It’s good to have idea of what you’re going to do to reach that goal. For me, that means setting rules such as ‘no working past 10pm.’ It’s much easier to stick to a New Year’s resolution when you know exactly what you need to do, not just what you want as an end result.

2.       Give yourself a time frame

A year is a long time, it can be easy to put things off or lose steam when the goal is so far away so it’s a good idea to give yourself smaller deadlines that are more manageable. I like to set quarterly goals every three months because that time frame is short enough that I’ll stick to it but long enough to get a substantial amount done. What works for you will depend on your preferences, so think it through and choose what is best for you.

3.       Work with friends

If you and a friend both want to improve your timekeeping, why not get together (virtually) and make study timetables together? Keeping each other on track is a great way to stick to your plans and make it more fun. Even if your goals are different, just sharing them can help you stay motivated.

4.       Don’t overwhelm yourself at the start of the year

It can be easy to get carried away with everything you want to do and end up with a mile-long list of goals for the year, but that might not be the best approach. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s probably best just to pick a few goals to work at steadily rather than burning yourself out within a month.

5.       Come to a UniSkills session

Start the way you mean to go on by booking on to one of our brand new UniSkills webinars! The Spring programme will be available for you to book on soon and covers a wide range of subjects including academic writing, being critical, Harvard referencing, searching for academic information and much, much more. You can also book a 1-2-1 appointment for more tailored support with our knowledgeable Academic Skills Advisors

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates about what we’re doing in the Library and Learning Services department and how we can support you throughout the year. And while you’re here, let us know in the comments what your #NewYearNewUniSkills study resolutions are!

Student Advisor Lauren
Lauren – MA English
Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

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 🥳

#MyEHUStudyHappySpace

In a continuation of our Study Happy campaign we decided to extend the #MyEHUStudyHappySpace competition until Monday 16th November…so you still have time to enter and a chance to win up to £30 Amazon eVoucher!

Competition: share your study space with us for the chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher, or one of two £10 Amazon vouchers. T&C apply.

Study Happy is all about finding the perfect study-life balance for you. Part of that process is your study environment. We know this year has been a challenge for many, so it has been super inspiring to see your #StudyHappySpace’s on social media: Twitter and Instagram.

Hannah (and Hank!)

“At first I struggled with online learning during the end of last semester. However this year I am much more engaged in the blended learning approach. I am thoroughly enjoying the present in person sessions and I am engaging well with the online sessions too. My little puppy Hank certainly helps to motivate me, when he isn’t trying to get my attention! I am enjoying being at home and engaging with the sessions in a secure and safe environment.”

Em

“I think blended learning is good, I like having lectures pre-recorded so I can watch them at my own pace and around other responsibilities. I also like having my seminars in person as it allows me to share my ideas properly and have a good discussion with peers and tutors. I have 1 online seminar though, and I find that good as my teacher makes everyone feel really comfortable and really helps us get our ideas out and discuss using the text feature 😊”

Instagram story competition entry - Em's study happy space.

Eleanor

Eleanor claims the benefits of surrounding her study space with plants helps her feel “…calm before I attempt to study, it helps me get in the right mind set 🍃🍃”

We are all fond of that greenery!

Georgia

Georgia is proving size doesn’t matter when it comes to your favourite study space as she “…love[s] to work in the study rooms in the Catalyst 💫”

Jodi (and Rocky!)

“I feel Edge Hill have gone above and beyond in supporting the transition to online learning, I could not be prouder to be a part of the University. All of the teachers have showed amazing resilience and motivated me to do the same, I now feel ready for whatever teaching throws at me! 😄”

If you have been inspired by these entries, get snapping and share your #MyEHUStudyHappySpace with us on Twitter or Instagram. Remember to tag us (so we see it!) and use the #MyEHUStudyHappySpace to spread the important message of Study Happy!

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 ☺️