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Dissertation and Thesis Clinics in July and August

Jasmin E Mullings28 June 2021

Neon sign which reads "Develop your Digital Skills"Need help with your dissertation or thesis?

We are running six weekly dissertation and thesis clinics throughout July and August. There is no need to book, just turn up. Staff can help with formatting your dissertation, using statistical software and bibliographic referencing using Word, LaTeX, SPSS, R, NatBib, Endnote, Mendeley and Zotero.

Schedule

The clinics will take place on the following dates/times:

Wednesday 7th July from 14:00-16:00
Tuesday 13th July from 10:00-12:00
Tuesday 20th July from 14:00-16:00
Wednesday 28th July from 10:00-12:00
Thursday 5th August from 10:00-12:00
Tuesday 10th August from 14:00-16:00

What to expect

Staff are able to help with a wide range of software but we can’t promise that we will be able to answer every question and support is on a ‘best efforts’ basis. We can respond to specific queries or guide you as to which software to use but we can’t provide individual training in how to use the software.  If you need training you will be directed to self-paced materials or scheduled courses.  Please note that our usual Drop in terms and conditions apply so please check these for full details.

How to access

Our clinics will be held remotely via Moodle using Blackboard Collaborate. To access to the Blackboard Collaborate session, please enrol on our ISD Digital Skills Development Moodle course and visit the ‘Dissertation and Thesis Clinics – July/August 2021’ section.

Additional resources

Library Services have developed a useful guide to resources and support for undertaking dissertations or research projects which covers all stages of the research process.

RStudio v1.4 – new stuff

Jim R Tyson16 June 2021

I am a massive fan of RStudio.  Not just for R development and data analysis.  I use RStudio a lot in writing learning materials, recently for R, but also for Pyton and Stata using literate programming techniques and the learnr package (yes, you can include Stata code in markdown documents with a little work!)

There are a whole bunch of (no doubt wonderful) things in this Preview release that I haven’t yet bothered to look at, but somethings have got my immediate attention.

The visual markdown editor

I have mixed feelings about this. I know that visual editing – that is, something partway towards WYSIWYG, a la Word – is appreciated by lots of people, but I loathe it. I took up LaTeX a long time ago to get away from Microsoft Word (and, not to boast, I am a very proficient Word user). But, even I found that 90 per cent of the time, LaTeX was too complicated for what I needed. Hoorah for Markdown.

RStudio actually provided my first introduction to Markdown and I revelled in it from the beginning, especially combined with Pandoc: one source many ouputs! At last the world was beginning to understand.  Write in one simple lightweight format and get HTML, PDF, DOCX and other formats automatically.  And of course it put literate programming within easy reach of all R programmers and learners. With the learnr package writing R study materials is a breeze.

But, still some people don’t like plain text editing. Well, the 1.4 Preview shows off the new visual editor. It’s not a complete WYSYWIG offer like Word, but it does show you a live close to end-result preview and has menus to formatting, layout, tables, images, citations. If you really don’t like typing text this may be just what you are looking for to push you that last step into literate data analysis with R and RMarkdown.

Inserting citations with Zotero

Yes, zotero users can now use the source editor to insert citations with point and click – just like Word users. There is no need to first export the references to a BibTeX file first – RStudio handles that for you. Using BibTeX is another thing that people have sometimes mentioned when talking about the difficulty of writing in Rmarkdown.

New Python functionality

And then, oh joy, the new python functionality. I find that very few people are aware that it’s a breeze to combine Python and R code using Rmarkdown documents, although it may take some effort to understand all the set-up requirements for python chunks at first: it took me 15 minutes the first time I tried to run import numpy as np!

Now, this new release adds tools for configuring python, conda and virtual environments. For me the real advance though is somewhat simpler: now you can see python data objects in the RStudio environment pane and view python dataframes in the normal way.

Rainbows!

