Categories
Digital literacies Internships Skills Team TechItUpTuesday

Jisc Digital Capabilities

#TechItUpTuesday

What is Jisc?

JISC is a tool you can use to discover the range of your digital capabilities. These capabilities as JISC describes are the skills and attitudes that individuals and organisations need if they are to thrive in today’s world. 

There are six key elements to consider when building your digital capabilities.

  • ICT Proficiency (functional skills)
  • Information, data and media literacies (critical use)
  • Digital creation, problem solving and innovation (creative production)
  • Digital communication, collaboration and partnership (participation)
  • Digital learning and development (development)
  • Digital identity and wellbeing (self-actualising)

Why are digital capabilities important?

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Digital capabilities are important for students as they help you learn how to think critically, creatively solve problems, and express your ideas in interesting ways. Having a good level of digital proficiency will also help many of you in your future careers. Since Covid-19 these skills have become increasingly important as several businesses are moving to digital alternatives compared to in-person activities. This means that more employers will expect all staff not just those specialised in IT to be well versed in their digital capabilities. A company can have the best digital tools in the world but still be inefficient if the employees fail to utilise them proficiently.

As this video explains your level of digital capability depends on several factors: the requirements of your role at work or as a student, your subject specialism, career choice, personal, and other contextual factors. So for some of you, you may only need to be well versed in a few of these skills whilst others may need to know much more.

How to use JISC?

It takes approximately 20 minutes to create your report using JISC. First, use this link or click on the button under the image at the start of this article. Press login then select your organisation which in our case is Hull University and log in with your email and network password to initially set up your profile. Then press explore your digital capabilities, where you can then being to create your report. Once you have completed the report don’t forget to either take a screenshot or record your results down somewhere, otherwise if you want to view your results at a later date you will have to go through the whole process again.

As I previously said don’t worry if you aren’t knowledgeable in all areas you don’t need to be proficient at everything, it’s a personal reflection, so consider what skills are most important to you.

Categories
Academic literacies

Looking After Your Well-being Whilst at University

The new academic year is here! It’s exciting, but maybe a little daunting. There are many things you need to know when starting or returning to university, for example how to take care of your well-being.

From Giphy

Before you groan because you’ve already been lectured by your parents, your well-being is crucial to your success as a student. These tips will not only help with your studies, but in every aspect of your personal and professional life.

Did you know according to the NatWest Student Living Index 2019 45% of students in the UK feel stressed about their course. If you ever feel this way know that you’re not alone and there are things you can do to help combat this feeling.

As a student myself, I know that being organised and learning time management techniques may not be on your list of priorities, but it should be. We want to enjoy our time at university and not spend it making to-do lists or arranging our diaries, but this is a big part of university life and being independent. If you learn to manage and prioritise your time, you’ll find you’re spending less of it worrying and trying to catch up on work, and you’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy. Knowing how to manage your time and finding a structure that works best for you can be a little overwhelming, so check out our Time Management Guide for more advice and guidance after you’ve read this post.

You may be sat, stood, or maybe even laid there thinking:

“How does this relate to my well-being?”

From Giphy

It’s quite simple really; you want to take as much pressure off yourself as possible. Being at university can be a wonderful experience full of new, exciting opportunities, but it can also be stressful at times. Once you start looking at your extensive reading lists, timetable, assessments, all the extra-curricular activities you want to do; you might have the urge to turn off your phone, hide under the covers and try not to think about it. Therefore, learning how to prioritise your time is a key to staying relaxed whilst at university.

Looking after yourself at university

Here are my 5 top tips on how to look after your well-being whilst studying:

  1. Prioritise tasks on importance and length – can some be split into smaller tasks to do over a longer period? Look at our guide on Priority Matrices to help categorise them.  
  2. Know your limitations – if that’s doing work in 30-minute segments so be it, we all work differently.
  3. Understand your work style by trying out different tools to manage time – check out our guide here.
  4. Take breaks – put these in your diary and make them as much as a priority as your tasks.
  5. Don’t overdo it – if this means becoming a member of one or two societies instead of the five, you’re thinking of joining (we’ve all been there), so be it.

