Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘eresources

 

aesthetica online archives

Good news! Our subscription to Aesthetica arts magazine has been renewed.

The magazine has lots of great visual culture including photography, fashion, architecture and fine art. It comes out 4 times a year (‘quarterly’ in librarian-speak). Find it in the LRC on the journals stand.

You can also delve into the online archives any time through our library account. Browse the pictures to your heart’s content and see the world through artists’ eyes (always an interesting perspective!). Find the username and password on VLE under LRC –> eresources (then the eresources book).

Welcome to the Introduction to Science students who join us today for 5 weeks.

We will meet with your group this week to show you the many resources held by the Learning Resources Centre (LRC), how to use the library catalogue and give you membership cards.

Next week, we will demonstrate how you can benefit from the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where you can access a number of eresources and ebooks to help with your studies.

If you would like to recommend useful apps or websites we are always happy to hear from you and if you require help accessing extra materials for chemistry, physics or biology, pop into the LRC and talk to one of the team.

Body model

'Internet es aburrido' by Daniel Lobo is licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

Internet es aburrido‘ by Daniel Lobo is licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

Ebooks, ejournals, eresources…what is this ‘e’ all about? You may know ‘e’ stands for electronic. 99% of the time that means something available on the internet. But as I hope I can convince you, e also means extra. Getting your hands on the pages of a book is not the be all and end all of learning. For example, books often have recommended web links to access more information online. As they are coming from expert authors these extra resources are bound to be quite good.

You can view the Oxford University Press’ YouTube playlists to find inspiring topics and academics in many fields such as psychology, science and history. They also feature authors of their Very Short Introduction series to get you hooked on a new subject. Don’t worry about information overload they are usually only 5 minutes long and can satisfy your curiosity or send you in a new direction. Bear in mind they want you to read their book, but you don’t have to. The same goes with TED talks which are engaging summaries and snippets from academics and experts. They will often have written lots of information on their subjects but a TED talk will be a good overview and introduction. Also lots of advice for learning online. This one by Eli Pariser (2011) talks about online ‘filter bubbles’.

So keep an eye out next time you open a book for extra resources you can access online. Tell us about your favourites.

The internet is boring…*No it’s not.

El Planeta Apple by Jorge Elias is licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

El Planeta Apple by Jorge Elias is licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

This week Pre-Access To Higher Education students have been putting forward working titles for their projects. Many are tackling current health and social issues.

The research process has lots of steps. Some steps might not even seem like steps at all because they all overlap and you may go back and forth between them. One ‘step’ in starting a project is scouting out possible information sources for up-to-date numbers and research to spark ideas.

Getting a feel for what information is out there will also help you narrow your topic down to something manageable.

It is also perfectly normal to feel anxious about the amount of information out there. Don’t worry yet about analysing your information sources – they exist, and you can access them if you need them, that is what is important to start with.

Here are some free, authoritative and timely sources of information and data on the web:

Check out the VLE eresources page too for paid subscriptions to information sources.

Of course we have lots of books such as subject encyclopaedias to start you off too. Come in to the LRC and browse.

This week we have had the opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of ebooks to the classes. Here are a few notes to refresh your memory or if you missed the class.

You can access ebooks inside and outside the college through the VLE: learn.hillcroft.ac.uk. Log in then enrol on the LRC eresources page and go to the Eresources book. We have two ebook providers with different sets of ebooks: Dawsonera and ebrary. Follow the links on the page to their websites. You can do this on any electronic device with a internet browser (tablet, smartphone, Kindle Fire). If you are outside college then it will prompt you to log in via ‘Shibboleth’ and then find the college in the list and type in your Hillcroft email and password.

What can I do on Dawsonera?

Download in full (pdf) – most will allow you to do this for a loan period (1-7 days).

Copy or print text/pages – Be selective! You can print between 5-20% of an ebook or copy quotations to paste directly into your assignment.

Add notes to pages online – You can export notes and print them all out with the relevant page numbers automatically added.

What can I do on ebrary?

Download chapters or in full (pdf) for a loan period – with printing and copying enabled.

Copy or print text/pages (with citations).

Highlight, add notes and bookmark (together called ‘Annotations’) online. Saves them for you on ‘Bookshelf’ when you log back in to Ebrary.

Extra benefits!

You only need Adobe Reader (free) as an app to read the downloaded ebook offline. In college you can use Read&Write Gold for its text-to-speech feature. The free app version is called ‘Natural Reader‘ if you want to use the read aloud feature on your own phones and computers.

We will be putting together a detailed guide for you in the near future.

Also the good news is that we will be able to change it so that no purple padlocks will be seen on the Dawsonera site, so you will be able to access and browse our content better.

Keep an eagle eye out for more tips by subscribing to our blog.

Hello! We’re welcoming a new bunch of Hillcroftians this week as Access courses begin. Here’s a thought for when you’re new to a subject or want to build your knowledge base which I am sure everyone will be eager to do at this time of year 😉
Puzzled?

Testing your knowledge is fun if…you think you’re quite knowledgeable on a subject. It is not so fun when you feel intimated by a subject. A while ago I read an article about a national survey along the lines of ‘how musical is your brain’. They concluded that British people had a very high musical aptitude based on their high scores on many questions and activities. What I think was more likely was that people who volunteered to fill in the survey felt themselves to be musical. While those people who weren’t confident with music ignored the survey to avoid highlighting their lack of musical ability. Often methodologies can skew the data.

In an everyday scenario, when you really don’t want to check your bank balance (for fear that it is so low) is precisely the time when you should check your bank balance. i.e. don’t bury your head in the sand. If we apply my father’s advice to our knowledge in academic subjects or workplace, we should be checking our knowledge banks in order to gauge where we are and where we need to go, especially when we are starting out or falling behind.

I found this really good resource called Being Digital by the Open University. It’s for self-assessing study skills, particularly when using online tools. They are only 5-10 mins long and most importantly they have lots of tips and activities to get you on the right track. Go on and try the Assess your skills pathway especially if you are not confident with studying online. Let us know what you think.

iPad standingThis week we have our final weekend course Dyslexia/Dyspraxia and Creativity running and the last weekend for our level 3 course Diploma in Massage Therapy. Then our last course of the year will be the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Summer School near the end of July. College students usually think all staff at Hillcroft finish working and go straight off on holiday once they finish their courses. This is not the case!

We’re busy moving our eresources from OpenAthens to Shibboleth. Once Shibboleth is up and running we’ll be looking to use it as the gateway to integrating other college databases and software like Office 365 and BKSB (a learning and assessment tool) and our eILP (electronic Individual Learning Plan). The impact on students will be they only need one username and password to access any of the them instead of having multiple ones.

We’re also upgrading our Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) from 2.6.1 to 2.9. Once this is done we’ll be giving it a summer clean with new photos for a fresh feel for the autumn and running more staff training.

In addition we’re looking at integrating our Management Information System (MIS) into our Heritage online library catalogue so we can automatically transfer student address details into it. At the same time we’re aiming to get more of our students rating our material on the catalogue and writing reviews to build their confidence in using digital resources and writing. Plus there’s nothing better than getting a recommendation from someone who has read the book or watched the DVD…

There are many more things we’re doing over the summer. Next week’s post will tell you a bit more about what we’re planning for our Academic Integrity Workshops where we teach information literacy skills.