Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘VLE

Starting ActivitiesWe’re glad to have started the new academic term. Welcome to all the new students and those arriving soon. You’ll have the chance to meet the LRC team and get introduced to the resources we have here over the coming weeks.

If you’re itching to find out more about the LRC before and after your inductions, there are two sets of activities on the VLE to help you improve your information and digital skills.

Once you’re logged in to the VLE then click on the library and learning resources block and click  enroll me on this course.

Another place to look for tips and tricks about electronic books, Office365 and more, have a look at our Padlet page #LRCdigitips.

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

CoLRic Quality Impact Nov 2016This week our two articles for the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) Quality Impact magazine are out in the November issue. You need to be a CoLRiC member to access the journal. We’ve scanned them for you to take a look.

They look back at our CoLRiC Best Practice Awards 2015 entries which gained second prize in the Information Literacy category and third prize in the Customer Service one.

We’ve updated the news on both so the referencing one discusses our championing of RefMe with our Access to Humanities and Social Sciences, Pre Access and Diploma in Massage Therapy learners. The app is freely available and makes compiling a reference list or bibliography a breeze. Our VLE redesign for dyslexia article looks at the integration we’ve made with Single Sign On over the eresources, library catalogue and Office 365 and the Management Information System (MIS).

 

 

We are looking at making our FAQs on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) available for listening. It will still be available in text format too, but hearing our LRC team explain things makes things more personal. We answer common questions about LRC services, resources and equipment.

We’re trying out AudioBoom which is a service where you can listen and create audio files/podcasts. It is fun and easy to use.

Alongside listening straight from the VLE. You will be able to follow our podcast posts by visiting us on https://audioboom.com/HillcroftLRC. Everything we publish will also be tweeted out on our Twitter feed @HillcroftLRC.

Let us know what you think of having more to listen on your courses.

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.

Back in March our team submitted three entries for the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) Best Practice Awards 2015. This year there were three categories:

  1. customer service
  2. information literacy
  3. reader development.

We put in entries into each category and this week we heard that we’d got second place in the Information Literacy category for Copyright and Plagiarism Using Wordwall which is part of our information skills induction for learners on longer courses. We we use Wordwall with students on handheld devices answering questions on copyright and referencing using the Harvard reference system. We use the Wordwall kit to boost students digital literacy and as a fun activity which lets them get personal feedback on how they’ve done. Here’s one of our activities on referencing a book:

 

Referencing a Book on Wordwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also got third prize in the Customer Service category for our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Redesign and Dyslexia. For this project we worked with students, tutors and colleagues inside and outside our college to create a dyslexic-friendly look to our VLE, with a user-friendly course content template and accessibility plugins with read out loud and overlay features.

Here’s a view of the overlay accessibility feature in action:

Virtual Learning Environment with Green Overlay

 

 

 

 

 

Read CoLRiC’s press release to find out about other winners.  Many thanks to our students, staff and colleagues on working with us and inputting to our award wins.

 

Sharing ideas and meeting others with similar experiences has been what the internet has enabled since its beginning. Twitter and Facebook and other social networking sites have taken this to a new level. However the humble internet forum still thrives to bring together communities online. There are forums for everything you can think of, from mental health and business women.

Their aims are to be supportive and informative. However, posting to a forum will require the same level of responsibility and care as posting anywhere on the web. More practical tips about e-safety can be read on this website.

On the Hillcroft VLE there are also opportunities to take part in discussion forums on different courses. Your views really are heard, so don’t be shy with voicing your opinion and reflecting on it. It is great practice for developing an argument for an essay or to be more assertive in everyday life.

My linoit board of tasks

My linoit board of tasks today

Hello all, I am Philippa and I joined the LRC team two weeks ago. I have just finished my Masters in Information and Library Studies so it’s wonderful to be able to see how everything I’ve learnt has real life applications. I have been busy learning the ropes and meeting everyone.

