Phishing emails “vaccination appointments”

Please be aware that there are reports of several phishing emails being sent to HWU staff and student accounts.  Some of these emails claim to be from the NHS about vaccination appointments e.g. “important Book an appointment using the NHS e-Referral Service NHSVaccination” with links to book an appointment. 

If you think you have received a phishing email, do not click on any links, and do not open any attachments. 

If you are unsure if an email is real or not please forward it or screenshot the email content and send it to ishelp@hw.ac.uk 
If you have received a phishing email, accidently clicked the link in it and provided your university credentials (username and password), please contact the IS Helpdesk for assistance. 

Accounts that are suspected to be compromised will be blocked automatically.
If your account has been blocked because of this, please send an email to ishelp.hw.ac.uk for further assistance.

Top tips to help you spot phishing emails

(phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication).

  • Be suspicious of any urgent requests for personal or financial information
  • Be aware: Phishing scams are common at main instalment payment dates or connected to newsworthy events
  • Check that you’re using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information.
  • Prevention: Your email details may have been taken from a social networking site so avoid disclosing your email address or make sure you hide it on your page
  • Look for tell-tale signs of phishing: Check the quality of the communication. Misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often good indicators

Digital copying services

The Digital Copies Service from Information Services will enable you to provide Copyright compliant scans of book chapters or articles via the Copyright Licensing Agency’s content store.


The service will provide teaching staff with scans of book chapters or articles for use in Vision. There is a requirement on all staff to ensure that scans are enabled within the limits of the University’s licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency (which applies to all UK campuses).


For more information about the service and how to request a scan, please visit this webpage
Digital copies service – Heriot-Watt University (hw.ac.uk)

New chatbot feature in Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard have updated Collaborate Ultra to include a “chatbot” for users.
The chatbot uses artificial intelligence to respond to user’s queries about Collaborate Ultra. All users can access the chatbot during a live session.
If you find the chatbot answer is not helpful, please contact IShelp@hw.ac.uk for more specific help. Please do not raise a ticket with Blackboard directly.
This will enable IS to track all issues and provide a more HWU specific response to any issues arising.

New training events from Information Services

IS will be running a number of training events over the coming weeks covering

  • Turnitin
  • Using Microsoft Sway to develop interactive materials
  • Using Microsoft Stream for hosting and sharing video content
  • Microsoft Forms
  • Top tips for creating great video content

To view the schedule and book a place on one of the sessions, follow this link http://bit.ly/infoservicestraining

Decommissioning of SharePoint2010 (update for staff)

The Enhancing Online Collaboration project has successfully reached the end of the content migration stage. New SharePoint Online Hubs and Workspaces were created and rolled out in 2020 for use across the different areas of the University.

It is now essential for the SharePoint2010 sites to be decommissioned and this will take place on Monday 8th February from 9:00am GMT.
After this date, it will no longer be possible to access any content on SharePoint2010.

Skills Hub Webinars

If you’re aiming to improve your study skills or want to get better marks this semester, the Skills Hub webinars are designed for you. These free webinars, delivered by experienced librarians and effective learning advisers, are packed with useful tips and techniques to help with your degrees.

You can view the webinar schedule and register for sessions at https://hw.ac.libcal.com/calendar/skillshub

For assignments, we have webinars on writing literature reviews, essays, and reports, along with guidance on what your tutors are looking for in your work. We’ll also help you understand the feedback you’re given, and how to use this to improve your next assignment. If you’re in the early years of your degree, Getting Started with Research for Assignments will help you with finding information; if already know the basics and want to improve your skills you can attend Finding Quality Sources for Course Work.

The webinars on the Harvard and IEEE styles will help you understand citing and referencing, and you can learn how to use EndNote X9, powerful software that makes citing and referencing much easier.

Looking ahead to the end of semester, we have sessions on How to Succeed in Take-Home Exams.

These are just a selection of our upcoming webinars: you can view the full timetable at https://hw.ac.libcal.com/calendar/skillshub There are also lots of pre-recorded videos and online help on the skills hub website at https://isguides.hw.ac.uk/skillshub

A young woman sits working at a wooden desk. She is typing on a macbook, and has a can of juice next to her.

Staff training sessions – Vision, Turnitin and Collaborate Ultra

Learning Teaching and Enhancement Services (LTES) staff will be running more training sessions on Vision, Turnitin and Collaborate Ultra to help staff  prepare for teaching in Semester 2.
These will be appropriate for all staff whether you are new to using these tools or require a refresher session. to book please go to the following link:

https://hw.ac.libcal.com/calendar/istraining

Online support from Information Services Global during the Christmas and New Year break #HWU_IS

Information Services will provide online support globally for urgent Helpdesk tickets from 23rd December to 4th January throughout the Christmas break apart from 24th and 25th December and 1st January. 
Please submit issues to
ISHelp@hw.ac.uk in the usual way.

