FAQ

If there’s something you’re wondering about you’re probably not the only one. Take a look at these frequently asked questions and queries to see if the answer you need is here.

 

Questions about accessing Skills Centre sessions:

I went to The Skills Centre but there was nobody there

The Skills Centre runs sessions from both City and Collegiate Learning Centres. At City, the sessions are generally in the Adsetts Learning Centre on the mezzanine floor above the café. At Collegiate they are generally in room C019a on the ground floor near reception.

The Skills Centre does not have receptionists and the staff will only be available during the times that specific sessions are running, so it is important to check the times that staff will be there.

If you went to The Skills Centre at the scheduled time for an appointment but the tutor was not there, it may be that the session was cancelled. Check your emails to see if you received a cancellation message through the UniDesk booking system. For Maths and Stats Help Services, a tweet is sent out to advise of cancellation and whenever possible a notice is put on the website.

If you would like to contact the individual service, their email addresses are as follows:
Maths and Stats Help: mathshelp@shu.ac.uk, Twitter: @SHU_MASS
Language Advisory Service: J.Webster@shu.ac.uk
The Skills Centre: skillscentre@shu.ac.uk


How do I find out what is on?

Here are a few tips for different ways you can choose to see what’s on:

  1. Within the Skills Centre website, you can view our schedule of events in calendar view or you can view our schedule of events in list view.There are links on each page so you can switch between these two views:
  2. You can use the > symbol to look ahead in the schedule:
  3. You can also go directly to UniHub and search within Events and Appointments from UniHub’s top menu.All our workshops, webinars and forums are listed as Events on UniHub, and you can search for them using “Skills Centre” to find all events or use a relevant keyword such as “Critical Writing” to find specific events.
    Our drop-ins and tutorials are listed as Appointments in UniHub. You can find our drop-ins by selecting Academic Skills from the list of topics, and see further help on Accessing 1-1 Tutorials.
How do I book for sessions in UniHub?

To access any of our workshops, forums, drop-ins or tutorials, you also need to register with UniHub. For more help with this please go to the Adsetts or Collegiate Library Helpdesk.

How do I cancel my booking in UniHub?

It is important to cancel your booking if you cannot attend as there is often a waiting list for popular events. When you booked your event you will have received an automatic confirmation email, including a link which allows you to cancel through an automated process. Clicking on this link to cancel automatically offers a place to another student on the waiting list and ensures all students have equal access to services.

The UniHub booking system will only let you cancel your booking up until an hour before the event starts. If there is an emergency which arises in the hour proceeding the event and you are unable to cancel it in time, you will need to contact skillscentre@shu.ac.uk with an explanation of the situation and your request for a retrospective cancellation will be considered. All cancellations other than last minute emergencies should be made through the confirmation email too allow the place to be opened up to other students.

Please note, if you miss too many sessions you have booked, you could be banned from making any more appointments and will need to contact the service to ask to have the ban removed.

I am studying part-time/day release and cannot attend any of the sessions

If you are studying on a part-time or day release basis and have very limited availability for when you can attend sessions you can access the online resources available on our website. You also have access to an extensive online package of study skills tutorials through Studyskills4campus.

If there are a group of students on your course who want to attend a workshop on a particular topic, but your timetable does not allow you to, please ask your tutor to get in touch telling us the workshop title and the times when you have a gap in your timetable (e.g. Mondays between 2-5 pm). It may be possible for us to put a workshop on at that time, subject to staff availability. As this will be open to all students, you would still need to book to attend. We can be reached at skillscentre@shu.ac.uk

Questions about the sessions offered:

What is the difference between the session types?

We offer a number of different session types:

  • Workshops
    Workshops include explanations and activities to improve your skills.
  • Forums
    These allow you to discuss your work, your strategies or your progress with a small group of students and a tutor.
  • Drop-ins
    You can drop in to discuss any study skills queries with a Skills Adviser, and there is no need to book. NB. Drop-ins may not be entirely private as other students may be present.
  • Tutorials
    These 1-to-1 tutorials are only available to students registered with disability or via referral.

See more information about session types.

What topics are covered in the workshops?
We run workshops on a wide range of topics, from Getting Started at University to Presentation Skills and Advanced Critical Writing.
See a topic list and workshop summaries for all the workshop topics that we cover.

