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.
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.
The University of Edinburgh is holding a series of preparatory courses to help you prepare for hybrid learning. These courses are aimed at UG, PG Taught, and PG Research students. Some of them are available from today, so do check the link and register.
Eager for the semester to start? There are plenty of ways to build up your skills and knowledge in preparation for the upcoming year. You could watch a recorded workshop on how to write an essay in philosophy, read about the different ways of conducting psychology experiments online, or learn how to use your computer to keep track of your notes and references.
The Philosophy department runs regular PhilSkills workshops to help students improve the skills they need to succeed in their studies. Videos of the reading and writing workshops have been made available on SharePoint (see “PhilSkills” under “Philosophy”).
Do you spend a lot of your time worried about all the things you have to do? The PPLS Skills Centre has collected a set of video courses on getting organised. You might want to try “Getting Things Done”, a 30-minute course that presents a systematic way to get your to-do list out of your head so you have mental space to concentrate on actually doing your work. You’ll get that time back and more. For this collection and others, visit the “Developing your skills” section at the PPLS Learning Resources site on SharePoint. If you need to get access to LinkedIn Learning, visit “The Fundamentals“.
Social distancing will probably be in place for a while, so it’s important to think about how to carry out experiments in a way that doesn’t put anyone at risk. If you’re an MSc student, you’ll have already heard about the various options that are available to you from the PPLS Postgrad Hub on Learn. But these options are also important for PhD students who are working on long-term projects. And third-year undergraduates might want to start thinking about getting ready for next year.
Did you find something new to read in our PPLS DiscoverEd lists last week? Did you go through the first chapter of a book, get excited about continuing, and then… forget to return to it? Try making a reading club so that you can stay motivated and talk about what you learn with others in PPLS. If you’re not sure who to invite, let us ask around for you. Just pick out a book, create a discussion area, and tell us about it so that we can advertise it to everyone else. Instructions and tips are available at https://uoe.sharepoint.com/sites/PPLSLearningResources/SitePages/How-to-form-learning-communities.aspx.
So what are we to do in PPLS? The main library might be locked up, but our e-resources are still available. There are hundreds of books available in each of our disciplines. All we need to do is get some coffee and click on the titles that sound interesting. But that raises another question: what to choose?
I’ve tried to help you answer that question. I went digging through all the PPLS reading lists on Leganto for books that have been assigned in our courses. Then, I checked each title in DiscoverEd to see if electronic copies were available, and assembled the results in three large spreadsheets. You can access these spreadsheets as PDFs by visiting our Learning Resources site (https://uoe.sharepoint.com/sites/PPLSLearningResources) and choosing either “DiscoverEd lists” from the top menu or “Learning more about your field” from the panels in the centre. Browse through the titles and see if anything jumps out. There might be a book that was recommended in one of your earlier courses that you never got around to reading. You could also try looking ahead to topics you’re thinking about taking in future semesters. Or what about exploring another part of PPLS? I’m in Linguistics, but I can see that there are three titles on “Sentence Comprehension” just waiting for me in Psychology.
Not all of us have time on our hands right now, of course, but many of those who do have a lot of it. If you’re in the latter category, I hope you’ll have a look.