Most importantly don’t burn out. I’ve been there; thinking I can do 101 extracurricular activities whilst writing multiple assessments, having a part-time job, and trying to find time to socialise with friends. This left me with very little, or no free time to just relax in front of the TV, or Netflix rather. I had to think about what my priorities were. It meant stepping away from a few things, but it gave me more time to relax and do things I enjoyed whilst still putting my all into university/work. I had more time to focus on my assessments, but also on my personal/social life.

Obviously, your studies are important and should be one of your main priorities, but so should your health and well-being. The university is here to support you throughout your studies.

From Giphy

Available support

Check out Student Support for guidance on well-being and how you can contact someone if you need extra support. They have self-help and well-being tips too! You can also do their Survive and Thrive module to learn about how to improve your well-being whilst learning new techniques to help maintain a good balance between your studies, work and social life.

Even though being at university is a big change for a lot of people, with the right tools in your arsenal you will have more chance of success whilst enjoying your time here.

Don’t forget to have fun in every aspect of your university career. Make your to-do lists have personality, get a fun diary and calendar, personalise your apps. Being organised doesn’t have to be dull.

I hope you have found some useful resources here to help you manage your time sufficiently and things seem a little less daunting. Enjoy your time at university and stay hydrated!

This article was written by Joanna Rawnsley, SkillsGuide Intern

Categories
Academic literacies Digital literacies Skills Team

Studying remotely and effectively

Getting your set-up right

When studying remotely the first thing you need to do before anything is get everything set up correctly.

  • You may have to download specific software, so check in good time any information and instructions you have been sent. If you are using a mobile device, you may need to download the app from your app store.
  • For online lectures/meetings you will need to be able to hear the other person, so make sure the device you are using has speakers or you can attach headphones. Check these are enabled in the settings and ensure that you have not muted them.
  • If you use an online calendar, plan out your day and add events and put webinar links you are sent into the location or the notes section. If you do this, you then aren’t looking back in your email inbox to find it later on.
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Webinars

A webinar is an online event hosted by an organization/company (University) and broadcast to a group of individuals through their computers via the Internet. There are some differences to be aware of depending on the type of webinar.

In smaller group webinars you can use your microphone and webcam to participate verbally. Some platforms also feature a hands-up button that you can click on to show that you want to contribute. This is also useful for medium-sized groups and avoids everyone talking at once and in these, you can also type into chat windows. Chat windows are the place to ask questions, share short thoughts and links to web pages and documents. They don’t always automatically open on some platforms – so look for the word ‘chat’ or something like a speech bubble icon.

For larger webinars, it is less practical for everyone to participate verbally and so this option often isn’t available. Therefore, your main way of contributing is via the chat window. The presenter could also ask you to answer some questions where you need to type into the chat window, or you may want to use it to ask them questions. Another common feature of these larger webinars could be polls which a presenter may use if they want an opinion on something, they could ask you to vote in a poll.

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Online collaboration

When working collaboratively it is useful to have online meetings to make decisions, divide tasks and share progress. You may need to initially get in contact via email or Canvas messages or some other platform. There are two common types of online meeting.

Synchronous meetings mean you will all be logged in talking at the same time using things like Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and Google Hangouts. Again to make the most of these meetings, you will need speakers and a microphone. You can also share webcams which may make communication feel more natural. Although for those more shy amongst you they may just want to text type which is fine.

Asynchronous meetings mean everyone will contribute at different times. Technologies like Canvas messages, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage all do this. Others in your group may prefer these kinds of meetings depending on their commitments.

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Collaborative workspaces

If you are working on a project together, it can help to have a space where you can share files or work at the same time. The University provides you with a Box account which has lots of storage. Simply log in at box.hull.ac.uk to set up your account and then connect to your University of Hull Box.

