Intro to Python on Gather (4 weeks)

Alisdair Tullo will be running an online computer programming course this semester. It aims to take complete beginners through their first steps in computer programming. It will use the Python programming language with Turtle graphics for visual feedback.

The course will be held in the PPLS Gather space (gather.town). A link and password will be sent to you a few days before the course starts, so please keep those safe.

If you are interested, sign up for one of these sessions. Each will continue on a weekly basis for four weeks.

Mondays (14:10 — 15:00)
Starts 27-Sept-2021.

Wednesdays (14:10 — 15:00)
Starts 29-Sept-2021.

Thursdays (13:10 — 14:00)
Starts 30-Sept-2021.

Digital Skills Festival Recordings

Back in May 2021, the University of Edinburgh held its first Digital Skills Festival. There were a number of presentations and workshops that would be of interest to students and researchers in PPLS (e.g., Library Bitesize, Managing Your References, etc.).

For those who missed out, there’s good news: many of these events were recorded for posterity. Visit https://digitalskillsfestival.ed.ac.uk/recordings-and-resources/ to see what’s available.

Code Dojo

Have you got past the first stage in programming? Do you want to improve? Consider attending Alisdair Tullo‘s Code Dojo on 18 August 2021 (13:30-16:30) (click to sign up). You’ll work in teams to solve coding challenges. The default language is Python, but you can agree to work in another language with your teammates. The event will be hosted in Microsoft Teams (a link will be sent to everyone who registers).

First-year writing appointments

The PPLS Skills Centre has a new offering for first-year undergraduates. Traditionally, we’ve been focused on helping students in years 2 and up, but in 2021/22 we will provide one writing appointment per semester to students taking our first-year courses as well. You can use your appointment to discuss any essay you are writing for the following courses:

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • Linguistics and English Language 1A
  • Morality and Value
  • Philosophy of Science 1
  • Psychology 1A

Semester 2

  • Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment
  • Linguistics and English Language 1B
  • Psychology 1B

We won’t proofread your work or help you with content. Rather, our goal is to help you communicate more effectively. We will let you know if parts of your writing are confusing for your readers and will work with you on finding ways to make things better. For more information, please see “1-on-1 appointments” at https://uoe.sharepoint.com/sites/PPLSLearningResources.

Digital Skills Festival

Just over three days from now, the University of Edinburgh will be holding the Digital Skills Festival. It involves over 50 workshops on a variety of topics, including choosing a reference manager, using the library, publishing articles, building your online profile, and teaching online. And if you’re interested in brushing up on your programming skills, check out Code Dojo, which is being run by our own Alisdair Tullo.

CVs and Academic Websites

On April 14th, Dr Itamar Kastner will be holding a workshop aimed at PhD students in MGRG. It will be about getting CVs and academic websites ready. If you’ve got something already (even if it’s just a draft), you can bring it along for discussion. But it’s fine to come just to talk — no preparation is required. The workshop will be held on the MGRG Skills Workshop team in Microsoft Teams. If you’re in MGRG but have not joined that team, please send Itamar a message.

IAD PGT Dissertation Workshops

PGT dissertation writers will find some of the upcoming workshops from the Institute for Academic Development to be of interest. Relevant titles include:

  • Being Critical for your Dissertation (Mar 24)
  • The Art and Craft of Editing (Mar 29)
  • Dissertation Planning (Mar 30)
  • Dissertation Writing (Mar 30)
  • Critical Reading (Apr 1)
  • Critical Writing (Apr 1)
  • How to Plan, Run, and Complete Your Project (Apr 1)

The full collection is available at https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/postgraduate/taught/courses-events/open-workshops

PhD/PGR Online Writing Retreats

It might surprise you at first that writing retreats have moved online. After all, some of the key benefits of in-person retreats (the provision of a quiet space & various delivery vehicles for caffeine) are no longer relevant when you’re sitting in your own room.

But there are good reasons to give online retreats a try. There’s the camaraderie, of course, but also externally imposed structure. You might be less likely to wander off to check the news if you know that other people will see you.

If you’re interested in attending, consider signing up for a session. There are two retreats held by the Institute for Academic Development on Nov 16th and 27th. There are also regular sessions every Monday and Friday held by Dr Mirjam Eiswirth, who worked for the PPLS Skills/Writing Centre for four years before moving to the University of Duisburg-Essen. She has held over 150 hours so far this year!

Both of these sessions are aimed at PGR and PhD students. Postdocs and other staff are welcome, too.