Staff training workshops from Information Services – book your place now.

Information Services will be running a number of training workshops for staff in the coming months.
To view the full calendar and book your place on any of the sessions, visit https://bit.ly/infoservicestraining

Workshops topics include:

  •  Introduction to Collaborate Ultra
  • Stream – Managing your content
  • Teams – The latest updates
  • Video and podcast creation
  • An introduction to Padlet
  • An introduction to using Turning Point
  • SharePoint Hub administrator


We look forward to welcoming you to these sessions.

IS has also created a new SharePoint site which is packed with lots of useful guidance on Collaborate, Stream, E-books, Office 365 and much more.
Click here to access the IS Training site

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.

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.  

20 things that Information Services do for you in 2020

  1. Discovery – search for thousands of resources including books, eBooks, journals, databases
  2. Skills Hub – digital, information and study skills
  3. Click and Collect service for borrowing books from the Library
  4. Library and IT support for Remote Learning
  5. Software  –  a wide range of software for home use
  6. Access to software from off campus – Key Server
  7. Microsoft O365 – email and apps including Outlook, OneDrive, Teams
  8. IT and Library Help – submit any requests or issues through the online ticketing system
  9. Study spaces available at all our campuses for individual study in safe environments
  10. Wi-Fi – Eduroam
  11. Printers, scanners and copiers
  12. Heritage – Museum and Archive
  13. Research Support – specialist support and systems for researchers
  14. Edinburgh Campus Library
  15. Scottish Borders Campus Library
  16. Malaysia Campus Library
  17. Dubai Campus Library
  18. Orkney Campus Library
  19. Information Information Services web pages
  20. Updates social media channels  



Dawsonera eBooks – no access from Friday 31st July

Please note that we will have no access to Dawsonera eBooks from Friday 31st July 2020.
We will be switching the titles to another platform where possible but there may be a temporary loss of access to the titles while this happens.
Any notes etc. that you’ve made on the Dawsonera platform won’t be accessible.
Please download and save any notes that you have made before Friday 31st July. [HW Discovery Update]

Planning for re-opening Library buildings – Edinburgh campus

We have had a number of enquiries regarding the re-opening of the Library building on our Edinburgh campus but as yet we don’t have any news of an actual re-opening date.

There is a great deal of planning happening across the University for next semester and the Responsive Blended Learning approach in the new academic year.
This includes the possible future opening up of buildings on campus as and when appropriate.

The Library building is likely to be opened in a later phase of the planning.  We don’t expect it to be open for students until the beginning of September at the earliest, and even then access and occupancy will be limited in line with social distancing requirements.

You can access thousands of learning resources online through Discovery https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/is/find-resources.htm

Please let us know if you require any help to find online resources or if you have any further questions by emailing @ishelp@hw.ac.uk.  HW Discovery Update

 

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