New Year, New Students: Welcome from Library and Learning Services.

Hello and a massive welcome to all new students starting courses this January, we look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all. We are the Student Engagement team and we are here to provide support with all aspects of academic skills. Although this year may feel a little different please be reassured that we are here to support you!

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UniSkills Spring 2021 Webinars

Semester one was a huge success with over a thousand of you booking onto one or more of the 64 UniSkills Winter Webinars we delivered between September and December 2020! But the fun (and learning!) doesn’t stop there! As we are here to support you throughout your entire course at Edge Hill University we would love for you to join us again this semester as we launch our UniSkills Spring Webinar programme!

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Upcoming Events: research and society


By Helen Bell, Research Support Team

View of the King's Library at the British Library
View of the King’s Library at the British Library. Photograph by Mike Peel CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Take a quick look at what is coming up over the next couple of months, in case there is a free event that you will find interesting and informative.

January

Join the British Library’s panel of experts who will be exploring Trump’s impact on domestic and foreign politics.

  • ‘You’re Fired’? Reviewing the Trump Presidency

Thursday 21st January 2021, 19:00-20:15
https://www.bl.uk/events/youre-fired-reviewing-the-trump-presidency

Take a break and spark an interest with the British Library’s Curators’ Lectures. This lecture, Beyond the Exhibition: Women’s Rights in Asia and Africa.

  • Unfinished Business: Curators’ Lunchtime Lecture – Beyond the Exhibition 1

Friday 22nd January 2021, 12:30-13:30
https://www.bl.uk/events/unfinished-business-curators-lunchtime-lecture-beyond-the-exhibition-1

February

Open Research Week 2021 Banner

Gathering together in the North West, members of the research support teams at the University of Liverpool, LJMU and Edge Hill have put together a programme of 9 events over 3 days dedicated to open research. Please take a look to see what might be of interest:
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/open-research/open-research-week-2021/

The keynote session is:

  • ‘The Open Revolution: making a radically fairer and free future’
    Dr Rufus Pollock
    Tuesday 9th February 2021 10.30-11.30
UK Data Service logo

An introduction by the UK Data Service to the new Catalogue of Mental Health Measures that compiles and organises information about mental health measures in over 30 studies. It features descriptions of the studies and the measures of mental health and wellbeing they have collected, as well as information about statistical resources and training.

  • The Catalogue of Mental Health Measures: Discovering the depths of mental health data in UK longitudinal studies.

Thursday 11th February 2021, 16:00-17:30
https://www.ukdataservice.ac.uk/news-and-events/eventsitem/?id=5719

Register in advance online for free, what more could you ask for!
Enjoy the debates.

Post by: Helen Bell, Research Support Team

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

New Year, New UniSkills!

🎉 4th-10th January 2021 🎉

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

Let’s get to it…

Monday 4 January

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

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

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

Tuesday 5 January

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

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

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

Wednesday 6 January

Grow your Academic Resilience: 3pm-4pm

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

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

Thursday 7 January

Develop Your Academic Writing: 12pm-1pm

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

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

Friday 8 January

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

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

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

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

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

Catalyst at Christmas 🎄

The days may be getting colder and the term winding down to a close, but here in Library and Learning Services we’re still here to support you through the festive period. While Catalyst’s opening hours are a little different, the good news is you can still access help and information via our online web pages and handy knowledge base, Ask Us.   

Opening times for Catalyst and Helpdesk support this Christmas

Friday 18th December – Catalyst is open 8am-8pm

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December – CLOSED

Monday 21st – Wednesday 23rd December – Catalyst ground floor is open 10am-6pm
You will be able to access PCs, study space and printing. Virtual helpdesk support is also available 10am-6pm via our online knowledge base Ask Us and email.

Thursday 24th December – Monday 28th December – CLOSED

Tuesday 29th – 31st December – Catalyst is closed but virtual helpdesk support will be available 10am-6pm via our online knowledge base Ask Us and email.

