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Get digital

digital skills
This guide outlines support available to improve your digital skills, as well as point you to help with more specialised software that might be needed in your subject area.

Whether you consider yourself a digital expert or a newbie, it's important to think about the digital skills you already have and new ones you need to learn throughout you time at Staffs.

Digital skills: support provided by the Academic Skills Team

Academic Skills team members can help you with getting to grips with some of the key digital tools you will use such as MS Office 365, Library Search and accessing our wide range of electronic resources.

Some of the specific areas that a member of our team can help you with include:

  • Using MS Teams for appointments
  • Accessing online resources (Sway format)
  • Using Microsoft Office effectively
  • Managing your files and using OneDrive
  • Using PowerPoint for presentations or academic posters
  • Creating long documents in Word
  • Using Qualtrics survey software
  • Using  LinkedIn Learning online video training
  • Using RefWorks reference management software

Look out for workshops throughout the year or make an appointment to discuss any of the above topics.

Digital Skills: University Support

Support will be provided by your subject tutors and digital experts within your subject area but you may like to follow the university links below to help you to get started.

Induction guides

There are induction guides covering essential digital skills created by Digital Services and the Academic Development Unit.  These cover all the key systems you need to be familiar with to use our IT systems to study effectively.

There are also video tutorials in Microsoft Stream:

Many tutors are including these induction videos in either Blackboard or MS Teams so look out for links to these, or ask your tutor if you can't find them. 

Assessment and Feedback

There are guides to help you understand how to use to assessment areas within Blackboard and how to use Turnitin.

Turnitin

Turnitin is web-based text matching, electronic submission and feedback software. It is used by many universities in the UK and across the world. Turnitin compares the text in the work you submit with a vast database of electronic sources, including online journal articles, web pages and previously submitted student work. It can be used by staff as a tool to help identify plagiarism and poor academic practice. It can also be used to as a developmental tool to help improve your academic writing.

Turnitin is integrated into Blackboard, so you will only ever access Turnitin via your Blackboard courses. As Turnitin provides staff with a wide range of options it can be used in several ways so it is important that you check with your tutors if you have any specific questions on the user of Turnitin.  The guides below cover the essential features most likely to be used.

Digital Services support

Study Smarter with technology

There is a wide range of tools which you can use to help you study effectively.  These include tools to help everyone  with reading online, writing, text-to-speech, planning and organising, collaborating with others and more.  We have created a guide to recommended tools which are free to download, or are already in-built on the student computers.  

LinkedIn Learning

linkedin learnin logoLinkedIn Learning is an online platform we subscribe to that offers a huge range of video courses to help you develop your business, creative and technological skills.

It covers Microsoft Office and other essential digital tools, as well as specialised software, plus topics such as team working, communication skills, using social media effectively and more.

You will almost certainly find material on LinkedIn Learning to help you with the digital skills you need for your studies. 

See our detailed Linkedin Learning guide for more information and to access the site. 

Support for specialised software

Within some subject areas you will need to use more specialised software either as a core part of your course or to support topics such as research methods.  These packages will be supported by your tutors and, in some subject areas, technical specialists within your school/department.

The Academic Skills team are not able to help you with specialised software.  We can, however, point you to support material within packages such as LinkedIn Learning.  Links to support material for some of these more widely used specialised packages are shown below.

SPSS

NVIVO

Adobe Creative Cloud

All the courses below can be found on LinkedIn Learning