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

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

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:

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

Study space – Edinburgh Campus Library

Our Edinburgh Campus Library is open Monday to Friday 8:30am – 8:30pm and Saturday to Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Due to COVID19, we have a reduced capacity for study spaces.
Currently, this is 240 study spaces (about 25% of the usual Library capacity).
You don’t have to book a space in advance, just come to the Library with your student ID card and swipe in at the access gates. ID cards are mandatory in order to comply with guidelines.
During the last 2 weeks, the maximum occupancy of the library, at any one time, has been about 120 so we still do have room for more people to work in the Library.
The Library occupancy is displayed on the digital displays at the entrance to the Library, in the James Watt Centre and the Hugh Nisbet building (main University building). We are working on displaying it on the student portal so it can be accessed from off campus.
Study spaces are clearly labelled with a green ‘YES’ for spaces that can be used and a red ‘No’ for spaces that are not in use. There are PCs available too.

The Library is a face-covering zone so face-coverings must be worn when moving round the building.
Physical distancing is also a requirement in order to keep everyone safe – even if you live in a bubble with other students, the Library it is individual study only.

If you have any questions about the study space in the Library, please contact the Service Desk on 4577 or email ServiceDesk@hw.ac.uk

Webinars on Finding Research, Citing and Referencing, EndNote and more …

Skills Hub webinars will help you improve the skills you need to succeed in your courses and assignments at Heriot-Watt.


Topics for this semester include:

  • Finding Research – an introductory webinar on how to find academic research, suitable for students who are new to university research, or who would like a refresher.
  • Literature Searching – more advanced webinars aimed at students who are familiar with the basics of how to search, but want to learn more. These are aimed at students in the final years of their undergraduate degree or taught postgraduates.
  • EndNote X9 reference management software. EndNote X9 is very useful if you are working on a literature review or a project with a lot of references.
  • Citing and Referencing, with sessions on Harvard and IEEE (check your assignment guidelines to find out which style you should use)
  • And many more

Many of our September webinars were fully booked, but there are spaces available in October and November. Book your place at https://hw.ac.libcal.com/calendar/skillshub/

We’re also putting content online so that you can develop these skills independently, via the Skills Hub website at https://isguides.hw.ac.uk/skillshub . Topics already online include Harvard Citing and Referencing, IEEE Citing and Referencing and Finding Research for Assignments. We’ll be adding more to these pages throughout the semester.

Details of Information Services webinars for staff can be found at https://hw.ac.libcal.com/calendar/istraining/

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  



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