Here are some key online resources I have been becoming familiar with:

Dawsonera ebooks

Available through the MyAthens sign on page. This is great for accessing books 24/7 and you can’t lose them or spill coffee on them! We are keen to add more ebooks and get them used more by everyone. They can be a bit difficult to handle to start with, but it is possible to read online or you can download and/or print out useful segments (being respectful of copyright restrictions).

TIP: I found out for downloaded ebooks in Adobe Reader you can customise the colour settings of the paper background and text. This is under the options toolbar: Edit –> Preferences –> Accessibility then checking the box ‘Replace document colors’.

Referencing handbook

We held referencing induction sessions with the access courses. Getting all the right bits of bibliographic information in the right order can be frustrating but correct referencing is essential for academic integrity.

TIP: I write out the full reference when taking notes from a resource. The details don’t have to be in the right order straight away – although it helps. As long as you jot down the key fields like author, date and title then you can often revisit the resource by looking it up on the catalogue or on the internet later. The handbook produced by the University of Lincoln can help you when it comes to writing out the references in full. The handbook can be found on the VLE (under the blocks Library and Learning Resources –>  LRC Referencing and Plagiarism –> Text Assistance).

Linoit (memo board)

I was introduced to this virtual pinboard for memos and tasks (or anything you want!). I found it simple to post ‘stickies’ and to peel them off once they are done (in the right hand corner of the sticky).

TIP: I like changing the colour of the sticky memo and giving it a cute icon to make task management more appealing. You can read more about task management in Stella Cottrell’s book ‘Skills for Success’.

If you have any tips or good experiences using these resources please comment below or come and talk to me during the week. I would be delighted to hear from you either way!

Cite Them RightAt the beginning of this autumn term we are running two trials on Palgrave Macmillan study skills software to help our students study better. The first one is Cite Them Right Online – an online version of the Richard Pears and Graham Shields book which guides students and researchers on how to reference different materials using various referencing systems. Here we use Harvard and the book is great for describing how to reference everything from an ebook, to tutor/lecture notes to graffiti. The online version includes tips to help students work out how to reference, practice their skills and get tips on how to avoid plagiarism.

The second trial is for Skills4studycampus which helps students get back into studying, assess their skills and pick up areas where they need to put in effort. There are a number of modules covering everything from note taking to critical thinking, working in groups and time management. We’ve placed both on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) so students and staff can access it easily. It’s based on the best selling Stella Cottrell book The Study Skills Handbook

This week the Learning Resources team have been inducting Preaccess students on referencing and we’ve been promoting the handy app on Harvard referencing created by the University of Lincoln. It’s available as a pdf document and its free to download on Googleplay for android/tablets and the Appstore for iOS devices.

LLinoit Natural Remedies by Debbie Greenast week the Learning Resources team worked with tutors on the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Summer School. As well as signing up students to use the graded readers over their course the LRC Assistant used Linoit to get the students to research herbs and spices they might use in a recipe or as an alternative remedy as part of their course. As well as exploring words that described them they also discovered where and how they grew.

Linoit enables you to share photos and sticky notes for free. And you can download it onto a tablet, PC or smartphone.

Our LRC Assistant Debbie Green discovered Linoit at Martin Compton’s presentation Less Teaching and More Learning at Efactor 2014 It’s All About Learning and Teaching organised by RSC London. Having successfully used Blendspace with another one of courses Debbie decided to try out Linoit and linked it into the ESOL Summer School course page on the Virtual Learning Environment. Take a look at Debbie’s effort on her ESOL Natural Remedies 2 Linoit. You can see Debbie’s Blendspace one on our previous blogpost Through the Blender. The LRC team increasingly use etechnology and eresources to hone the Information Technology (IT) skills of students and staff.

For a taste of the graded readers the students borrowed during their Summer School view our catalogue search. You’ll find our graded readers begin at starter level and rise to level 6.

 


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