AU Graduate Digital Skills Profile Series – What next?

Blogpost by Laurie Stevenson (Student Digital Champion)

That concludes the first half of graduate interviews in our Digital Skills Profile Series and the second half will be released in Semester 2 so keep an eye on our IS social media channels and our blog for updates!

In the meantime, you may be wondering from reading what our graduates say they wish they had learnt before graduating what is available to you as an AU student to improve your digital skills? Well, here are some of the main resources available to you:

‘How are your digital skills?’ Blackboard organisation

We’ve developed a new Blackboard organisation which provides you with step-by-step guidance on how to use all of the resources mentioned below, including the Jisc Digital Discovery Tool and LinkedIn Learning .

Jisc Digital Discovery Tool

The Jisc Digital Discovery Tool is a bilingual resource that enables you to self-assess your confidence with technology. It will allow you to identify your strengths, in addition to highlighting opportunities to further develop your digital skills. 

LinkedIn Learning

This online learning platform is available for free to all AU students, and contains over 16,000 free courses on everything from photo and video editing, coding, how to play an instrument, art courses and so much more! If you’re particularly interested in developing your digital skills, you can also visit our digital skills collections in the platform. Activate your account today!

Digital Skills Library

Explore the Digital Skills Library, where you’ll find resources to help you develop a range of new and existing digital skills within six categories.

Digital Skills Blog

As well as this series we have plenty of interesting and informative content on our blog page from tips and tricks for MS software, our weekly DigiTips, to our Digital Wellbeing Series.

AberSkills

AberSkills contains a breadth of resources and information about 1-2-1 sessions and workshops to help you develop a range of study skills, employability skills and much more. If you’re interested in developing your confidence with particular software, you can visit the Using Technology in Aber section.

If you have any questions about any of the resources mentioned above, please contact the Digital Skills Team (digi@aber.ac.uk).

Top tips for Mastering your Schedule 📅

Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)

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To accompany a blogpost that I published last week on how you can use time management tools to help you master your schedule, I’ve created an infographic (text version below) which summarises some of the key strategies and tools that have worked for me.

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Mastering Your Schedule: A Student’s Guide to Time Management Tools ⌚

Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)

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As module handbooks are released, work and deadlines can quickly feel overwhelming. In this post, I will show you some of the programs I’ve used to help take back control of my studies, which should aid you when managing your workload.

The first two programs, Microsoft–To-Do & Google Tasks, are relatively comparable and easy to use. However, this does sacrifice some of the features found in more complicated programs like notion.

Microsoft To Do

One of the most accessible programs to integrate into your studies is Microsoft-To-Do; at its most basic, it allows you to create tasks and then group these as needed. However, the reason this is usually my go-to is that you can also use it in conjunction with the Office 365 suite of programs, making it especially useful as the University already provides these (You can download these here).

I’ve found this especially useful during my studies as it shows any emails I’ve flagged, preventing me from forgetting about them. Therefore, I recommend creating an account with your university email, which helps keep it all interconnected. It is available on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and as a website.

Google Tasks

Another popular alternative is Google Tasks, which, as I stated earlier, is comparable to Microsoft’s offering. However, I’ve found it helpful because of its integration with Google Assistant, making it especially easy to set reminders and tasks quickly while working on something else.

Additionally, if you prefer using the Google suite of software over Microsoft or work on an Apple device, this program will likely be the best option. It is available on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store; you can access it within Google software on the Internet or as a Chrome plugin.

Other Helpful Programs

There are many alternative programs which can help with scheduling; one of the better-known ones is Notion, whilst it is worth mentioning there is a slight learning curve. However, the elements which make Notion hard to use result from the sheer breadth of options and customisation within the program, allowing you to tailor your own experience.

If you’re looking to plan out group work (but don’t want to use Notion), Microsoft Teams is likely one of your best options. Alongside being able to communicate as a group, you can also create a task tab, which allows you to set tasks to complete together as well as divide up tasks by person if needed.