The last of the new features I know I will use is the introduction of ‘rainbow’ parentheses. Nothing to with Pride month apparently, just adding colour coded bracketing to help you balance your parentheses.

Time to give R (and Python) with RStudio another look

If the user interface has put you off moving to R and RStudio, then now is definitely a time to have another look. Especially for Stata users, complexity and ease of use really aren’t a reason to prefer Stata any more and the move to R coding really isn’t that difficult.

Seeking your views on MyLearning!

Caroline Norris17 May 2021

loud hailerWe are currently reviewing the way UCL staff and students access information on MyLearning training courses and the way courses are booked. Whether you’ve used the system or not, we’d be really grateful for your feedback.

Initially, please feedback through our online survey.

There is also an opportunity to take part in one-to-one sessions with colleagues from the Digital Experience team, to provide further feedback on the MyLearning pages.

Let us know through the survey if you would like to take part or contact digitalcommunications@ucl.ac.uk.

Develop your digital skills this academic year – new dates released

Jasmin E Mullings26 April 2021

How to book

Please ensure you are using Desktop@UCL or the UCL VPN when booking.

What’s on offer

ISD Digital Skills Development has released new dates for Term 3 to be offered online via Blackboard Collaborate and Microsoft Teams.

We are offering a wide range of courses covering R, Stata, Microsoft Tools (including Forms, OneNote and Sway) and much more. Highlights this term include:

  • Inspiration: Mind mapping tool – an overview demo;
  • Read&Write: Text-to-speech software – an overview;
  • Digital book making.

We are continuing to offer our popular Software for success and In a Nutshell sessions.

Software for Success sessions are aimed at those starting a new research project, thesis or dissertation and unsure what tools to use for writing up, citation, data analysis etc. These short, lunchtime sessions will help you answer these questions and determine the best way to get up and running.

In a Nutshell sessions highlight a single task in a particular application, such as starting a project in NVivo for example.

We have also adapted our introductory series of Excel Essential Skills Workshops to a self-paced programme with some interactive sessions. Learn more on the Excel Essential Skills Workshops blog post about the new format.

We are also hosting our usual weekly drop-in sessions remotely via Blackboard Collaborate for those who would like individual support on a specific issue. The dates and times of the sessions, along with the direct Blackboard Collaborate link, are available in our ISD Digital Skills Development Moodle course.

Joining a course

Please view the current schedule of courses and workshops below. Once you’ve looked at the schedule and chosen the course(s) you want to book, follow the instructions on the How to enrol on courses blog post to book. Please also view the course description carefully to ensure you have all the information, check for any pre-learning (if applicable) and know how to join the live session(s).

As we will use Blackboard Collaborate for many of our sessions, please watch the 10-minute Participant video guide which explains how to use and what to expect from the BB Collaborate platform.

Once you’ve booked on a course, please visit our Digital Skills Development Moodle course to find any course materials and pre-learning (if applicable). As some courses have pre-learning, please ensure you allow yourself enough time to complete this. Please also download any available course materials in advance of the live session.

We will send out the link to join the session the day before (or Friday if it’s a Monday course) but you can also join directly from MyLearning (see blog post for instructions on how to do this).

Also note that we have added an extra 15 minutes to the start time of our courses to allow participants to test out their audio/connection. The actual course will start promptly on the hour (15 minutes after the advertised time).

More digital skills development opportunities…

Learn online with a vast range of high-quality video-based courses from LinkedIn Learning.  These cover technical skills but also business, personal and creative skills as well.  Visit the UCL LinkedIn Learning page to find out more.

DigiLearn Online is a new library of online videos which covers UCL IT essentials. Topics include remote connectivity, data storage essentials, Microsoft Office 365 applications, and much more. Visit the DigiLearn Online webpage to access the video guides.

