Same but different

I hope you are all settling into the world of online learning. Online learning is a strange place. It is at once familiar: digital articles,  class participation. At the same time, it’s a totally different experience, which you will know all too well if you’re working asynchronously in groups or juggling study with home-schooling children. In this blogpost, I’d like to talk about what’s the same in Easter term, what’s different, and how we can help you navigate this new world. 

Reassuringly, some things are still the same

We’re still here to help

The I&LS team are still here to help by email and instant chat, between 9-5, every weekday. We can help with questions about databases, referencing, lit reviews and more. We can also still do 1:1 sessions with you over Skype, Zoom or Teams. During these sessions, we can share screens to walk you through sticky database problems and even share an Eikon login to help you get started using the software. We’ll be (virtually) hosting you live from our living rooms, kitchens, and box rooms; don’t be put-off contacting us if you’re worried about a messy background or children running in during a 1:1 — it’s just as likely to happen to us as it is to you. 

If you just want to say hi on instant chat, that’s cool too. 

You’ll still have reading lists

These are still the bread and butter of learning, but we have been in touch with your lecturers to see if we can adapt any of your print readings into digital ones. We do also take requests: if there’s an ebook that would help your studies or there are not enough copies of the ebooks for your course, let us know and we’ll try to help. 

We’re still here for the other stuff

We haven’t forgotten about the other things we can help with: interview preparation, LinkedIn audits, social media coaching. We’ve been delivering these online for distance learning students for years, book a 1:1 session with us by emailing [email protected] 

Some things will be different

It’s all a bit weird

We’re not living in a normal situation at the moment, and you may be learning in the environment that you are not used to or prepared for. Easter term is busy, but you may be juggling caring responsibilities or living in a different time zone. It’s ok to feel uncomfortable about that. This is something all of us are experiencing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or understanding from classmates, faculty or the support teams here at the School.

Everything’s digital

If you prefer to read print textbooks or take handwritten notes, you may be feeling all at sea at the moment. There’s useful help on our LibGuide about using the best bits of digital modes of study. Many of the ILS team members are or have been distance learning students before. We’re very happy to share our experiences; book a 1:1 chat with us. 

Off-campus looks different

Andrew does so much work behind the scenes to make logging into our databases as smooth as possible, but when you are logging in off-campus, there are a few things that are still tricky. On the Databases A-Z list, you will find helpful notes on how to login to each database off-campus, and we have a tab on our LibGuide dedicated to logging in remotely as well as finding articles using Google Scholar. 

If trying to log in to these resources trips you up or leaves you feeling a little foolish at times, don’t despair — we’re still forgetting we’re off-campus too!  We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve had to remind each other that when we’re at home we have to actually login. *blush* 

And finally, there’s no candy. We are as sad about this as you are; in Michaelmas, 83% of our diet consists of Haribo and soft drinks. What treats are keeping you going while studying from home? We’d love to see pictures of your baking! 

All the best, 

The I&LS team 

Information & Library Services

Information & Library Services

Information & Library Services

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