Creating your own system

The critical aspect of using all of these programs is to find the one which can best integrate into your workflow, making sure that whatever option you choose is assisting, not hindering. For those who would like to view more detailed information about some of these programs, you can find a LinkedIn Learning collection here.

The Power of Digital Wellness: Introducing our Digital Wellbeing Series  

Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)

One focus for the Student Digital Champions this year is to explore strategies and programs we’ve used to increase our digital wellbeing. This series will explore what digital wellbeing is and will consist of posts and infographics discussing reducing eyestrain, digital detox, working environment and much more!   

This information will be posted throughout the year with several seasonal posts, including challenges for Christmas and Easter. You can also use the LinkedIn Learning collections we’ve curated if you want to find out more in between posts, and you can stay up to date with all new posts within this series through this page on our Digital Skills blog

To accompany this introductory blogpost, we’ve created A student’s guide to defeating computer eyestrain! (text version and clickable links below visual)

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AU Graduates Digital Skills Profile Series – Week 3 (Stephanie Mogridge)

Week 3 is our interview with Stephanie who works for TSB Banking in Mortgage Servicing and feels she got a pretty good grip of data literacy while at AU but wished she’d learnt more about her digital identity and wellbeing.

If you’d like to learn more about your own digital identity and wellbeing, why not join two of our sessions as part of the Digital Skills Festival (6-10 November ’23), Improving your digital footprint and your online shadow and Exploring your digital wellbeing.

*Please click here to read all of the other posts in our AU Graduate Digital Skills Profile Series*

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Join us next week for the Digital Skills Festival! 🎆

Aberystwyth University’s first Digital Skills Festival for students will take place next week from 6 to 10 November 2023!  

Throughout the week, there will be 28 events covering an array of topical digital areas. Events will include presentations on Artificial Intelligence, online safety, digital wellbeing, managing your digital footprint, and using Welsh on your computer. Additionally, external speakers from companies like Barclays and Clicky Media will discuss the digital skills necessary to excel in their own and similar companies. Finally, there will also be several interactive workshops on topics such as using software such as Microsoft Excel and mastering group work with an array of online tools.  

All students who attend three online sessions will be entered into a raffle where they will have the opportunity of winning one of two £50 vouchers.

You can view each session and book through the Digital Skills Festival programme, or take a look at the images below to find out what’s on each day of the week!  

Microsoft PowerPoint Tips and Tricks 💡

Blogpost by Jeffrey Clark (Student Digital Champion)

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Like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint is another Microsoft application you’ve probably used before. Planning for delivering a presentation can be daunting and even a frightening task for some, as not only do you have to speak in front of your fellow students, but your PowerPoint presentation will also be on full display. But, have no fear as this blogpost will give you some valuable tips and tricks to help turn a good presentation into a GREAT presentation!

Tip 1: Inserting Excel data into PowerPoint

If your presentation requires you to show data from an existing Microsoft Excel document, there is an easy way to display it within PowerPoint.

  1. On the slide you want your data to appear on, go to Insert > Object
  2. From the Insert Object window, select Create from file > Browse > then select the Microsoft Excel file where the chart you want to include is located > OK
  3. This will automatically insert both the data and chart from your Microsoft Excel document
  4. You can edit this data directly within your PowerPoint document by double-clicking on the chart on your slide
  5. Click outside of the chart when you are finished, and PowerPoint will produce a chart with your Excel data!

Tip 2: Inserting a YouTube video in PowerPoint

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Come and work with us as a Student Digital Champion! 📣

We are looking to appoint two Student Digital Champions to work within our Digital Skills Team for a total of 25 weeks (5 hours per week on Pay Grade 2) next academic year, starting in September 2023.

The Student Digital Champions will support the work of the Digital Skills Team through encouraging other students to take advantage of numerous resources to support them in developing their digital skills. They will also provide a valuable perspective on issues relating to supporting the development of students’ digital skill in general. 

