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Software for success: Choosing the right software for your research project

By Katy O Foster, on 28 September 2023

Planning and completing a research project can be an exciting yet daunting prospect.

For the usual range of tasks – collecting, analysing and presenting data, writing up and managing literature – there is an even larger range of software options to help you achieve your goals. With multiple options available, it can be difficult to decide which is best for your project and the task at hand.

If you haven’t thought about what tools you will use, or if you have thought about it but you’re just not sure what to do, the Software for Success series of digital skills training courses is for you. There will be demonstrations of different tools and approaches with guidance and discussion of what tool is best for the job.  If you think you know what software you are going to use, then we invite you to come along and be challenged: there may be tools on offer that could smooth the way to a successful research project.

Software for success sessions happening this term:

  1. Data collection – discover which survey tool is the best one for your research project:

DSD: Software for Success: Survey tools | Wednesday 11th October | 11:00-13:00 | Online

  1. Analysing data – an overview of the tools available:

DSD: Software for success: Data analysis and statistical tools |Join the interest list to hear about future dates

  1. Presenting data – different tools available for visually presenting your data:

DSD: Software for success: Data visualisation | Thursday 12th October | 10:00-12:00 | Online

  1. Presenting data – which is the best chart type for your data?

DSD: Software for success: Winning with charts | Tuesday 24th October | 10:00-11:00 | Online

  1. Writing – is there life beyond Word? Is there any reason to go there? How do you cope with fussy formatting requirements?

DSD: Software for success: Writing tools | Wednesday 1st November | 14:00-15:00 | Online

  1. Managing literature – imagine a world where your library and database searches link seamlessly  with your citation system and a database of annotated PDFs.  That world can be yours:

DSD: Software for success: Working with Bibliography and Citation Apps | Thursday 2nd November |10:00-11:00 | Online

Need help booking?

Further instructions on how to book courses can be found here: How to book a course on MyLearning

Discover more digital skills training

The Digital Skills Development team at UCL offer a range of training courses to meet your digital needs. Find out more here: Digital Skills Development UCL

For any questions on Digital Skills Development at UCL, email isd-digiskills@ucl.ac.uk

Develop your digital skills: Autumn 2023

By Katy O Foster, on 18 September 2023

Digital Skills

From training and support to helping you improve your digital capabilities, read below to find out what exciting opportunities Digital Skills Development can offer UCL staff and students this autumn term.

Term 1 training courses

Is there a programme or piece of software that you use regularly but feel you could know more about? Could your Excel skills use a refresh? Or do you want to learn new skills like image editing or how to create a podcast? Our online and in-person training provides the opportunity to develop your skills with the help of an expert trainer.

To book, follow the links below or find more information here: How to book a course on MyLearning.

Data analysis and visualisation

General
12/10/2023 10.00 12.00 DSD: Software for success: Data visualisation Online
24/10/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Software for success: Winning with charts Online
R
18/10/2023 13.00 20.00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (campus-based) In-person
07/11/2023 14.00 16.00 DSD: Data visualization in R with ggplot2 (campus-based) In-person
10/11/2023 10.00 17.00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (campus-based) In-person
24/11/2023 14.00 17.00 DSD: Better Tables in R (Campus-based) In-person
14/12/2023 10.00 12.00 DSD: Data manipulation in R with Rstudio Online
Stata
15/11/2023 13.00 20.00 DSD: Getting started with Stata (campus-based) In-person
05/12/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Scripting Stata Graphs Online
Nvivo
13/12/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Starting an Nvivo Project Online

Interaction and collaboration

General
11/10/2023 11.00 13.00 DSD: Software for success: Survey tools Online
17/10/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Mentimeter – improving feedback and interaction Online
26/10/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Use online whiteboards to encourage collaboration Online
REDCap
17/10/2023 13.00 14.00 DSD: Introduction to REDCap for research Online
17/10/2023 15.00 16.00 DSD: Managing participants in REDCap Online
Qualtrics
11/10/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Qualtrics Tips and Tricks Online

Accessibility and assistive technology

General
10/10/2023 14.00 15.30 DSD: Creating accessible Powerpoint presentations Online
31/10/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Best practice for video captions and transcripts Online
31/10/2023 14.00 17.00 DSD: Creating accessible documents with LaTeX (Campus-based) In-person
23/11/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents Online
12/12/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Creating accessible social media content Online

