FAQ

If there’s something you’re wondering about, other people probably are too. 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:

Where do Skills Centre sessions take place?

The Skills Centre runs sessions at both City and Collegiate Libraries. We also offer webinars and telephone support if you are off campus along with a range online resources.
At City, the sessions are generally on the mezzanine floor above the Adsetts Library Café. At Collegiate they are generally in room C019a on the ground floor near Reception.

For help in finding your way, see our Find us page.

How do I contact the Skills Centre?

You can email the Skills Centre at skillscentre@shu.ac.uk or you can speak to a member of any of the Hallam Help teams.

If you would like to contact the individual service, their email addresses are as follows:


How do I find out what is on?

There are two main 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 list view.  Use the links on each page to switch between these two views:
    You can use the > symbol to look ahead in the schedule:
  2. You can also go directly to UniHub and search within Events and Appointments from UniHub’s top menu.
    Search within UniHub Events using “Skills Centre” or a relevant keyword such as “Critical Writing”  to find all our workshops, webinars and forums, or use a relevant keyword such as “Critical Writing” to find specific events.

    Search within UniHub Appointments for our 1-1s and Quick Query drop-ins by selecting Academic Skills or Specialist Skills from the list of topics.
How do I book for sessions in UniHub?

To access any of our workshops, webinars, 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?

To cancel, either find the event in your personal dashboard in UniHub, or find your booking confirmation email for the event and click the relevant link to cancel the event.

You can cancel your booking at any time before our Skills Centre sessions start. If an emergency arises and you are unable to cancel in time, you can contact skillscentre@shu.ac.uk to explain your request for a retrospective cancellation.

It is important to cancel your booking if you cannot attend as there may be a waiting list for popular events.
When you cancel through UniHub your place can be offered to another student on the waiting list.

Also, if you miss too many sessions you have booked, you may be banned from booking further appointments and will need to contact us for the ban to be 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 are 1 hour taught sessions on specific topics. They include explanations and interactive activities to improve your skills.
  • Forums
    Want to apply academic skills to your own work with an advisor? In this small group of up to four students you will be able to share and discuss your work and develop and apply new strategies.
  • Quick Query Drop-ins
    Up to 15 minute drop-ins for quick academic skills enquiries, brief advice on topics like critical writing or finding suitable resources to support your study. We can signpost you to online resources or book you onto further Skills Centre sessions to develop your academic skills.
  • 1-1s
    If you’re not sure where to start or find group sessions are not for you, book a 30 minute tutorial to develop your skills. These are tailored sessions covering all aspects of academic skills. You can learn how to study more effectively, improve organization, academic skills and confidence. We can also share online resources and book you onto further sessions that could be useful.

1-1s can also take place off campus via telephone and some workshops are also available as webinars. 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:

How 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.

You can also book in to talk to a learning adviser via our 1-1 drop-ins and 1-1 tutorials.

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.

You can also approach the academic who teaches your module to discuss the assignment topic and scope and find out about appropriate reading.

And finally, you may 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?

All of our sessions are for all students, but if you have a learning difficulty like dyslexia, a disability or you find group sessions are not for you our one-to-one tutorials are a good place to start.

We have a team of qualified teachers, with a range of experience at all levels of study. Some of our Learning Advisers are qualified Dyslexia Specialists, if you would like a Specialist Advisor please choose: ‘Specialist Study Skills Advisor’ when booking.

Where can I book a dyslexia test?

You can go to the disability drop-in or the Hallam Help Desk on level 5 of Owen. Details below:

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

Telephone +44 (0)114 225 3964

See more details about drop-ins from Disabled Student Support.

Is there anybody who can proofread my work?

The Skills Centre can’t proof-read or look through your whole assignment.
You can get feedback from the Studiosity online feedback service to identify areas you may need to develop. Then come along to Skills Centre sessions to develop your academic skills. We find students get the best results by coming along early in the process of writing an assignment to have time to use the new skills learned and to access additional sessions and resources.
We can:
• Provide advice & guidance on academic skills and strategies for you to use in your work.
• Help you understand the expectations of academic assignments throughout your study from Foundation to Doctoral Level, for example, how to write critically rather than descriptively.
• Help you understand increased expectations at different levels of study

You can also view the University’s guidance about 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 My Hallam. 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.  Each year you are able to submit some of your academic writing to the Studiosity online writing feedback service.   In the 2019/20 academic year, you can submit up to 8 samples of work of up to 2,500 words each.

Where can I upload my work for feedback?

You click on the Studiosity link via Blackboard.

Image of Studiosity link in Blackboard

Image of Studiosity link in Blackboard

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 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
  • 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 Statistics 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 our Introduction 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.)

I am looking for information about Studiosity

Studiosity is an online writing feedback service which provides constructive written feedback to students about their academic writing style.

After a successful pilot project in 2018/19, the service is now embedded as part of the broader academic study skills offer delivered by the Skills Centre. This year students will be able to submit up to 8 samples of work, of up to 2500 words each. They can submit work online 24/7 and will receive their feedback report within 24 hours.

For more information click here: Studiosity – briefing 2019-20

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