Other options include Google Drive and Microsoft Office’s OneDrive. With Google Drive and OneDrive, you can not only store files in the same place, but you can edit them together in real-time.

Using collaborative workspaces

When using a collaborative workspace you need to ensure you share content with everyone in your group. Once you’ve uploaded files select the relevant folder and choose the ‘share’ option. You will usually need everyone’s email address to set this up. After this everyone should be able to add their files and notes into the same area.

It is really important to communicate effectively and professionally and make sure you can communicate effectively and that everyone has a role and takes responsibility for doing what is required. Any decisions that are made, should be recorded and everyone in the group should stick to them. 

Time management

Working remotely means you will have to manage your time effectively and whilst time management is very personal and works differently depending on the person, there are some principles that are common to all. These principles include organisation, prioritisation, focus and self-discipline.

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Organise

Immense amounts of time gets wasted, and deadlines are missed if you are not at least reasonably well organised. Use a diary or a calendar. This can be paper or online, but you must use it consistently. Enter any deadlines you have and all unmovable tasks like lectures, tutorials, lab work, part-time work, volunteering, sports commitments, child-care, and family.

Prioritise and Focus

Some things are more important than others. They don’t have to be done first – but they need time allocating to them first. Assessed work is a good example but it depends on your circumstances. You may have other responsibilities maybe you need to juggle study with looking after family members.

Staying focused when working remotely is probably one of the more difficult challenges for some so here are some tips on staying focused.

  • Avoiding social media – apps that block social media sites, turn off notifications.
  • Environment – Choose or create an environment that is free of distractions. You could consider the Library or a dedicated workspace at home maybe even a Coffee shop as some people work well in the kind of environment.
  • Time of Day – Different people focus better at different times of the day. Morning is actually when we are most productive and at our best, and when we will likely do our best work.
  • Self-discipline – sometimes there is nothing else you can do but just be disciplined and understand now is a time for work.

Stay social

Working remotely can sometimes be isolating and lonely so make sure you keep in touch with your fellow students and friends. The conversation doesn’t have to be study-related it is important just to interact socially with others. If you have never used one of these tools or applications before, signing up will help you keep in touch with others using the same platform.

You don’t have to just talk with friends you could also take the opportunity to make new connections. Check out these online communities to meet like-minded people or other students and researchers.

Reddit Logo with link to the site
Quoro Logo with link to the site
The Student Room Logo with link to the site
ResearchGate Logo with link to the site
Categories
Digital literacies Skills Team TechItUpTuesday

Introducing University systems

#TechItUpTuesday

Canvas

Canvas is the University of Hull’s virtual learning environment (VLE) and it is used to support you in completing your course. The site provides you with access to your grades, module materials, resources and files as well as allowing you to send messages. It is also where you will submit the majority of your assignments. Canvas is also available as an app and if you need help with anything just email help@hull.ac.uk with your problem.

Accessing Canvas

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On-campus PCs

Log on to an open access PC anywhere on campus. Next, open the browser and select Canvas VLE from the homepage, it will automatically log you into Canvas and your dashboard will be displayed.

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Laptops and off-campus PCs

Open a browser and go to canvas.hull.ac.uk. After this, you will then be asked to sign in using your 6-digit University of Hull username and password.

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Mobile Devices

Simply search for Canvas in your app store and select the Canvas Student app. It will then ask for your school where you will type the University of Hull and it will take you to the Single Sign-On Service. Login here with your 6-digit username and password.

Using Canvas

Canvas provides its own Student Guide which will tell you almost everything you need to know. The University has also created guides on using Canvas which you can view as part of the Skills Guides but I will briefly go over some aspects of Canvas now.

Assignments

Probably the most important aspect of Canvas is for submitting assignments. When starting a new module you can view your assignments using the Assignments tab. This will take you to the page listing all of the assignments for your module. You can see when they are due and all of the information required for the assignment. The Canvas Student Guide and the University Skills Guides provide you with full instructions on submitting your assignments.

