Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Planning your summer?

Over the past few years, the library has been lucky enough to have summer interns who were sponsored by the AIB Innovation Fund.  ITB students have worked on projects such as the ITB Student Hub and the digitisation of videos and cassettes. 

This summer, our project is looking at how digital badges might help us to improve student engagement with the tutorials on the Library Hub.  We are looking for an ITB student to:
(1)   Design a set of digital badges (or icons) for the library’s online tutorials, e.g. how to renew a library book online, how to create a reference list etc
(2)   Design a student-centred promotional strategy to encourage students to complete the library’s online tutorials and earn digital badges

You can read the full job specification by looking at your student email (dated 16 May).  Or email ( us to send you a copy.  The closing date is Monday 26th May.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Have a plan!

Best of luck to everyone sitting an exam today.  Having a plan before you go into the Exam Hall can help you to perform well. Here are some of the things you can plan for:

1. Read the exam paper slowly and carefully. Ensure that you understand the instructions before you start writing.

2. Look at the points available for each question, or part of a question, e.g. if there are three questions - worth 20%, 20% and 60% - plan to spend most of your time on the last question.

3. Answer the question that was asked. It can be tempting to write down everything you know about a topic. It is important to read the question carefully and answer what was asked. Look at directive words, e.g. are you being asked to list information, to describe a theory or an idea, to evaluate a concept giving your opinions...

4. Plan your answer before you start writing. Jot down your ideas, on a separate sheet of paper, and consider how you are going to structure your argument. What order will you put your ideas in? Does your introduction include all your main ideas? Is your argument clear and logical? 

5. Leave time to re-read your answers. Leave 10 minutes or so to re-read your answers before you finish. This will allow you to catch any obvious mistakes. Reviewing your work reduces the number of spelling and grammar mistakes, and allows you to change any obvious errors. 

... and if you "blank"? Don't worry. First of all, this happens to lots of people! Take a deep breath and jot down any relevant information, no matter how basic it seems. Jotting ideas down often reminds you of how much you know and stimulates related thoughts!

Image: "Relation scheme 86/366" by Blue Square Thing via Flickr

Monday, May 12, 2014

Adapting to written exams

In our everyday lives, most of us type more than we write. Students, in particular, often do most of their coursework on computers. So, how can we adapt to hand-written exams?

Here are four things to remember:
  1. Hand-writing requires a little more planning. Typists often starting working straight away; they know that they can edit the document later. It is more difficult to edit hand-written scripts. Therefore, writers must be organised! Before you pick up a pen, take the time to plan your answer. Jot down your ideas on rough paper and structure your argument before you start.
  2. Hand-writing can be a slower process than typing. Rest assured that your marker is aware of this! A written exam probably won't resemble a typed assignment, so don't expect it to. However, the slower speed of writing gives you a little more time to think as you write, which allows you to edit-as-you-go.
  3. Some of us have ferocious hand-writing! Although most markers are understanding of poor hand-writing, they must be able to read and understand your work in order to mark it. As you write, ensure that your writing is legible. Bring a couple of pens into the exam hall in case one leaks and write in blue or black ink.
  4. In exams we need to correct our own spelling and grammar. As part of the planning and edit-as-you-go process, we must be conscious of our spelling and grammar as we write. If you are unsure of a spelling, jot it down on rough paper; sometimes correct spellings are more recognisable when written down. And leave a little time at the end of the exam to re-read your paper; this is a great way of catching obvious errors.
Best of luck to everyone sitting an exam today!

(Image: "Hand with Pen" by Melvin E. via Flickr)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Handy links as you prepare for the exams

The library is open tomorrow, Saturday 10th.  However, these links may be handy if you are not on-campus before the exams begin... 

Exam timetable
Exam rules and regulations

Previous exam papers (on-campus and off-campus access)
Accessing your X drive  (on-campus and off-campus access)

How to reset your password

Accessing the library databases
Renewing your library books online
Reserving a library book online

Best of luck with your exam preparation!

(image: "Links by Clips" by Keith Ramsey via Flickr)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Epiphanies in the library!

Ready for a breakthrough with your assignments and revision?  The library is open from 9.15am - 3.00pm on Saturday 10th May.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The library is a quiet study zone in May!

As exams approach, there have been requests to create a quiet working area in the library.  The following email was sent to all students today by the librarian, Aidín.
As in previous years, the Library will be quiet study only for the rest of May, starting today. Please use the group study area in A block for group work. Remember water bottles only (no food or drink) and turn off mobile phones while in the Library. Please respect each other and all Library staff members.Wishing you all the best for your exams.Kind regards,Aidín O’Sullivan
Our new library attendant, Rosaleen, begins work today.  She is tasked within maintaining a studious environment for your benefit.  Please co-operate with her instructions.  

If you need to study in groups, please do so the A Block Group Study Area or elsewhere on campus.  There will be no group-work in the library until the exams have ended.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Don't forget to proofread!

Don't forget to proofread your assignments and projects before you hand them in.  It would be a shame to lose marks for basic spelling, punctuation or grammar mistakes!  The Grimsby Institute Group have a very useful guide to successful proofreading.