Current schedule

Date Start End Class title
04/05/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Managing Long Documents in Word 2016
04/05/2021 10:45 12:00 DSD: Read&Write: Text-to-speech software – an overview
05/05/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Introduction to Teams/Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops
05/05/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Excel functions we should all know
06/05/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Record a narration over your PowerPoint
06/05/2021 13:45 14:30 DSD: Excel Essential Skills programme – Orientation session
06/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations
07/05/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Word tips and tricks
11/05/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Video editing using ‘Adobe Spark’
11/05/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata (Part 1)
19/05/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata (Part 2)
25/05/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata (Part 3)
01/06/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata (Part 4)
11/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams: workshop 1
11/05/2021 14:45 16:00 DSD: Inspiration: Mind mapping tool – an overview demo
12/05/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Excel tips and tricks
13/05/2021 14:45 16:00 DSD: Read&Write: Text-to-speech software – an overview
14/05/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Workshop
14/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations
17/05/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Podcasting made easy
17/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Workshop
19/05/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (Part 1)
26/05/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (Part 2)
03/06/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (Part 3)
03/06/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (Part 4)
19/05/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams: workshop 2
20/05/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel Worksheet 1 – Review session
20/05/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Getting Started with Markdown
20/05/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: OneNote 2016 – Workshop
20/05/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Mentimeter: encouraging student interaction
21/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents
24/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Make a short film using your iPhone
24/05/2021 14:00 17:00
DSD: Managing Long Documents in Word 2016 (including Zotero)
25/05/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Use online whiteboards to encourage student interaction
25/05/2021 10:45 12:00 DSD: Inspiration: Mind mapping tool – an overview demo
25/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Styles and table of contents in Word – Workshop
26/05/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Vlookup in Excel – workshop
27/05/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Intermediate Statistics with Excel 2016
27/05/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Blogging with Reflect (WordPress-based) – Workshop
28/05/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams: workshop 3
01/06/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Introduction to Stop motion animation
01/06/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Introduction to Teams/Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops
02/06/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Word tips and tricks
02/06/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Digital book making
03/06/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Online social interaction platforms
04/06/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel Worksheet 2 – Review session
03/06/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: XMind mind mapping tool – workshop
04/06/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Starting an Nvivo Project
08/06/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Microsoft Forms Demo
09/06/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Workshop
09/06/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Advanced Statistics with Excel 2016
10/06/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams: workshop 1
10/06/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel tips and tricks
14/06/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Vlookup in Excel – workshop
15/06/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams: workshop 2
16/06/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Workshop
18/06/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams: workshop 3
28/06/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents

Further Digital Skills Development dates now available this term

Jasmin E Mullings15 February 2021

Signpost with 'Digital Skills' written on itHow to book

Please ensure you are using Desktop@UCL or the UCL VPN when booking.

What’s on offer

ISD Digital Skills Development has released new dates for the second half of Term 2 to be offered online via Blackboard Collaborate and Microsoft Teams.

We are offering a wide range of courses covering R, Stata, Microsoft Tools (including Forms, OneNote and Sway) and much more. Highlights this term include:

  • Introduction to Teams & Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops;
  • Excel Essential Skills programme – Orientation session;
  • XMind mind mapping tool – workshop.

This term we are bringing back our popular Software for success and In a Nutshell sessions.

Software for Success sessions are aimed at those starting a new research project, thesis or dissertation and unsure what tools to use for writing up, citation, data analysis etc. These short, lunchtime sessions will help you answer these questions and determine the best way to get up and running.

In a Nutshell sessions highlight a single task in a particular application, such as starting a project in NVivo for example.

We have also adapted our introductory series of Excel Essential Skills Workshops to a self-paced programme with some interactive sessions. Learn more on the Excel Essential Skills Workshops blog post about the new format.

We are also hosting our usual weekly drop-in sessions remotely via Blackboard Collaborate for those who would like individual support on a specific issue. The dates and times of the sessions, along with the direct Blackboard Collaborate link, are available in our ISD Digital Skills Development Moodle course.