Profile and Notifications

You can adjust your Notification Preferences via the Settings link. This will ensure that you are kept up to date on everything happening in your courses. It’s also possible to add more information to your profile such as an image or other contact details. This isn’t necessary but it is a useful way to recognise other students and academic staff,

Navigation

When logging in you will first see The Dashboard which will help you see what is happening in all your courses. You can also control the courses you see on your dashboard by:

  • Clicking Courses on the Canvas navigation panel
  • Clicking All courses at the bottom
  • Clicking the star beside the name of a course to add or remove it from your Dashboard

The Global Navigation Menu (pictured to the left) is also useful for navigating and is located on the left side of every page in Canvas. The Global Navigation links provide quick access to frequently used Canvas features.

University email

All students and staff have a University email account and it is important to regularly check this account as your tutors, the University, and sometimes other students will use it to contact you. If you are a new student and do not have an account for some reason you can go to the university help desk on-site at the university and they should be able to help. Alternatively, you could also let the university know of your issue via the support portal.

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Accessing your university email

PC icon
On-campus PCs

Log on to an open access PC anywhere on campus. Open the Chrome browser and select email from the homepage. The sign-in page will open and then you can use your 6-digit username and password to sign in. It should remember this after the first time.

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Laptops and off-campus PCs

Open a browser and go to mail.hull.ac.uk. Then simply sign in as before and again it should remember you.

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Mobile devices

If you want, you can add your university email account to your mobile phone or Tablet. The Email User Guides on the ICT SharePoint will provide you with instructions based on your operating systems. 


Email etiquette

Both as a student and in the workplace email etiquette is very important, so you should take care with how you write and use your email. Here are some useful tips:

  • Add a subject name and ensure it is meaningful.
  • Be concise and to the point no one wants to read an endless email
  • Don’t type in all capitals
  • If you receive an email sent to a group, don’t use Reply All unless you really need everyone to see your reply.
  • Include a signature of your name with a contact number.
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I hope this has been helpful especially for you first-year students. Be sure to check out next week’s article on the JISC digital capabilities tool.

Categories
Conferences Internships Sharing practice

ALN Conference 2021: Review & Development of PASS at the University of Hull

Conor Start

This article is written by Conor Start, Skills Intern. In his debut article for the University Library Blog, he reflects on his recent experience presenting at the Academic Libraries North (ALN) Conference 2021.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with PASS (Peer-Assisted Study Sessions), it is an internationally recognised peer learning scheme that was created by Deanna Martin at the University of Missouri-Kansas, in the 1970s. PASS is student lead and focused on collaborative learning through students facilitating learning for other students. Students definitely do not teach. 

The main initial role of my internship was to conduct research into how universities around the UK have implemented PASS and recognise how we could learn from and adapt their approach to PASS. We created a survey and conducted interviews with other institutions to gain an understanding of how successful PASS schemes had been established. The data we collected was due to the engagement and willingness of other universities to share their experiences of PASS and is a testament to the spirit and generosity of the peer learning community. The qualitative and quantitative data collected from the survey and interviews became the foundation of a report that we produced and sent back to the peer learning community. Chris (University Librarian) suggested the report could be adapted into a presentation that could be used as a potential resource that outlined our findings. 

When I received the initial email from the ALN Conference 2021: Call for papers, I thought to myself that it would be a good opportunity as a developmental experience for me to present our PASS research. Throughout my internship, I have always applied myself and signed up for new opportunities, to learn and expand my skills. The Skills Team were thinking amongst themselves about the conference and what topic they could focus a presentation around. Then Sara from the team raised the possibility of me and Chris presenting our findings at the conference and I agreed. During that same day, Chris and I had a meeting and discussed presenting our findings at the conference as a 25-minute short paper and asked if I would be willing to present alongside him? Without hesitation, I said,

‘I would be happy to present.’