Questions about specific types of help:

Where can I get help with my assignment?

If you need help with an assignment there are a number of different things you can do.

You can book onto an Assignment Planning Forum to help you get started with looking at your question and assessment criteria, organising your ideas or planning the structure of your writing.

If you have made a start and want to discuss your work, book onto a Writing Forum and bring your work along on a USB stick to share with a small group of peers and get feedback as well as see examples of other students’ work. During this session the Academic Skills Tutor will be able to spend at least 15 minutes of the session focussing on each student’s work.

If you need help now, have a look at the resources section of this website for a range of self-help materials around assignments and writing.

Don’t forget, you can always approach the academic who teaches your module, they will be able to discuss the topic the assignment is based on, support you to understand the scope of the assignment and suggest appropriate reading.

You may also want to look at the workshops available to develop your skills.

Is there any help if I am having trouble getting started on my assignment?

You can book onto a writing forum or assignment planning forum to help you get started with looking at your question and assessment criteria, organising your ideas or planning the structure of your writing.

Right now, you can make sure you have all the information you need to get started. You may find looking at the following helpful –

  • The question – read it and supporting information carefully, underline key topics
  • Assessment criteria – identify different topics areas you are being asked to cover
  • Lecture notes – background notes on the topic, important theory and suggested reading
  • Module guide – clarify the learning outcome/goal and identifying appropriate reading.

It may help to read something general on the topic, to get an overview and identify relevant areas where you need to do more specific reading. For example, if there are differing theories which are relevant, you may find a book or article that gives a general overview of the theories, to help you identify which theories you want to read about in more depth.

Don’t forget, you can always approach the academic who teaches your module; they will be able to discuss the topic the assignment is based on, support you to understand the scope of the assignment, and suggest appropriate reading.

You may also want to look at the workshops available to develop your skills.

Where can I get help with referencing?

If you are new to referencing or new to APA referencing commonly used at Sheffield Hallam University, start by visiting our online referencing help pages.

I’m new to Referencing and I’m new to APA Referencing have videos and an online interactive tutorial to help you practice your referencing skills and learn about referencing with APA. We also offer a 30 minute workshop called Getting Started with APA Referencing.

You can also come along to a short workshop to learn how to use ProQuest RefWorks and create a bibliography in seconds. ProQuest RefWorks is a easy to use web-based bibliography and database manager which you can use to create your own personal database by importing references from Library Search and online databases. There is a 30 minute Basics workshop to get you started, and a 30 minute Fundamentals workshop to learn more advanced features. You should attend a Basics workshop before coming to a Fundamentals workshop.
Check for availability of these in the workshops schedule.

Do you support students with a learning difficulty or disability?

Most of our workshops and writing forums are for all students, but if you have a learning difficulty or disability, such as dyslexia, you can access one-to-one tutorials. You don’t need to provide additional medical evidence; you just need to have declared a disability to the University.

These tutorials are run by specialist tutors who understand how learning difficulties and disabilities can impact on studying. We have lots of experience in helping students find out what works best for them.

See more information about accessing one-to-one tutorials.

Where can I book a dyslexia test?

You can go to the disability drop in or the student help desk on level 5. Details below:

Disabled Student Support, Sheffield Hallam University (Owen Building), Sheffield S1 1WB

Telephone +44 (0)114 225 3964

Click here for details of our Disability Drop in Sessions – no appointment needed

Is there anybody who can proofread my work?

It’s common for students to feel they want someone to check their work before they hand it in.

However, both proofreading and editing are key parts of the writing process so it is helpful to learn the skills needed to both proofread and edit your own work. (There’s a blog post discussing the value of proofreading).

You can attend a workshop on proofreading and editing your work or access our resources section to learn about these skills for yourself. For example, it can help to read your work aloud or print it out to read when you are trying to spot errors.

However, you can also make use of the Studiosity online feedback service, or see the University’s guidance about using external proofreaders and list of external proofreaders.

Can I get online feedback about my work?
What online feedback service is available?

Studiosity is an online writing feedback service available via Blackboard. Students can submit draft essays and extracts of their work online, and will receive comments, feedback and suggestions from an academic writing expert within 72 hours (usually 24 hours). This service is available in addition to the study skills support offered as part of your course and by the Skills Centre and the University English Scheme.

