Using Primo Effectively 📚

Blogpost by Jeffrey Clark (Student Digital Champion)

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Introduction to Primo

It can be challenging to go into any library and find what you’re looking for. Most libraries contain hundreds of books, and the Hugh Owen library has THOUSANDS of books. If you want to find what you’re looking for with clinical precisions, then I recommend you give Primo a try. Primo is a digital library catalogue used by Aberystwyth University. It’s a massive database that allows students to search for books to loan from the University, make lists of books to check-out, and access online versions of reading materials. It has tonnes of features which have made my time at Aberystwyth that much easier. While it’s easy to see it as ‘just Google search for the library’, it’s much more than that. From saving lists of books to requesting books I need for my course, Primo has saved me time and from many headaches during my studies. In this blog post I’ll be going over Primo, what it does, and how to make it work for you.

Using the search function

Using Primo’s search function is easy. Simply type the name of the item you wish to find and Primo will tell you where it is in the Hugh Owen library or if you can access it online (some items have both online and physical copies.) Primo’s search function is set to search for ‘all items’ by default, which can muddy your search results a bit by giving you too many options.

At the bottom of the search bar, there are three drop-down menus which have options to help you find EXACTLY what you’re looking for. For example, let’s say that I want to search only for books by John Steinbeck. From the bottom of the search bar, I would select ‘Books’, then ‘with my exact phrase’, selecting ‘as author/creator’ and finally searching ‘John Steinbeck.’

Screenshot of Primo showing how to insert text in the search bar and the different filters

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Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks 💡

Blogpost by Jeffrey Clark (Student Digital Champion)

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Making things easier

Microsoft Word is perhaps the most used and widely recognized computer program in all of academia. Virtually every course you can take at Aberystwyth University uses Microsoft Word to some degree, with some courses requiring you to do more with it than just type out an essay. In this blog post, I’ll tell you about some shortcuts in Microsoft Word that have helped me during my studies.

Tip 1: Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a combination of keys that you press to perform a function. For example, press control (ctrl) and C at the same time while highlighting text copies that text onto your clipboard. Instead of right-clicking and scrolling down the drop-down menu to ‘Paste’, you can press ctrl + V to paste the text instead.

The ALT key can also be used for shortcuts. Specifically, the ALT key is used for shortcuts as they relate to the top task bar. By holding down the ALT key for a few seconds, the keys for each shortcut will pop up. For instance, on my keyboard, pressing ALT and 2 will save my document.

But if we press ALT + S to go to the References tab…

We get an entirely new set of ALT keyboard commands to use!

By holding down the ALT with a different tab open we can see what shortcuts are available for each tab on the taskbar. If you forget what ALT key shortcuts do, holding the ALT key down will give you a helpful reminder of your keyboard shortcuts!

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Discover your Digital Skills at the CareerFest!

Blogpost by Jeffrey Clark (Student Digital Champion)

CareerFest Banner. 13-17 February on campus and online.

Are you interested in learning more about digital skills and how developing them can support your learning, your employability, and your general confidence with technology? Then swing by our Digital Skills stand, which will be running as part of the University’s CareerFest on Friday 17 February. You’ll be able to find us on Level D of the Hugh Owen Library from 10:00-13:00.

The stand will be your one-stop-shop for finding information on digital skills and what resources are available to help you develop them. A Student Digital Champion will be there to greet you and answer any questions you may have about digital skills.

There is also an exciting program of skills workshops, employer events, webinars, networking opportunities and in-department sessions being delivered at CareerFest from 13-17 February.

We hope to see you there!

Busting exam stress with technology 💻

This blogpost has been written by Jeffrey Clark, Student Digital Champion

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That sinking feeling…

With exams around the corner, there’s no doubt that you’re all feeling the pressure. Sometimes that pressure can be overwhelming and lead to periods of high stress and anxiety. No student should have to feel like that! In this blogpost, I’ll go over some tips and useful apps that can help you and other students tackle stress during this difficult period.

Striking a balance ⚖

Here is an example of how I would organize a typical revision weekday using Microsoft Teams

It is perfectly normal to feel mild to moderate levels of stress during your time at university. There is a lot going on! From reading and writing essays to hanging out with friends, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times. Even if you really enjoy your degree, it can still be stressful trying to find the time to manage all your modules. That is why I recommend managing your time and controlling your routine rather than letting it control you. Apps like Microsoft To-Do have been incredibly helpful to me since I’m always on-the-go. Microsoft-To-Do is a free cloud-based task management app available for desktops, Androids and Apple devices. The app contains some useful features for keeping you on track such as a customizable calendar and reminders that can be arranged in any order you desire.