However, as soon as our meeting had finished I thought to myself:

‘you’re actually going to be presenting at a conference, you’ve never presented at a conference and the thought of public speaking has always filled you with dread!’

Chris and I had previously presented all the key findings of our report to the Skills Team a couple of months prior to the conference and we got some good feedback from the team. So we had the PowerPoint created, check. We had already presented our findings, so no need for a mock run through.  Chris would open the presentation and discuss the reasoning behind our research whilst giving an explanation of PASS, I would then talk through our findings. Finally, Chris would comment on the development of PASS after we had completed the research and conclude. We submitted our application with a 200 word abstract alongside a biography for us both. Once our place at the conference was confirmed all that was left to do was make sure we could access our session on Microsoft Teams and wait for the day of the conference.  

As the conference was over two days, Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th September, I was unable to attend the first day as I was graduating from the University of Hull as part of the class of 2020. For the second day, I was able to attend and I can happily say the conference was a joy. Presenting before us at 12:30 in the same parallel session was Sue Myer from Teesside University. Similar to us, Sue was presenting on peer support and had a section dedicated to PASS. During our interviews, we talked with Teesside University, so already has some insight into how they operated their peer learning schemes.  I can’t lie, I was a little apprehensive about presenting my section. If you could not tell by now I believe that public speaking is not my forte, but once I started speaking following Chris’ introduction I got into the flow of presenting. One tip Chris gave me was: treat it as a prolonged conversation with friends rather than presenting to a large group of people. With this mindset, I was able to speak throughout my section without any stumbles or problems (not that I was aware of, anyhow). Once I had completed my section I handed back to Chris to conclude our presentation, at which point I was able to relax a little and prepare for any questions at the end. We did not, in the end, have any questions, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you want to frame it: good because we have explained everything perfectly, or bad because we were the last presentation and people wanted to get it over with. I prefer the former!

To say it was my first time attending a conference, let alone talking at a conference, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. Thanks to Chris and everyone in the Library I have been exposed to a new experience I would never have had the chance to do previous to my internship.

Chris Awre

Chris Awre, University Librarian
Conor presented very well, making each of his points succinctly and clearly, and ensuring that he covered a lot of information within the timeframe perfectly. 

Thank you Conor, it was good to work on this with you!

Categories
Library insider

The cost of an eBook

This blog post revisits one of our most popular Twitter threads of the year. Now you can read the same content in a convenient article format. Yay.


Why can’t we always buy what you need? How much do eBooks cost? How do we work with you? Sit tight – we’re going to answer a lot of questions and share some shocking figures about how much resources cost!

We talk to Faculties and @HullUniUnion a lot. We find their input massively helpful, and we also talk to students and academics as part of our commitment to deliver excellent customer service.

We talk to our users often (especially with big projects like redesigning our Library Search); you may even be one of the people we’ve spoken to. If so, cheers! ANYWAY >>

We have been talking to a lot of people who say they found it annoying when we have paper copies of books instead of eBooks. I can get them on the Kindle, they say; they’re only £10. How come you can’t buy us enough eBooks?

We have to answer this question A LOT and often, we hear that we should get better at communicating the answer. So! We wanted to tell you why we can’t *always* get the volume of eBooks you need. You right now:

We know not everyone cares about the detail of how we buy things… But we like telling you things, we want to be open about how things work, and for those that are interested, here’s the situation… The tl;dr is: Publishers sell differently to us than they do to you.

So, first things first, we buy eBooks whenever we can. This is for obvious reasons – it’s easier to provide access to people who are not on campus if the book is online. We know some people much prefer printed books and we get that. We still buy thousands of print books too.

We can’t buy Kindle books. We can only buy eBooks that are licensed to universities. And not all of them are….

Some titles are only available to *individuals* as an eBook, and not to libraries. This is a choice the publisher has made. Some titles we simply cannot buy as eBooks.