Mastering Excel

General
01/11/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Excel Tips and Tricks Online
16/11/2023 14.00 16.00 DSD: Intermediate statistics with Excel Online
29/11/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Excel functions we should all know Online
Excel Essential Skills Workshops
17/10/2023 12.00 13.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 1 (campus-based) In-person
08/11/2023 13.00 14.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 1 (campus-based) In-person
15/11/2023 16.00 17.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 1 (campus-based) In-person
22/11/2023 13.00 14.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 2 (campus-based) In-person
28/11/2023 12.00 13.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 2 (campus-based) In-person
06/12/2023 13.00 14.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 3 (campus-based) In-person

Multimedia content: Creating and editing

Graphic design and photo editing
26/10/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Design an impactful research poster using UCL templates Online
31/10/2023 14.00 15.15 DSD: Basic image editing using free tools – demo Online
07/11/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: An introduction to free graphic design tools Online
14/11/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Photo editing with Pixlr X – workshop Online
16/11/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Creating infographics using free web based tools Online
Filming and podcasting
12/10/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Podcasting made easy Online
24/10/2023 14.00 15.30 DSD: Planning and filming advice for a short film Online
31/10/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Best practice for video captions and transcripts Online
09/11/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Make a short film using your iPhone Online

Writing, presenting and referencing

General
01/11/2023 14.00 15.00 DSD: Software for success: Writing tools Online
02/11/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Software for success: Working with Bibliography and Citation Apps Online
Microsoft Office
10/10/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: Word Tips and Tricks Online
10/10/2023 14.00 15.30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations Online
09/11/2023 14.00 16.00 DSD: Format your Thesis (Windows) Online
23/11/2023 14.00 15.30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents Online
13/12/2023 10.00 12.00 DSD: Format your Thesis (Windows) Online
LaTeX and Markdown
25/10/2023 10.00 11.00 DSD: LaTeX: Demo of Overleaf Online
31/10/2023 14.00 17.00 DSD: Creating accessible documents with LaTeX (campus-based) In-person
08/11/2023 13.00 20.00 DSD: Overleaf: LaTeX with NatBib (campus-based) In-person
30/11/2023 14.00 16.00 DSD: Getting started with Markdown Online

Office hours

To make them more widely accessible, our drop-ins have been changed to an office hours format, with slots available each day. If you have a question or would like individual support on a specific issue, book an appointment with one of our team: Digital Skills Development Office Hours

Upgrade your skills with the Discovery Tool

In partnership with Jisc, the Digital Skills Development team have put together a Discovery Tool to help UCL staff and students identify gaps in their knowledge and improve their skills. Use the self-assessment questions to start your journey towards better digital skills today: Discover your digital

LinkedIn Learning

UCL staff and enrolled students can access over 16,000 courses for free on LinkedIn Learning.

Contact us

For any questions on Digital Skills Development at UCL, email isd-digiskills@ucl.ac.uk

Dissertation & Thesis Clinics July / August 2023

By Louise Pollock, on 12 June 2023

Book

Need help with your dissertation or thesis?

Digital Skills Development and Library Skills 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*:

12th July from 14:00-16:00
18th July from 10:00-12:00
26th July from 14:00-16:00
1st August from 10:00-12:00
9th August from 14:00-16:00
15th August from 10:00-12:00

*Please note that if we have to cancel any sessions due to unforeseen circumstances we will update the details on our Moodle course so please check on the day before travelling/joining.

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 on how to use the software.  If you need training you will be directed to self-paced materials or scheduled courses.

We cannot provide answers to and support for academic questions, only for digital skills.  If you don’t know for example what statistical method you should be using, we cannot help you.

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 Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) and we are delighted to also offer support on campus in room 501 (5th floor)  Institute of Archaeology. So you have the choice to either join the session remotely or in person at the same date and time. For more information on upcoming dates/times and access to the MS Teams session, please enrol on our ISD Digital Skills Development Moodle course and visit the ‘Dissertation and Thesis Clinics – July/August 2022’ 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.

New digital skills training sessions released for Term 3

By Louise Pollock, on 17 February 2023

What’s on offerImage of two badges on a blazer. One of them says Digital Skills

ISD Digital Skills Development Team has released new dates for Term 3. Most of our sessions will be offered remotely using Microsoft Teams with some also on campus only. Scroll down for more!