Joining a course

Please view the current schedule of courses and workshops below. Once you’ve looked at the schedule and chosen the course(s) you want to book, follow the instructions on the How to enrol on courses blog post to book. Please also view the course description carefully to ensure you have all the information, check for any pre-learning (if applicable) and know how to join the live session(s).

As we will use Blackboard Collaborate for many of our sessions, please watch the 10-minute Participant video guide which explains how to use and what to expect from the BB Collaborate platform.

Once you’ve booked on a course, please visit our Digital Skills Development Moodle course to find any course materials and pre-learning (if applicable). As some courses have pre-learning, please ensure you allow yourself enough time to complete this. Please also download any available course materials in advance of the live session.

We will send out the link to join the session the day before (or Friday if it’s a Monday course) but you can also join directly from MyLearning (see blog post for instructions on how to do this).

Also note that we have added an extra 15 minutes to the start time of our courses to allow participants to test out their audio/connection. The actual course will start promptly on the hour (15 minutes after the advertised time).

More digital skills development opportunities…

Learn online with a vast range of high-quality video-based courses from LinkedIn Learning.  These cover technical skills but also business, personal and creative skills as well.  Visit the UCL LinkedIn Learning page to find out more.

DigiLearn Online is a new library of online videos which covers UCL IT essentials. Topics include remote connectivity, data storage essentials, Microsoft Office 365 applications, and much more. Visit the DigiLearn Online webpage to access the video guides.

Current schedule

Date Start End Class title
16/02/2021 13:45 15:45 DSD: OneNote 2016 – Workshop
17/02/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Blogging with Reflect (WordPress-based) – Workshop
17/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: LaTeX: Demo of Overleaf
18/02/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Intermediate Statistics with Excel 2016
18/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 3: Document Management and Collaboration
18/02/2021 10:45 12:00 DSD: Read&Write: Text-to-speech software – an overview
18/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Microsoft Forms Demo
19/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents
23/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 1
02/03/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 2
12/03/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 3
24/02/2021 13:45 14:30 DSD: Excel Essential Skills programme – Orientation session
25/02/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 1 (Orientation and materials)
04/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 2 (Using Stata)
11/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 3 (Scripting techniques)
25/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations
26/02/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: Software for success: Working with Bibliography and Citation Apps
26/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Demo
26/02/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Introduction to Teams & Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops
02/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Word tips and tricks
03/03/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 1: Beyond Basics Overview
04/03/2021 13:45 15:45 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Workshop
05/03/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Workshop
08/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel tips and tricks
09/03/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Introduction to Teams & Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops
10/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel Worksheet 1 – Review session
11/03/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Managing Long Documents in Word 2016
11/03/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 2: Managing & Participating in Meetings
12/03/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: OneNote 2016 – Workshop
16/03/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 3: Document Management and Collaboration
17/03/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Vlookup in Excel – workshop
23/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Advanced Statistics with Excel 2016
24/03/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: XMind mind mapping tool – workshop
24/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel Worksheet 2 – Review session

Need help with your digital skills? Just drop in!

Caroline Norris29 January 2021

laptop keyboard with handDuring term time, ISD Digital Skills Development run a weekly drop in session where you can get help with your digital skills. As the name suggests there is no need to book, although you may have to wait your turn if there are other people ahead of you.

Since March last year these sessions have been run in Moodle using Blackboard Collaborate. Just connect to the Blackboard Collaborate session at the appropriate time and wait for one of our team to come and take you to a breakout room where you can get individual support.

We can help with a variety of queries on how to use a whole range of software including, but not limited to, the content of our training courses (the courses prefixed with DSD). For example, you might wish to know how to use a particular function in Excel or have a formatting issue in Word. We can also advise on the best software to use for a particular purpose.

More details about what we can and can’t help with can be found on the Digital Skills Drop In pages. Note that we can’t help if your computer or its software are not working properly, for this you will need to contact ISD IT Services.