Some titles we can buy as eBooks, and we do, but the price differences are eye-watering. Here are some examples. There’s a book that costs £40.00 on Kindle. eBook price for us (and it’s not an unlimited eBook, it’s max. 3 users at once)



£1,018.50

There’s another. It’s £32.52 on Kindle. The price to us, for 1 user? A mere £500. It was £167 when we first bought it, which is pricey enough. Then the publisher realized it was a popular eBook and increased the price for libraries.

There’s a book we need which costs £53.25. Quite a lot, right? To us, for an eBook – which only three of you can read at once: £662.

And there is the title that is £40 on Kindle, but we must pay £1,344 for 12-months of access. After a year the access ceases… unless we pay another £1,344! Or more because the publisher will probably increase the price.

Sometimes we just can’t do it. We simply cannot justify buying the eBook and end up buying multiple paper copies. A recent example: a 1 user eBook was £800. £800!

Money-mouth face
Money bag
Money-mouth face

There are worse examples than this, but these are all Hull-specific examples from recent purchases.

Sometimes we get a credit model. We pay x hundred pounds; the eBook can be used 400 times. Then we pay the same amount again to top it back up when the 400 times are used up. *Sometimes* we’re not allowed to top it back up because the publisher has withdrawn it from eBook sale…

Sometimes we get a credit model. We pay x hundred pounds; the eBook can be used 400 times. Then we pay the same amount again to top it back up when the 400 times are used up. *Sometimes* we’re not allowed to top it back up because the publisher has withdrawn it from eBook sale…

This is so unbelievably frustrating for us, and even more so for you.

Exploding head

When you go to the shelf and the physical book isn’t there, it’s annoying but at least it makes some sort of sense.

Pouting face

When an eBook you read yesterday isn’t there today, it’s just maddening.

Face with symbols over mouth

Anyway, this thread is long enough already, there’s some context for eBooks, paper copies, and all that stuff. If you’ve made it this far, WE APPRECIATE YOU.

What we’re saying is, we do absolutely everything we reasonably can to get you eBook access to everything you need. If you end up having to borrow physical copies, or you have to queue for the eBook, believe us when we say we tried everything to avoid you being in this situation!

We buy thousands of books a year (thousands!) and come across this problem many times a day. We’re trying as hard as we can to get you the resources you need. But we can only get what the publishers offer.

We hope you have found this insight helpful. We want our students to know we do everything we can to find solutions to your problems. Our Collections Admin team works tirelessly to get what you need – wherever possible!

We gave Hull examples but it’s happening everywhere. If you’re interested in this, we’d suggest you check out #ebookSOS (not least for some prices which are even wilder than the ones above) which is curating the wider conversation.

We’d also like to thank @UoYLibrary – this thread was their idea and we’re grateful they let us pick it up. We’ve changed it lots and added Hull-specific examples, but a lot of credit goes to them

Smiling face with smiling eyes

You can also check out the website supporting the campaign, there’s an open letter to sign there, which already has over 4,000 signatories.

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Please share the Twitter version of this post

Categories
General Internships

Introducing John Weightman

My Internship Adventure Begins

John Weightman

My adventure as an Intern first began with an e-mail from the Hull University Careers team. They were offering a whole range of interesting Internship opportunities for the university. After a difficult start to post-university life due to the COVID pandemic, when job opportunities were limited, I hoped to work in the media possibly as a writer or editor and so began writing my own blog about Music John’s Music Hub. I also worked a few part-time jobs such as writing for a music magazine MXDWN UK. This then led me to think, well I really enjoy writing and with my BA History degree I’ve also showcased my writing qualities. Therefore, I want to focus on an Internship that will give me knowledge in new areas, maybe learn some HTML, and also expand upon my writing abilities. That’s when I saw an internship with the Library Skills Team, where I would support the team in the writing and implementation of the Digital Skills course. Here was an opportunity to further showcase my writing ability and really get my career running and expand into new areas. 

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I’m going on an adventure!