See our latest schedule and details of how to book below.

We are offering a wide range of courses covering data analyis with SPSS, RStudio and Stata; productivity with Microsoft apps; multimedia and graphics creation; and much more.

New highlights include the following:

  • DSD: Enhancing the Accessibility of your Moodle Courses
  • DSD: User access and multiple instruments in REDCap
  • DSD: Managing participants in REDCap
  • DSD: Qualtrics tips and tricks
  • DSD: Scripting Stata’s new Tables and Collections.

What’s New? Learn Along Fridays!

As part of our never ending quest to promote digital skills at UCL, Jim Tyson will be hosting two sessions on 5 May covering topics that fall outside of our usual Digital Skills Development programme:
Zotero: Citation Power Moves (10 am – 12 pm) and Starting up right with Git, GitHub and RStudio (1 – 3 pm).

The first of these will be an opportunity for users with some basic Zotero knowledge to share what they do know and to learn new stuff.  Jim will start by giving a quick introduction to the Citation Style Language (CSL) which is a standard for specifying citation and referencing styles and to support that a brief outline of XML – the standard text-based language for representing all kinds of structured information.  This will also be an opportunity to share how we are using Zotero, to get support with any issues we are facing and to talk about Zotero training needs.  We would be pleased to talk about using Zotero for annotation and reporting for example.

The second session is rather different.  Many R data analysts would like to use git and git-hub with R and RStudio, but even after following online videos and guides, actually setting up your repositories and linking them to your RStudio projects can be a bit daunting; you may encounter problems that no one else has documented or be unsure of the best set up for your use case.  In this session, we will step through – collectively – installing the software (a desktop git client for example), creating projects in RStudio and on git-hub and then setting up a simple and effective workflow.  So this is a practical session where you should end up ready to roll with version control for your RStudio projects.

We hope these sessions will be informal, interactive and above all practically useful, so see you there!

How to book our scheduled sessions

As a reminder, please note that most of our events are interactive training sessions and are not recorded. Therefore, we ask that you please ensure you are able to attend before booking and cancel your place if you are no longer able to attend. If you have any accessibility requirements, please let us know by emailing the ISD Digital Skills Development mailbox in advance: isd-digiskills@ucl.ac.uk

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

Prizes to be won!

We have new monthly term-time prizes to be won by staff and students who attend and evaluate our courses.  All you have to do to be in the running to win £20 ‘Love to Shop’ Gift Voucher is complete one of our training sessions, and submit our course evaluation form. The evaluation form should take no more than 1 minute to complete. Good luck!

Find out more

For more information on how to book and join a session on the day, please visit our Practical Course Information page.

Drop-ins

We are also hosting our usual weekly drop-in sessions remotely and on campus for those who would like individual support on a specific issue. The dates and times of the sessions are available on our ISD Digital Skills Development drop-in page.

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.

 

Latest schedule:

TERM 3

Start date Start time End time Booking Link Venue
02/05/2023 10:00 11:15 DSD: Basic image editing using free tools This session will take place via MS Teams
02/05/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Basic video editing using iMovie on a Mac This session will take place via MS Teams
02/05/2023 14:00 16:00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Excel functions we should all know Rescheduled This session will take place via MS Teams
03/05/2023 11:00 13:00 DSD: Software for success: Survey tools This session will take place via MS Teams
03/05/2023 15:00 16:00 DSD: Word tips and tricks This session will take place via MS Teams
04/05/2023 10:00 17:00 DSD: Introduction to Matlab (Campus based) (1 of 2)  (To be rescheduled) Campus-based session
04/05/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Introduction to Stop Motion Animation (Campus based) Campus-based session
05/05/2023 10:00 12:00 Zotero: Citation Power Moves (booking via Eventbrite) Campus-based session
05/05/2023 13:00 15:00 Starting up right with Git, GitHub and RStudio (booking via Eventbrite) Campus-based session
09/05/2023 11:00 13:00 DSD: Charting with Excel This session will take place via MS Teams
09/05/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Digital book making This session will take place via MS Teams
09/05/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Podcasting made easy – workshop This session will take place via MS Teams
10/05/2023 11:00 12:00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – WORKSHOP 1 (Campus based) Campus-based session
10/05/2023 12:00 13:00 DSD: Introduction to REDCap for research This session will take place via MS Teams
11/05/2023 14:00 15:15 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations This session will take place via MS Teams
11/05/2023 10:00 17:00 DSD: Introduction to Matlab (Campus based) (2 of 2) (To be rescheduled) Campus-based session
25/04/2023 11:00 13:00 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Workshop This session will take place via MS Teams
16/05/2023 12:00 13:00 DSD: PowerPoint for Researchers and Presenters: Words, Images and More This session will take place via MS Teams
16/05/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Filming advice for a short film This session will take place via MS Teams
18/05/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Creating Infographics using free web-based tools This session will take place via MS Teams
18/05/2023 12:00 13:00 DSD: Qualtrics tips and tricks This session will take place via MS Teams
23/05/2022 17:00 20:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (Campus based) 1of 2 Campus-based session
23/05/2022 14:00 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents This session will take place via MS Teams
23/05/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Managing your digital profile and social media presence This session will take place via MS Teams
23/05/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Mentimeter for Continuous Module Dialogue (CMD) This session will take place via MS Teams
24/05/2023 11:00 12:00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – WORKSHOP 2 Campus-based session
24/05/2024 14:00 15:00 DSD: Online social interaction platforms – Cancelled, register interest here for the next one!
25/05/2023 17:00 20:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (Campus based) 2 of 2 Campus-based session
25/05/2023 14:00 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with SPSS (Campus based) P1 Campus-based session
25/05/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Make a short film using your iPhone This session will take place via MS Teams
DSD: Planning a short film Add your name to the waiting list for the next session.
30/05/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Design an impactful research poster using UCL templates This session will take place via MS Teams
30/05/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Excel tips and tricks This session will take place via MS Teams
DSD: Record a narration over your PowerPoint on a PC Add your name to the waiting list for the next session.
31/05/2023 12:00 13:00 DSD: Managing participants in REDCap This session will take place via MS Teams
31/05/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: User access and multiple instruments in REDCap This session will take place via MS Teams
01/06/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: An introduction to free graphic design tools This session will take place via MS Teams
01/06/2023 14:00 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with SPSS (Campus based) P2 Campus-based session
01/06/2023 10:00 12:00 DSD: Scripting Stata Graphs This session will take place via MS Teams
06/06/2023 10:00 10:45 DSD: In a Nutshell: Git version control
06/06/2023 11:00 14:00 DSD: Dive into Git version control This session will take place via MS Teams
06/06/2023 10:00 12:00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Excel functions we should all know This session will take place via MS Teams
06/06/2023 15:00 16:00 DSD: Word tips and tricks This session will take place via MS Teams
07/06/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Best practice for video captions and transcripts This session will take place via MS Teams
07/06/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Explore the potential of UCL Mediacentral This session will take place via MS Teams
07/06/2023 11:00 12:00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – WORKSHOP 3 Campus-based session
08/06/2023 10:00 12:00 DSD: Format your Thesis (Windows) This session will take place via MS Teams
08/06/2023 14:00 16:00 DSD: Scripting Stata’s new Tables and Collections (Campus based) Campus-based session
07/06/2023 12:00 14:00 DSD: VLookup in Excel – workshop This session will take place via MS Teams
12/06/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Enhancing the accessibility of your Moodle courses (Campus based) Campus-based session

 

 

Do your students have essential Excel skills?

By Caroline Norris, on 30 January 2023

This blog post is aimed at teaching staff who might wish to promote Excel workshops to their students. However, the workshops are open to all students and can be booked by students by following the links below.

people at computersThe Digital Skills Development team in ISD run a series of three Excel Essential Skills workshops designed to ensure that they do.  These cover creating calculated worksheets, data management and using in-built Excel functions.  They are facilitated by fellow students in small groups of 10 – 12 in computer workrooms on campus.

The workshops take a new approach to learning by presenting students with a problem to be solved and encouraging them to use prior experience, web searches, in-application help and fellow participants to find a solution to the task.

By the end of the session students have improved problem-solving skills, an increased knowledge of the topic, a ‘suggested solution’ to the problem they worked on and some resources and guidance for further learning.

Students take the workshop at their own pace so they can leave when they have completed all the tasks and either finish the tasks in their own time or come back to another session if they don’t have time to complete.