Friday 1st January – CLOSED

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd January – Catalyst is open 10am-6pm

From Monday 4th January onwards – new opening hours
Monday to Friday: 8am-11pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am-6pm

Changes for 2021

New for 2021 and in line with COVID-safe guidelines we have:

  • Extended Catalyst opening hours from Monday 4th January and will stay open until 11pm Monday to Friday
  • We have opened up more study spaces, including the huts on the ground floor
  • We have increased capacity in the building to allow more students the opportunity to study and use the space
  • We have bookable individual silent study spaces available on our 3rd floor with the option to have a PC or a larger desk
  • Our coffee shop 53.3 Degrees has extended it’s opening hours and will now be open until 6pm Monday to Friday

From everyone in Catalyst, we’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2021!

#SleighYourStudies with motivational tips and techniques from your Student Advisor!

Hi, my name is Charlotte and I’m a Student Advisor in the Student Engagement Team, providing peer to peer support within Library and Learning Services.

Student Advisor Charlotte at her home study space.

The holidays can be a really great time to get ahead and sleigh your studies in preparation for any assignments or studying that needs to be completed for your second semester. But with the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder, it can be really hard to keep motivated during Winter.

Here are some of my best tips and techniques which help me to stay motivated:

Keep Organised

The holidays are a period where there is a lot of free time, but time is really easy to waste. Creating a timetable or a to do list is a great way of constructing a schedule at home!

Making a to-do list will help you see what you are working towards achieving over the holidays, knowing what your goals are will really help to keep motivated while working towards your end goal. There is brilliant software available to do this such as ‘Microsoft To Do’, which is a task management app available on most devices.

Creating a timetable will allow you to dedicate a few hours a day to studying, which will help you to keep on top of what you need to do while also allowing you to schedule in time to do things you enjoy and to take a break! It will allow you to break down your to do list into more manageable chunks while also providing a routine to stick to during the holidays.

Have a look at the useful guides and toolkits on the ‘Getting Organised’ section of the Edge Hill Uniskills webpages for more time management hints and tips .

Find a cosy workspace

For many of us, we will be returning back home during the holidays and one of the most important things to do is to create a cosy workplace. Doing your university work in a designated study space can help you to separate your workspace and social spaces in the home, make sure you choose a space with minimal distractions, to ensure you can stay really productive while you are studying! 

Another really important way to stay motivated to sleigh your studies is to stay warm, being cold can make you feel tired which will reduce your motivation, so make sure to wrap up with a fluffy jumper or blanket!

Use the Pomodoro Technique

The pomodoro technique encourages you to study in short bursts of 25 minutes with no distractions, and then to take a short break of 5 minutes. Sometimes it can be really hard to start studying but sitting down but spending 25 minutes to complete something on your to do list can make starting your studies a little easier. A short intensive burst will help you gain momentum and make you feel motivated to complete your task! There are loads of apps which use the pomodoro technique, my favourite is Flora, it locks your phone during the 25 minutes and begins to grow a tree, the more you use this technique while you’re studying the more trees you grow!

Get outside and enjoy nature

Going out for a walk is really good for staying motivated and to keep your mind and body healthy during the holidays! Starting your day this way will set you off on a really productive track for the day and you’ll feel like you have achieved something before you have even opened your books to start studying. Or you can venture out into your local area during one of your study breaks, this will help you to clear your mind and help you to produce endorphins, which will boost your mood and your motivation!

Reward Yourself

Using rewards is a great way to motivate yourself to keep on studying, by doing something you enjoy every time you complete a task on your to-do list, you can customise this to whatever you like, it could be catching up on your favourite TV series or having a sweet treat! Make sure you take time out during the holidays to reward yourself for all the hard work you have completed this semester as well, by spending time with family or roommates to celebrate all you have achieved or by treating yourself with something you love!

Keep an eye out on the Library and Learning Services Twitter and Instagram pages throughout December for more of our Student Advisor top motivational study tips.

Sleigh your studies with UniSkills this December!

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

Sleigh Your Studies

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

🎄Daily tree-mendous tips from your Student Advisors

🎄A wintery selection of UniSkills webinars

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

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

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

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

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

❄️Being Critical – Thursday 10th December 1-2

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

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

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

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

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

You’re our Study Happy Winner 🌟

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sim

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

Elizabeth

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

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

View this on Twitter.

Laura

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

View this on Twitter.

Miss Bolton

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

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