Then I got to work, updated my CV, and wrote my covering letter and I waited a few days, maybe a couple of weeks I don’t recall exactly, and I got an e-mail from Lee Fallin asking me for an interview. The interview with Lee was very pleasant and relaxed he gave me the chance to ask him a few questions whilst he told me all about the internship and ended with him confirming I had the job. Now I just had to wait with bated breath for my internship to begin.

You may wonder how other than my writing skills I can help people learn about digital skills, well let me tell you. As a blogger who runs their own website I have experience in how media is implemented in the digital world as well as how to keep my information safe online. I also learned many digital skills during my time as a university student where I improved my proficiency in Microsoft office and used many digital tools to aid in my study. As a former student, I also feel I would know how best to adapt the information we are delivering to a student audience. I’ve always had an interest in computers and everything digital and since I was about 4 years old, I was already able to use a computer (although mainly for games).

The first day finally arrived after signing all the necessary documents a few days before, as with most people on starting a new job I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. I was also joined by 3 other interns with various different responsibilities for the library or Skills Team, we then got to meet some of the staff including Lee my intern supervisor. The first week mainly consisted of basic training and meetings with all the other staff members as well as going through all the health and safety details. 

I’m now into my second week and have already written a few small sections of the Digital Skills course as well as writing this, my first blog post for the University. This will be the first of several blog entries where I will write about various study skills mainly focused on digital skills.

Categories
Internships

Introducing: Joanna (Jo) Rawnsley

Starting work as an intern with the Skills Team

An interview with oneself

“We’d like to offer you the internship position.”

Well, I wasn’t expecting that… 

Jo Rawnsley

via GIPHY

Last year I graduated with a BA in Creative Writing and Film Studies, afterwards, I went straight on to a masters to study English and Creative Writing. I am currently working on my dissertation, a poetry portfolio. I’m a Poet, wouldn’t you know it… Yes, with a capital P as I’ve had a few poems published in online journals, however, this portfolio is going to be my first complete collection. 

The main reasons I decided to do my degrees are the same for wanting to do this internship:

  • It’s a chance to let my creativity flow
  • To further pursue my passion for writing 
  • To gain more experience as a writer

“But Jo,” I hear you say. “What will your internship include?”

Ok, ok I’ll tell you…

I’m working as part of the Skills Team, in the library to develop new Skills Guides for students. Living in the digital age the way we work, and how we’re assessed is ever-evolving. We need new guides to help students working on Public Communication assessments, such as academic blogs, magazine articles, letters to the editor, and author wikis. My job is to research such assessments, compile the information and transform it into accessible and readable advice for all. 

via GIPHY

“Didn’t you say you write poetry, how is that going to help you?”

Good question and I can see why you’d think a poet may not have the expertise to write these guides, but I don’t only write poetry. Throughout my four years of study, I’ve put my hand to a vast array of forms. Just because it says “Creative” in my degree title doesn’t mean I got away from academic writing. On the contrary. I’ve written many academic essays, critiques, reflective journals, and commentaries, as well as some reviews here and there. In the second year of my undergraduate degree, I wrote a 5000-word project, in film studies, discussing whether makeover television programmes create a false sense of beauty compared to that we see in beauty vlogs. And, no I didn’t include any poetry. 

The academic side of my degrees provided me with researching and critical thinking techniques, whereas the creative side gave me the space to let my creativity shine and ideas flow. Both sides provided me with the techniques I need to develop content for the Skills Guides being created. 

“That’s great! Last question; after these 12 weeks, what then?” 

Once the project is complete, I will be able to state that I have expertise in areas such as copywriting and public communications. This will greatly increase my chances of completing my goals of working in social media and/or public relations. 

“Thank you for answering these questions and good luck!”

Thank you very much, it’s been a pleasure. 

via GIPHY

Categories
Internships

Introducing: David Moore

Travelling through the up and downs of my journey as an intern

Where to begin …….