Microsoft Teams also features an incredibly customizable calendar that is useful for scheduling meetings as well as keeping you up to date with your university task. Managing your time reduces stress by minimizing unpredictability and giving you the ability to work WITH deadlines as opposed to AGAINST them. Another good tip to reduce exam stress is to focus on one thing at a time. Whilst revising, focus your attention on just one of your modules a day, if you can. This makes it easier to retain information on the module that you’re studying which will make taking an exam all that easier. If you must study multiple modules, make sure you give yourself a meaningful break during your studies. Taking a break is important while studying for any amount of time. Incorporating breaks into your schedule is key to reducing stress and avoiding ‘burnout’, which we will discuss in greater detail later in this post.

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My review of LinkedIn Learning

In this blogpost, Jeffrey Clark, a Student Digital Champion within our team, provides his review of LinkedIn Learning.

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LinkedIn Learning: An Introduction

At Aberystwyth University there are plenty of books and learning materials to sink your teeth into. But what about when you’re on the go? Or you want to explore other topics that pique your interest but don’t know where to start? Founded in 1995 as Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning is an online learning platform with thousands of courses to choose from. The courses are designed by industry professionals and credible experts in fields ranging from business studies to personal wellbeing. While this service would normally require a paid subscription, students and staff at Aberystwyth University can enjoy access to LinkedIn Learning for free across any device!

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Fake News & Plagiarism: Stop the Spread! Part 2 – Preventing Plagiarism

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Don’t be a copycat!
Welcome to part 2 of our series on fake news and plagiarism. In part one we looked at the world of smoke and mirrors that is fake news. In this part, we will go over the many forms of plagiarism, how to avoid accidental plagiarism, and ways you can combat deliberate acts of plagiarism.

What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else’s work as if it were your own without giving credit to the original author(s) of the work. In other words, plagiarism is a form of theft but instead of physical property it is the idea of someone else, or intellectual property. There are several ways of committing plagiarism, many accidental and others intentional. Fortunately, virtually every course at Aberystwyth University goes over the basics of academic integrity as well as the proper referencing scheme to use for your course. More information on plagiarism can be found through the LibGuides page on plagiarism.

Referencing & Plagiarism Awareness LibGuide

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Fake News & Plagiarism: Stop the Spread! Part 1 – Foiling Fake News

Blog post by Jeffrey Clark (Student Digital Champion)

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Separating the wheat from the chaff
With millions of websites available to Internet users, it can be hard to tell which ones are legitimate. For every article on a topic that comes from a legitimate news source, there are many more articles on that same topic that are illegitimate. Sharing fake news too often can damage your online reputation, credibility, and negatively affect your academic standing. While studying at Aberystwyth University, it is important to be aware of fake news articles and how to use legitimate articles and sources correctly. This blog post will give you some useful tips on how to achieve both goals which will make your academic journey just that little bit easier. We will go over the basics of fake news, learn how to spot it, and what to do if we encounter it.

What is ‘fake news?’
There are many definitions of fake news but the most widely accepted definition is any news story that is factually incorrect or deliberately misleading. The main purposes of fake news are generating a reaction, pushing a political narrative, or for humorous purposes. It is easy to produce this kind of news on the Internet as anyone can publish anything they want regardless of its truthfulness or their individual qualifications. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to detect as it is easy to disguise a website as a legitimate news source and the rise in technology is making it easier to make other forms of news, such as live reports, appear legitimate.

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Staying Safe Online: The Basics

Blog post by Jeffrey Clark (Student Digital Champion)

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The perils of the Internet 

 It’s no secret that the Internet is a part of our everyday lives. From work to social media, many of us find ourselves connected to the Internet in some form or another. Because it’s so commonplace, it’s all too easy to forget that our interactions with the Internet can damage our safety both online and offline. This blog post will go over some ways that you can stay safe while you are online at home or at Aberystwyth University.

Your Digital Footprint

Using social media is a terrific way of connecting with your friends and family. However, it is also important to remember that social media plays a key role in shaping your digital footprint. Your digital footprint refers to activities on the internet that can identify you. There are two main forms of digital footprint, the first being your active footprint, which is identifying data that you deliberately leave online. Actions like uploading a selfie are posting something using your real name all contribute to your active digital footprint. It is important to remember that even if you delete a post you’ve made to social media, it’s never truly gone. One of the best ways to stay safe online is to avoid ‘oversharing.’ Think of it this way, would you tell a stranger your debit card number? Your address? Definitely not! An effective way to remember not to overshare is to ask yourself ‘would I be comfortable giving this information to a stranger?’

On the other hand, you have your active digital footprint, which is data that you unintentionally leave behind. The most common form of this data are cookies, which are small blocks of data that identify your browsing habits. These blocks of data allow for companies to place tailor-made ads on the websites that you visit. While this data is normally harmless, they can reveal private information about you if you share your computer with anyone. Many websites now ask if you want to enable cookies, it is recommended that you disable them if you are using a shared computer or broadcasting your browser contents to an audience (such as in a Microsoft Teams meeting or a livestream.)

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