Here’s what our two current Student Digital Champions had to say about their experiences in the role this year:

“My past year working as a Student Digital Champion has been really interesting, rewarding and something completely different for me. I was looking for something to do alongside a lab-based research placement this year and despite not having any previous experience in digital skills, or even a previous digital interest, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have really loved being able to use the job as a creative outlet and have developed my graphic designed skills, but I have also developed lots of new skills such as leading focus groups and interviews, conducting user-experience analysis, designing and producing online content for various platforms and writing blogposts. The flexibility of the job has been fantastic, and I am looking forward to continue working with the team next year (who, by the way, are an absolutely lovely group of people), as a nice accompaniment to and change of scene from my normal university work.”

Laurie Stevenson (Year in Industry student, Wildlife Conservation)

“As a Student Digital Champion, I’ve learned lots of valuable skills which will help me in my future career. Getting to know programs such as Word, Excel, and Piktochart have been invaluable to my development as both a student and as an employee. Helping with running stands and on-campus promotional events have really boosted my confidence and interpersonal communication skills. I recommend the Student Digital Champion program to anyone who has a drive to help other students, and for anyone who enjoys trying new things.”

Jeffrey Clark (3rd year student, English & Creative Writing)

Here are examples of the different activities and resources the Student Digital Champions have created this year!

  • Promotional poster with text: How are your digital skills? Friday 17 February, 10:00-13:00 at Level D of the Hugh Owen Library
  • Table and display board with post-it-notes stuck to it.
  • Bookmark containing 10 tips for students

Please note that the closing date for these positions is Monday 31 July 2023. For more information and to apply for these positions, please visit Aber Works. If you do not currently have an Aber Works account or if you have any queries, please contact digi@aber.ac.uk.    

Microsoft Excel Tips and Tricks (Part 2)💡

Blogpost by Laurie Stevenson (Student Digital Champion)

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I published Part 1 of this blogpost earlier this week, where I introduced you to 5 tips and tricks to help you make the most of Excel, and this blogpost contains 5 further tips! If you want to learn more about Excel, please visit my new Excel LinkedIn Learning collection.

Tip 6: Adding in multiple rows or columns at once

If you want to add more than one row or column in one go, this tip will save you the time of having to do this one row at a time.

  • Highlight the number of rows or columns you want
  • Right-click on the highlighted rows or columns
  • Choose Insert from the drop-down menu that appears

Tip 7: Adding bullet points

Finding the button to add these is not as easy as on Microsoft Word but luckily there are a couple of different ways to do this.

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Microsoft Excel Tips and Tricks (Part 1)💡

Blogpost by Laurie Stevenson (Student Digital Champion)

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Feel a sense of dread whenever you have to use Excel for your degree? Well, we’re here to help! Many degrees will require the use of Excel at some point for data analysis, maths calculations, graph or chart creation, project management and much more.

Excel can seem complicated and daunting to some, particularly if you are relatively new to it, so I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks as well as a new Excel LinkedIn Learning collection to help you out.

Keep an eye out on our blog later on this week as I’ll be publishing the second part of this blogpost, which will include 5 more tips and tricks on using Excel!

Tip 1: Useful keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts involve pressing more than one key simultaneously and if memorised can save you a great deal of time. For example, use CTRL+A to select all the cells in a spreadsheet. Take a look at the following list of good ones to learn:

Ctrl + NCreate a new workbook
Ctrl + OOpen an existing workbook
Ctrl + SSave the active workbook
F12Save the active workbook under a new name, displays the save as dialog box
Ctrl + WClose the active workbook
Ctrl + CCopy the contents of the selected cells to the Clipboard
Ctrl + XCut the contents of the selected cells to the Clipboard
Ctrl + VPaste/insert the content of the Clipboard into the selected cells(s)
Ctrl + ZUndo your last action
Ctrl + POpen the Print dialog
Alt + HOpen the home tab
Alt + NOpen the Insert tab
Alt + POpen the page layout tab
Ctrl + SSave a workbook
Ctrl + 9Hide the selected row(s)
Ctrl + 0Hide the selected column(s)

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