Why not share details of our upcoming workshops with your students and encourage them to attend? Places on these workshops can be booked here:

To see our full schedule of courses for this term, see our most recent newsletter.

Alternatively, bring the Excel Essential Skills workshops to you!

We can arrange workshops specifically for your cohort and our materials are also available for you to offer these workshops yourself, facilitated by you or your teaching assistants.   Please contact us isd-digiskills@ucl.ac.uk if you are interested in either of these options.

Do more digital with your teaching and assessment

By Caroline Norris, on 17 January 2023

Table with laptop and person in foreground gesticulating. Person in background.Do you want to try something new in your teaching or assessment?  Are you concerned that your materials aren’t as accessible and inclusive as you would like them to be?  Why not come along to one of our short online* training sessions to learn a new skill, improve your teaching materials or explore new assessment methods?

Add more interaction to your course by using polling software like Mentimeter for Continuous Module Dialogue or to engage students either during class or asynchronously between sessions.  You could also Use online whiteboards to encourage student interaction or ask students to collaborate on projects using Microsoft Teams: get a Beyond Basics Overview or learn about Document Management and Collaboration.

Digital Accessibility is a vital part of making your course inclusive and we have courses on Enhancing the Accessibility of your Moodle Courses, Creating accessible PowerPoint Presentations  and  Creating accessible Word documents.  You might also want to ensure you are following Best practice for video captions and transcripts when sharing multimedia.

Liven up your course with more multimedia content by learning how to do Basic video editing using iMovie on a Mac or Record a narration over your PowerPoint on a PC to convert your  Mixing deck and microphonepresentation to video.  You could also come on our Podcasting made easy workshop or our series of workshops for making a film using your iPhone (Planning, Filming advice and Make a short film) and pass these skills on to your students so they can create multimedia content as part of their course.

If graphical content is a challenge, our beginners courses in Basic image editing using free tools can get you started with existing content while An introduction to free graphic design tools and Creating Infographics using free web-based tools are a great way to start creating more original content without having to buy expensive software.

Finally, if you’ve never done Digital book-making, it can be great for digital storytelling and Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool is another interesting option for presenting your material in new ways.  These can also open up new possibilities for your students and the ways in which they present their coursework.

We’ve cherry picked a few courses below that might be of particular interest, but for our full schedule of upcoming courses visit Digital Skills Development News on the Digital Education blog.  If you subscribe to the blog you’ll get regular updates from us and our other Digital Education teams. Click on the link(s) below to book a place or add yourself to the interest list to be informed about upcoming dates.  More details about how to book, how to join sessions etc. can be found on our Practical Course Information page.  If you aren’t sure what training you need and would like individual support and advice we also have a regular drop in during term time.

*All sessions are online via Microsoft Teams unless otherwise indicated.

Add more interaction and collaboration

01/02/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Mentimeter for Continuous Module Dialogue (CMD)
THIS SESSION IS NOW CANCELLED
08/02/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Use online whiteboards to encourage student interaction
02/02/2023 10:00 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 1: Beyond Basics Overview
08/03/2023 10:00 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 3 – Document Management and Collaboration 

Make your content more accessible

24/01/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint Presentations
02/03/2023 10:00 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint Presentations
24/01/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Best practice for video captions and transcripts
31/01/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents
09/03/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents
02/02/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Enhancing the Accessibility of your Moodle Courses

Use more audio-visual content

25/01/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Basic video editing using iMovie on a Mac
25/01/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Record a narration over your PowerPoint on a PC
02/02/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Podcasting made easy – workshop
07/02/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Planning a short film
07/02/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Filming advice for a short film
14/02/2023 10:00 11:00 DSD: Make a short film using your iPhone

Create and edit graphical content

31/01/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Creating Infographics using free web-based tools
15/02/2023 10:00 11:15 DSD: Basic image editing using free tools (Demo)
21/02/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: An introduction to free graphic design tools

Present material in new ways

08/02/2023 14:00 15:00 DSD: Digital book-making
25/01/2023 10:00 11:30 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Workshop
21/02/2023 14:00 15:30 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Workshop

Please note that the above dates and times were correct at time of publication but are subject to change.  Follow the links provided or check our latest schedule for the definitive current schedule.