Cinema voucher winners drawn…

Graeme picks the winners…

2015winnersWe had a fantastic response to the Vision quiz for new Edinburgh campus students – with 770 attempts at the quiz from 593 students. There were 147 all correct entries. Well done to everyone that took part.

We’ll announce the winners once we’ve contacted them.

The answers were

  1. How many items can a student borrow from the library – 30
  2. What is the Information Services blog called – InformS
  3. How many multi-functional devices are on the 3rd floor in the library – 3
  4. If you want to borrow an item from the library you need to…
  • Search for and find the item in the library catalogue
  • Take a note of the classmark of the item you are looking for
  • Retrieve the item from the shelf
  • Take the item to a self-issue machine to borrow
  1. There are approximately 750 study spaces in the library. This includes 21 individual study rooms, 2 group study rooms and 5 group study tables.
  2. The Library and IT Twitter account keeps you up to date…True
  3. You can attend a variety of workshops – free of charge – to help you develop your library, study and IT skills. What is the workshop programme called?
  • Power Hours
  1. Where are the self-issue machines located in the Edinburgh campus library
  • 1st floor
  1. Match them up…
  • What is the wifi system for staff and students called? – Eduroam
  • In addition to print, what else can you do with an MFD? – copy and scan
  • Where can you visit the IT Helpdesk? – first floor in the library
  • You can search for books using the – Library catalogue
  • If the book you need is out on loan you can – Request (reserve) a copy
  1. If you need help with things like note taking, planning your work, revision etc you could speak to the
  • Effective Learning Advisor

We hope you enjoyed it – and also that it helped you find out more about what IS can do to support you during your course.




Assistive software on the HWU Desktop

There are several specialist software applications on the HWU desktop that come under the heading of “Assistive software”.

This software is often promoted as potentially being especially useful to users with specific learning difficulties e.g. those with reading or writing difficulties, dyslexic staff and students, visually impaired users, or those whose first language isn’t English.

However, the software is available for everyone to use – so check it out, and use it if it helps you in your work and studies.

An overview of what’s available under this category follows – with an indication of any specific group of users that might find it especially useful.

All of this software can be found on the HWU Desktop (Start menu, All Programs, Assistive Software).

Mind mapping software

There are 2 mind mapping applications available on the university desktop – Inspiration and MindGenius. Both offer similar features – the one you use is really a matter of personal choice.

inspirationSummary of features/use: –

  • capture ideas during the brainstorming process at the start of any project or piece of work
  • create a dashboard to gather and collate research data
  • create skeletal frameworks for essays and reports and easily identify any gaps
  • help improve memory recall for study – very handy when revising!
  • visualize stages and tasks required to successfully deliver projects
  • produce presentations, essays and reports (you can export your MindGenius maps directly into Office applications e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Project)
  • offer a visual focus for class discussion and encourage peer-to-peer learning
  • help develop creative thinking skills

Target audience: Everyone. I use it all the time.

Other info:



ssOverlayssOverlay can help users with some visual impairment conditions read screens more easily. It does this by enabling you to add a coloured, transparent layer to the screen (the colour and transparency level can be adjusted). The ss stands for Scotopic Sensitivity.

Summary of features/use: –

  • places a coloured overlay onto the screen
  • colour and transparency levels can be adjusted to suit the user
  • everything is controlled from the icon in the Notification area of the Taskbar
  • right clicking this icon will open the menu which allows the selection of Multi Monitor Support, and the percentage of dimming of the screen

Target audience: Visually impaired, who find it easier to read the screen if overlaid by a transparent colour

Read & Write for Windows

ReadReadwrite & Write Gold for Windows is an easy-to-use flexible toolbar containing support features to make reading, writing and research easier for you. The software has been designed to address some of the issues that people with dyslexia face daily, namely reading difficulties, writing difficulties, problems with spelling and general literacy support.

Summary of features/use: –

  • Dyslexic individuals: Read&Write is used to support and improve reading and writing skills thereby improving confidence and independence in literacy.
  • Software that can be useful when reading over large reports or documents as it converts text to speech
  • In College or University, Read&Write is used to produce accurate assignments, for study and research support and on-the-go, independent learning.
  • Support on using the features see

Target Audience: Potentially of most interest to dyslexic individuals; Everyone (the text to speech is great for reading research work, or proof reading your own work)


Write better and faster with Ginger Page writing app on your desktop and mobile

Summary of features/use: –

  • Grammar checker
  • Sentence Rephraser
  • Translation
  • Dictionary
  • Text Reader
  • Personal Trainer

See Ginger for more information.

Target Audience: Everyone

Find out more

You can find out more about these and more at Assistive software on the University Network

Or come along to a Study Support Software Power Hour on 12th October or 12 November at 1:15 pm in the Anderson Room, Edinburgh Campus Library.

Extra EndNote Desktop Power Hour tomorrow

endnotex7_logoDue to demand, we have arranged an additional EndNote Desktop workshop for:

Friday 02 October 2015
Library Teaching Room (Library Top Floor)

If you wish to book a place for this class, please click here:

Extra class: EndNote Desktop

Extra EndNote Online Power Hours – Edinburgh Campus

Due to popular demand we’ve organised an extra two EndNote Online Power Hours next week.  These are:

Monday 5th October 15:15 – 16:15
Thursday 8th October 12:15-13:15

You can book these online at

We use a waiting list for all our Power Hours.  If you’ve booked a Power Hour and are unable to attend please cancel your place (via the link in the confirmation email or by emailing  We will then give your place to someone on the waiting list.

