Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘writing

iPod in handOur colleague Andrew Checkley E-Learning Manger at Croydon College has been developing a Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) course with his Learning Resources (LRC) team which he talked about at the March 16 London FE Moodle Roundtable event. The course is on academic writing. Find out more about it on their E-Learning blog post.

As well as using material from the LRC on the course Andrew found some useful research material on the State Library of Victoria’s website. The resource covers:

 

  • working out what question you are trying to answer
  • finding the information
  • choosing the resources you use
  • making and organising notes
  • presenting your material
  • reflecting on your work.

There’s also some handy material on writing essays too which covers:

  • identifying the essay question
  • using quotations
  • writing
  • editing.

Plus there are tips on study skills:

  • stress management
  • dealing with exams.

Last but not least at this time of the year many of our students are doing GCSE examinations in English and maths so this BBC Bitesize app available on Android and iOS will help you. The app has flashcards which will help you revise and covers numerous GCSE subjects.

Brainstorm on paperIt’s already midway through January 2016! Have you got more resolutions than ever to fulfill but no idea where to start? We’ve got some handy books to help you be more productive and achieve in academic and personal goals.

How about learning better ways to brainstorm or create lists? Check out: ‘How to get your own way‘ by Craig Shrives and Paul Easter. They also look at developing an argument and common fallacies. These ideas would be useful in essay-writing, presentations and everyday life. It is great when you can apply knowledge to different tasks and situations. There is also a good chapter looking at statistics and how numbers can be used to alter our perceptions.

If you want everyday psychological tools you could borrow ‘The Tools‘ by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. They give you methods to combat negativity, worry and lack of confidence. Tips and tricks learnt through self-improvement books (aka ‘shelf-help’) can impact on many aspects of life, not least education.

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.

iPad standingThis week our first iPad went out on loan to one of our Preaccess students. From the recommendations of our colleagues at Richmond Adult Community College we used Meraki to organise the apps onto the iPads.

A few weeks ago our LRC Manager went to an Albion Apple Regional Training Centre event at Surbiton High School where teachers recommended some apps that worked well in teaching using iPads in the classroom for pupils from primary to secondary school ages.

The teachers recommended using iMovie for primary school pupils to create a film outside of their science club discovering bugs. It enabled them to add music and do a narrative over the film. A physics teacher looked at how he could use a range of apps to run different experiments that would usually been done with equipment. Our LRC manager was particularly interested in the English teachers apps which could be used with GCSE English and literacy students doing creative writing on the Creative Reading, Writing and Speaking course.

We’ve loaded some of these recommended apps onto the iPads for our students and staff to use. They include InspireMe an app which gives you three words which you can help to generate ideas. This goes well with the Fig (Fiction Ideas Generator) app which acts as an ideas generator for those of you doing creative writing to assist you  in creating a plot, characters, location etc. We particularly like ShowMe which is a free app that students and teachers can use like an interactive whiteboard.

Woman Studying

Before the Christmas break we ordered in copies of the Palgrave Pocket Study Skills books which are a set of dinky books helping students with:

  • reading and making notes
  • planning essays
  • writing
  • referencing and avoiding plagiarism
  • passing exams
  • doing search
  • studying with dyslexia
  • writing reports
  • thinking critically
  • managing time
  • working well in groups.

You can find them all listed on our Online Public Access Catalogue onsite and offsite.

What’s fantastic about these is you can buy audio formats of these books too. Visit the Palgrave Macmillan website for more information. We’d love to be able to offer this format to our students…

There’s also a host of useful information to help you study better oon the Palgrave Study Skills website.


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