David Moore

It all started last year at the end of my degree finishing Entertainment and Games Design in which I gained a 2:2. This is where I learnt my creative flare and learnt to level up my skills.  Then my journey hit a roadblock where I could not expand my horizon and lost my motivation and due to the lockdown did not know which way to turn.

Looking beyond the horizon I looked at LinkedIn for connections and contacts regarding opportunities and Udemy to make sure my skills with other tools did not fade and learnt new skills.  One day whilst looking through LinkedIn I saw an opportunity called Humberside Internship Programme (HIP).  After a few weeks and many conversations, I received an email inviting me on an internship.  I felt in disbelief and delighted to have been invited.

So that journey pressed forward…

So, first week arrives and I am introduced to the Skills Team and the project I would be working on. This was exciting but nervous.  Throughout the talks I felt that my head was going to explode with the information, websites and steps to take forward.  With the help of Lee and the other members of staff and interns it showed me a guiding light into the unknown and this has been a good learning curve for me.

In this internship my title is Visual Design Intern.  My focus is to look at the skills guide and create a more welcoming and easier experience to this website for the user.  This includes: 

  • Opportunities to add rich media (animations, quizzes, videos and so on)
  • Supporting the others to enhance their work with media

At my journeys end…

I would have enhanced the skill guide with rich media and gained experience in the working environment and working within a team. This experience would give me confidence to move on to the next adventure and hopefully many more experiences to come.

Categories
General Internships

Introducing: Codey McShane

The start of my virtual internship experience

In the beginning…

Last week, I began an internship working with the Library at the University of Hull, with a focus on Customer Engagement and Communications. The role is entirely based online, and while there is the option to come into the library, it’s not as viable now that I am living back in London after finishing my degree. I studied Computer Science and having been told all that, you might have some of the following questions by now.

  • Who are you, mysterious blog writer?!
  • What is Customer Engagement, and why should I care about it?
  • How can you do internship from home? Who are you making the coffee for?
  • What does Computer Science have to do with customers? Get back to fixing printers!

(It is possible that you did not actually have any of these questions, but for the purpose of the blog, it’s important that you know these things so that in several weeks when I tell you about the amazing progress I’ve made, it’ll all make sense. So, bear with me!)

Wow, those are some great questions! Let me explain a little…

Unmasking the mysterious blog writer 

Codey McShane

Hi there! My name’s Codey. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been at Hull University since 2017. I like reading (fantasy novels mostly), writing (this blog post), martial arts, and dogs. I’ve got red hair, and I’ve got a rare birthmark on the entirety of my right arm. I wear glasses and my hearing isn’t great. I know, I know, I’ve made myself sound way too cool, please forgive me.

Customer Engagement, what is it good for? 

This is a subject we’ll get into a lot more in-depth in my next blog post, where I will have done a lot more work on the subject. For now, I can at least give you the same surface detail that I have. Customer Engagement is all about actively building, supporting, and managing relationships with customers. I’ll explain more about what that means to me and my role specifically next time.

An internship, from the comfort of my own home?

It’s interesting. I’ve spent the last year of my academic study working from home, so you would think I’d be used to it by now. But it still felt weird to be starting a job in my bedroom. However, it’s been very easy to settle in. There’s been so much support and being a part of a group of other interns helps a lot. Over the last week couple of weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time just meeting people and learning about what they do, and with daily meetings over the camera, I really do feel like I’m a part of a team of people, instead of just working alone.

Computer Science with a focus on the customer? You’re mad!

Despite being a Computer Science graduate, I’ve found during my volunteering that one of the things I enjoy most is the opportunity to help people and problem solve. Personally, I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy a job that doesn’t involve some essence of customer service. This internship offers me a great opportunity to look at a professional environment from the perspective of the customer, while also getting some great experience working in a professional environment.

So! Hopefully, that gives you a little bit of an introduction as to who I am and what I’m doing, and I can’t wait to tell you more in my next blog about what I’ve been up to. See you next time!