Who can use Studiosity?

Studiosity is available to all students, but is particularly useful for first-year students and those new to academic writing and study at SHU.

Where can I upload my work for feedback?

You need to enrol onto the Studiosity Blackboard site. You can then access the Blackboard site to upload your submissions for feedback under the ‘Submit your writing for feedback’ tab.

What kind of feedback will I receive?

Your work will be read by an academic writing specialist with no subject-specific knowledge on your course or topic. Their feedback will focus on the key elements of academic writing: structure, language choice, argument development, referencing, and grammar and punctuation. Studiosity is not a proofreading service, and the comments will focus on how to improve your academic style, structure and register.

How often can I submit?

You may submit up to 10 times each academic year.

Is there a word limit?

Uploads should be no more than 2500 words. If your essay is in its early stages, try to send along a short section from the main body of your work in order to receive useful feedback on the structure and flow of your writing.

How long will it take to receive feedback?

You will receive feedback on your writing within 72 hours of uploading to Blackboard.

Where can I get help interpreting and acting on my Studiosity feedback?

Studiosity is offered in addition to the study skills support available through your course and via The Skills Centre. To work through your Studiosity feedback with a Learning Advisor, there are a range of options:

  • You can book onto a small-group Writing Forum
  • If your feedback highlights a clear area for further development, you may prefer to attend a Skills Workshop
  • Students with self-declared learning differences or disabilities may wish to attend a 1-1 Tutorial with a Specialist Skills Tutor
  • You can also use the study skills resources for available in our resources section.

I’m a member of staff – where can I find more information on how my students might access and use Studiosity?

In order to find out more about Studiosity, or to discuss enrolling your students onto the Studiosity Blackboard site, please contact your faculty BRM or email brm@shu.ac.uk.

Where can I get support with grammar and sentence construction?
Have you received feedback that you should improve your grammar and sentence construction? May be you didn’t learn this at school, or English is not your first language.

The University English Scheme offers good resources to work through and regular sessions on grammar.

See further information or enrol on their Blackboard site.

How can I get support with maths or statistics?

The Maths and Stats service runs drop-ins and appointments during term time.

See the scheduled session times, or access their online resources. NB. There is no need to book for drop-ins, just turn up.

Their tutors can help with big difficulties or quick questions and you don’t need to be studying a maths related subject. For example, the Maths Help service could support the development of numeracy skills for:

  • Assessment centres
  • PGCE testing
  • Nursing drug calculations
  • Business reports.

The Stats Help can support the development and understanding of statistics for:

  • Interpreting research results
  • Statistical analysis within psychology studies.

If you have checked their website and are unsure if the service could support you, contact them on mathshelp@shu.ac.uk.

Questions from members of staff:

The students I teach cannot attend the advertised sessions
Please drop us an email at skillscentre@shu.ac.uk and let us know the days and times when your students are in SHU and are able to attend either workshops or a writing forum, as well as the title of the workshop if appropriate. We will do our best to schedule a session at one of these times. NB. We will let you know when we have done this so you can encourage your students to book right away as such sessions will still be open to bookings from all students.

You can point your students to additional academic skills development Resources from our website.

You can also add a link into your Blackboard site to our one page document Develop Your Skills with Skills4Study Campus. This has handy links to selected activities in Skills4Study Campus. All you need to do is add the above link to your Blackboard resources. (Please don’t send out the document itself – we may update it in future. Also note that Skills4Study Campus is not currently available for students at collaborative partner institutions.)

I am looking for information I can give my students

If you would like to include information about the Skills Centre in an induction presentation or within other course materials, please use ourIntroduction to the Skills centre video.

You can point your students to additional academic skills development Resources from our website.

You can also add a link into your Blackboard site to our one page document Develop Your Skills with Skills4Study Campus. This has handy links to selected activities in Skills4Study Campus. All you need to do is add the above link to your Blackboard resources. (Please don’t send out the document itself – we may update it in future. Also note that Skills4Study Campus is not currently available for students at collaborative partner institutions.)

If you have any further questions, please email the Skills Centre on skillscentre@shu.ac.uk