Library Opening times

  • Edinburgh Campus Library and Helpdesk will close on 22nd December and re-open 5th January
  • Scottish Borders Campus Library will close on 18th December and re-open 5th January
  • Malaysia Campus Library and Helpdesk – open throughout except closed 24th and 25th December 2020 and 1st January
  • Dubai Campus Library and Helpdesk – open throughout except closed 24th 25th 26th December and 1st 2nd January

On-site library services are compliant with local Government regulations and as such opening times may be subject to change – please check the website for details and HWU_IS

Changes to permissions of Pearson eBooks on the Ebook Central platform

There have been some changes to the print, copy and download permissions for Pearson eBooks on the Ebook Central platform. For existing licences the permissions are 5% but unfortunately for new licences the permissions are 0%.
This means that there are two records for each eBook effected by this so it is important to check Discovery for more than one link. Some eBooks may also be available on the VLeBooks platform.


If you have any enquiries or problems, please contact IShelp@hw.ac.uk

Heriot-Watt Team shortlisted for ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Award

This blog was originally published on the Learning and Teaching Academy blog https://lta.hw.ac.uk/blog/ on 5th December 2020.

In this blog, Rosemarie McIlwhan, Assistant Professor in the Learning and Teaching Academy, reflects on the challenges and successes of the Supporting Student Learning Online team in supporting staff and students across the University to respond to the pandemic.

When we first started supporting colleagues teaching in China to move their learning online, little did we know that soon the whole University would have to follow. Nor could we have forecast that much of the 5-year plan for active learning and digital education would end up being implemented in a little over 5 months. There have been many challenges since the pandemic caused us to move to blended learning, but we have each risen to the occasion.

The Supporting Student Learning Online (SSLO) team was one way in which we rose to the challenge. It was led by the Heriot-Watt Learning and Teaching Academy, drawing Learning Technologists from across the University, staff from the VLE project, Learning and Teaching Enhancement Services and media services together into one team providing global support for staff and students. In the video below members of the SSLO team explain the project, and colleagues from across the University explain the impact of the work.

The calm delivery in the video belies the frantic nature of the first few weeks, where we could foresee campuses being closed and the team went all-out to produce support resources before that happened so that staff would have hard copies to take home, and to rapidly provide the training and support that would be needed to enable staff and students to continue to stay in touch and finish the semester. That pace has hardly changed as we have moved into Responsive Blended Learning for AY20/21 and beyond, yet the team have continued to successfully support staff and students through live sessions, 1:1 support and provision of resources. What is less visible is the support that isn’t about learning technology – the taking time just to listen, to hear people’s frustrations (whether with the pandemic or the technology), to try to understand others’ fears even where you can’t do anything to help, essentially the humanity with which the SSLO team have provided support across the University.

Recognising the work of the SSLO team

In recognition of their work, the SSLO team have been put forward for the ALT ‘Learning Technologist of the Year’ Awards in the category Team of the Year. The awards are presented annually by the Association for Learning Technology (the UK’s leading professional body for Learning Technology). The Awards celebrate and reward excellent practice and outstanding achievement in Learning Technology. They have established a benchmark for outstanding achievement in Learning Technology on a national scale.

The awards are based on a competitive application process decided by a panel of expert judges, drawn from different sectors and countries, bringing together a wealth of experience in Learning Technology. The judging panel reviews all entries and the highest scoring entries in each category are short-listed. Judging criteria:

  • Excellence in the work (as defined in the CMALT principles).
  • Strong evidence that your work has made a significant impact on practices within the your or your team’s organisation, community, or sphere of influence.
  • Clear explanation of how others may learn from your work and what have you done to enable others to do so.

SSLO team shortlisted for Learning Technologist of the Year

We are delighted to report that the team have been shortlisted for the Learning Technologist Team of the Year Award.

You can find out more about the awards, alongside descriptions of the other shortlisted entries on the ALT awards showcase website.

The awards will be formally announced and presented at the ALT winter conference on 16th December at 4.30pm GMT. Good luck to everyone who has been shortlisted – there are some fabulous projects, and this year every when learning technology has really come to the fore, every single person working in this area deserves recognition whether they’ve been nominated or not.

Still…..keep your fingers crossed for us!

Further resources:

  • Recent Posts

  • Follow HWU_IS on Twitter

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

  • Tags