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

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.

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!

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