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.

Face coverings to be worn at all times – Edinburgh Campus Library

Please wear face coverings at all times in the Library building.
This is to ensure that the Library space is as safe as possible under Tier 4 restrictions and to be compliant with Government regulations.

Please also observe physical distancing of 2 metres. Available study spaces are clearly marked.

Sanitiser and cleaning stations are available throughout the building

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

Happy New Year – Edinburgh Campus Library opening hours

Happy New Year and best wishes to everyone for 2021.

The Edinburgh Campus Library is open today 9:00am -5:00pm and the planned opening hours for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week are 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Due to the new restrictions and Government guidelines, it is possible that changes to the opening hours will take place at very short notice. Our opening hours are also dependent on staff availability which in turn is sometimes affected by travel arrangements and caring responsibilities.

Please remember to bring your ID card and face-covering.
Face-coverings must be worn at all times while in the Library.
You don’t need to book a study space in advance – we have plenty available.

We hope to be open for the following hours during January:

Please check our social media pages for any last minute changes – we will update our twitter and facebook pages daily and also update the website on a regular basis.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the Library Service Desk on 0131 451 3577 or email ServiceDesk@hw.ac.uk or ISHelp@hw.ac.uk

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

Good news – extra budget for eBooks

Information Services are delighted to have been allocated additional budget to purchase more access to eBooks.

Responsive Blended Learning means more emphasis on access to electronic resources and in particular electronic copies of textbooks. In our libraries we are conscious that we cannot provide you with access to print textbooks as we have in the past. This welcome investment in our library collections allows us to buy more titles, and more copies, for more access to the eBooks which you need for your studies and take home exams.

We are working from semester one  reading lists to buy the titles you will need for your exam revision and take-home exams right now. These will all be accessible through Discovery. We know that there are different platforms and permissions around using these eBooks, so will make as much information as we can available here to help you.

Please get in touch if you have any problems through ISHelp@hw.ac.uk

We are also looking ahead to semester two, working through all the reading lists we have received so far, to ensure the textbooks you need for your studies are available for you.

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:

Request to staff for Reading Lists for Semester 2

Information Services is working to support Responsive Blended Learning delivery through the online provision of books and journal articles that staff are using this academic year.
Your reading lists are vital to this process and we are now starting to prepare for semester two.   

We received a very high number of reading lists for semester one and anticipate the same for semester two. For this reason, it would be very helpful if you could please submit your course lists to us as soon as possible, via the email libord@hw.ac.uk, so that we can start checking to see if items you recommend to students are available electronically.  

Unlike in recent years, please submit your reading list even if there are no changes to it. This is because eBook availability may have changed since we last checked. It’s also very helpful if you can clearly flag up which are your essential/core/key texts so that we can prioritise these  

Availability of eBooks differs from title to title. The library buys eBooks for two main aggregator platforms. The titles come in different user models and this can restrict the number of people who access them at any one time. They also usually come with restrictions (Digital Rights Management, or DRM) which restricts how much can be copied or downloaded by the student. The publishers set all of these restrictions on a title-by-title level. We also buy eBooks for some publishers’ platforms where available and these usually have no restrictions on how many students can use them at once and are DRM free. This is our preference where available.   

Please note that we will be looking for eBooks which we can make available to students through Discovery and unfortunately some publishers do not provide this option, including some of the main textbook providers. In this case the titles should be available in our library print collections and may also be available for students to purchase electronically themselves via an eTextbook provider like VitalSource or Kortext even if they aren’t available for us to provide electronically under a library model. 

 Journal articles and book chapters 

If you require digital copies of book chapters or journal articles, rather than a full book, this can be done through our Digital Copies Service, please see https://www.hw.ac.uk/services/is/learning-teaching/technology/digital-copies-service.htm.  

If you would like to know more about incorporating permalinks to book chapters and articles into your Vision course, please see https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/is/learning-teaching/technology/invision-services.htm 

Submitting reading lists to the library for courses taught at the Edinburgh, Orkney, and Scottish Borders campuses: 

Please email your reading lists to libord@hw.ac.uk with the information below:

       ·         Title and code of the course 

·         Details of the items needed (as much information as possible is helpful, e.g., author, title, edition, ISBN, publisher, year) 

  • Number of expected students  
  • Which campus/campuses the course is taught at  

·        If an item is a key text – this is so we can prioritise availability of key texts  

Submitting reading lists to the library for books needed at Dubai or Malaysia Campuses 

If there are books that you need to be available for the Dubai and/or Malaysia campuses, please contact the libraries directly. They can be contacted at DubaiLibHelp@hw.ac.uk and MYLibrary@hw.ac.uk respectively. If the book is for the Malaysia campus, please put “Malaysia campus reading list” in the subject  

Many thanks in advance for your help and please let me know if you have any questions at e.peacock@hw.ac.uk .  

Please could we have your reading lists as soon as possible, and by 11 December at the latest.  

Click and Collect – extended opening hours – Edinburgh Campus Library

We are extending the hours that the Click and Collect service for books from our Edinburgh Campus Library is available. This is to make it easier for you to come and collect books if you are only on campus for one day a week.

The opening hours from today are:
Monday to Friday 8:45am – 8:15pm
Saturday to Sunday 10:15 – 3:45pm

Please remember that you will receive an email to say your book is ready to collect and any time after you receive the email, it’s available. We process requests as quickly as possible but sometimes books are in quarantine so there is a short delay.
For details of how to request a book via Discovery there are instructions here

We are also changing the location within the Library for the collection point. It will now be at the main Library Service Desk rather than at the West entrance. Again this is to make it quicker and easier for you to collect your book. You will still need your student ID card and face-covering.

If you have any questions, please contact the Library Service Desk ServiceDesk@hw.ac.uk or 0131 451 3577

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