Power Hour Workshops (Edinburgh Campus) Week Commencing 5 Oct

The following workshops will be held week commencing 5 October in the Edinburgh Campus Library (Top Floor):

Adjusting to a Scottish Curriculum
Mon 5 Oct 12:00-13:30
All workshop are now bookable at

Citing & Referencing in Academic  Writing plus Endnote
Mon 5 Oct 12:15-14:15
All workshop are now bookable at

Critical Reading
Rescheduled to Wed 14 Oct (from Tues 6th)  12:15-13:15
All workshop are now bookable at

Word: Divide and Conquer Your Page Layout
Tues 6 Oct 14:15-15:15
All workshop are now bookable at

Endnote Online
Wed 7 Oct 12:15-13:15
All workshop are now bookable at

Box of Broadcasts
Wed 7 Oct 14:15-15:15
Staff Only
All workshop are now bookable at

Powerpoint for Presentations
Thurs 8 Oct 12:15-13:15
All workshop are now bookable at

Excel: Level 2/Part 1
Fri 9 Oct 09:15-11:45
All workshop are now bookable at

Literature Searching/Review
Fri 9 Oct 12:15-13:15
All workshop are now bookable at


The workshops are held in the Anderson Room or the Library Teaching Room, Edinburgh Campus Library (top floor). Signs in the Library will direct you to the appropriate room.

More information on these sessions and other sessions in the Power Hours Workshops programme is available online. Learning materials used in the workshops are also available in Vision / Organisations / Power Hours Workshops

See our website for further skills development opportunities.

Consolidate your Learning

Week 3 already…

skillsforsuccessAre you consolidating your learning as you go?

Consolidating Learning (often known as Revision) should be a semester-long activity. Some successful students have reported that in addition to their ongoing study, when they reach Week 3 they start revising Week 1 material; when they reach Week 4 they start revising Week 2 material. Might this be a practice that you want to try?

Our advice is: –

  • Start revision early i.e. now…
  • Keep revising as you study – do little but often
  • When you complete a topic, revise it – it can make it easier to learn the next topic
  • Towards the end of a course, you’ll find that reviewing the material helps to bring everything together

Further guidance on consolidating learning/revision/exams is available in the ‘Revision and Exam Success’ module, Skills for Success, in Vision.

New students have been automatically registered for Skills for Success. If you’re a continuing student and haven’t yet registered for Skills for Success, you can self-enrol – see



EZproxy upgrade info for Academic staff

The EZproxy service has been updated which will improve the service and permit:

  • Access through IT firewalls, which has been a frequent issue for off-campus students
  • Streamlined access to British Standards Online (BSOL) from off-campus
  • Increased security of user credentials during login

There will be little visible difference in the short term, as the old and new links will run in parallel, but PLEASE NOTE that old (unchanged) links will cease to work at the start of semester 2, when the 2048 port is disabled.

Academics and course managers should note that if you have EZproxy links in your Vision courses:

  • All existing EZproxy links in Vision will need to be updated manually
  • The new prefix is “” (so, on existing links, you will need to replace ‘http’ with ‘https’ and remove ‘:2048’)

If you have any queries please email



BoB at risk – from 29th September 2015

BobWe have been informed that BoB National will undergo it’s first major update since January 2014 next week.

The services will be at risk for a week beginning Tuesday 29th September 2015.

The main purpose of the maintenance is to move the system onto an upgraded platform with new features including:

  1. A faster, more responsive website. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to ensure  iOS device users have a much improved interface. The desktop experience is better too.
  2. Run Workflow. A new feature available with administrator approval that allows users to create an iOS friendly version of programmes that previously would not play on mobile devices.
  3. Customise MyBoB. Users can arrange Programmes, Clips and Playlist areas in their preferred order
  4. Share your playlists: MyBoB includes multiple options to share your playlist.
  5. Related records feature. Each programme record will contain information and links to other episodes available in the archive


Free download – Vision (VLE) App – Blackboard mobile

bb1Use Blackboard Mobile to access your courses from your mobile devices.

It’s free, easy to use – and gives you the best viewing experience on a range of devices.

You’ll find all the information you  need to download the app and get started at the Blackboard Mobile Resource Center.


Borrowing eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers for free!

Did you know that you could borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers for free from Edinburgh Public Libraries?

Their electronic services librarians will be in Heriot Watt University Edinburgh Campus Library on Wednesday 23rd September from 11am-3pm to hand out free library membership cards which give you instant online access to:

OverDrive – thousands of fiction and non-fiction ebooks and audiobooks from fantastic authors such as George RR Martin; Bill Bryson; Lee Child; Bryan Cox; Hilary Mantel; Stuart MacBride and Stephen Hawking.

Zinio – over a hundred popular magazines to download and keep. Includes New Scientist; Popular Science; Apple Magazine; PC Format; Forbes; Newsweek; Total Film; Men’s Fitness; HELLO!; BBC Good Food; Esquire; Cosmopolitan etc

OneClickdigital – hundreds of quality British audiobooks to download.

PressDisplay (coming from October!) – over 4000 worldwide newspapers and magazines to read online before they’ve even hit the newsagents! Over 70 UK local and national newspapers available including the Scotsman and over 100 UK magazines.

Stop by and pick up a membership card and instruction leaflets on how you can use these services on your computer, tablet or phone.

Edinburgh Libraries 2

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