Things to know before you go!

gradFor all you third year students your time at Goldsmiths and the Library is drawing to an end, we will be sad to see you go. But there are some important things for you to remember before you leave.

– Your library account needs to be clear by the end of term(14th June), so bring back your books!  Your exam results will not be released until your account is cleared.

– If your Library account is not cleared by the 14th August you will not be able to graduate.

– To check your account you can log-on online to your Library record through the Library catalogue, this will tell you if you have any outstanding books or fines.

– Once you have finished you can apply to be a Alumni reference user for free. You will not be able to borrow any items from the Library nor will you be able to print or log-on to the computers (after the three month IT extension) but you will be able to use the books and periodicals in the Library.

– Once you have graduated you can apply to be an Alumni Borrower. This costs £50 a year and  only allows you to borrow four Ordinary Loan books at a time. It does not allow you to use the computers or print.

– Your current email address will not expire. (This applies only to those on Office 365)

– You will be able to access your IT account for three months after the end date on your card (as long as you do not owe Goldsmiths any money).

Advertisements

Revision Tools 5 – Online Flashcards

FlashcardsIt may be a new week but today is your final revision tool from us. Today’s is all about online flashcards.

You no longer need to spend your precious revision time hand-writing your flashcards. There are now websites that will create them for you.

There are a number of them that can be found on the Internet, but a very popular one is Quizlet. With Quizlet you begin by making your flashcards online, then you can chose different study modes from your flashcards such as multiple choice tests and other games.

There is also the option, if you prefer the physical, to print off your flashcards.

For those of you who love a last minute cram, or revising on the go, there is an Quizlet app for the iPhone that means you can have a quick revise on the bus to uni! Flashcards+ is also very popular and available across different platforms, including android.

The Flashcard Exchange also allows you to make your own flashcards, or use flashcards made by others.

Memrise is another great tool that teaches and tests you on facts and words. It specializes in making sure information moves to your long term memory by periodically testing you and responding when you answer incorrectly. You can also connect with your friends on Memrise, or through Facebook, and compete for points. Why not create your own course and share it with your fellow students?

Revision Tools – 4. Mind Maps

Mind maps are a very useful study tool. They help generate, visualise and structure your ideas and help plan how you write for essays and prepare for exams. Mind maps usually begin with a central topic – this could be your essay title. You then add subtopics that can be ideas or concepts that relate to this central topic.

Imagine you were writing an essay on the British Media. This would be your central topic. Subtopics might include newspapers, radio, television, etc. And these themselves are topics that can be further subdivided, e.g. newspapers into tabloid/broadsheet, then individual titles. You could finish with several subdivisions of your original topic. The more you brainstorm, the more ideas you’ll have to work with before you write. It works for exams too. Studies have shown that memory recall is improved by using mind maps.

There is lots of software available that will generate mind maps for you from your ideas – these will look clearer and more structured than hand-written notes, and can be fun to use. Here are some examples.

Coggle requires a Google account, but otherwise there is no software to download. It’s simple and self-explanatory to use and you can create and complete maps within minutes.  Maps can be saved to Coggle, shared with others (either by using the link for the map or inviting users) or downloaded (JPG/PDF).

See an example here.

Bubbl.us requires you to create an account, but like Coggle, there’s nothing to download. ‘Start brainstorming’ to create your map. Again, it’s a simple tool, but does allow you to tweak sizes/colours of topics/subtopics to stress their significance. Your maps are saved to Bubbl.us and you can access them any time. You can print your map or save as a JPG.

Xmind is much more professional mind mapping software. You can download a basic version for free, though it lacks the sophistication of the paid-for versions. Still, it allows you to create effective maps. It provides templates if you want to create maps in a given style. If you use the free version you can print your map but you can’t export it.

Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary. Unlike dictionaries that define words, this also shows the relationship between your word and associated words and concepts, so you learn how words associate. It works best with general terms, e.g. Psychology, than very specific terms, e.g. Freudian, but it’s still worth using.

Revision Tools – 3. Note-taking and organisation

NotesThis week we’ve been giving you some tips on using online study tools to help you make the most of the time you have before exams and deadlines.

Today’s tool helps with organising revision and lecture notes. Evernote is a free handy tool for writing and collecting notes, clipped pages from the web, and images together. You can collect notes into separate notebooks and tag notes to organise your work. You can also easily search through all of your notes.

Evernote is available on multiple platforms, meaning you can make a quick note on your phone and sync your account to review it later on your laptop or tablet. You can also share your workbook with others or ask them to collaborate with you.

There are also other note-taking and organising tools available, such as Google Keep, or tools specific to ipads such as Notability. Why not try them out and see what works best for you?

Photo courtesy of English106

Revision Tools – 2. Revision Timetables

ExamGetting to grips with exam revision technique and devising a personal timetable is vital for any student to achieve the best results. What you include in your revision plan will depend on the time you have available and your own style and study habits.

You can find some useful online revision timetable tools such as Get Revising. Or create a pocket revision calendar with PocketMod. You can also use your online calendar on Office 365, whcih comes with your university email account, to plan and set reminders for revision periods (to access the calendar log in to your email, and click the ‘Calendar’ button in the left hand menu bar). Alternatively you can use Google Calendar.

Make a note of the following points when devising your timetable:

  1. When compiling a schedule try to be as realistic as possible.  Produce a timetable that spreads the workload and identifies what and when you should be revising in each session.
  2. Make a list of the subjects that you need to revise for between now and your exams.
  3. Work out which subjects have the most content that needs to be revised.
  4. Concentrate on those specific topics or modules that you are weak at.
  5. Break down major revision subjects into smaller parts; this can make your revision more precise.
  6. Ensure that you allow time for rest and relaxation.
  7. Allow a day before the exam to review material, rather than continuing to try and cover new ground.
  8. Work out when you ‘study best’.
  9. Do not leave your most difficult or hardest subjects till the end of the day. Instead try to get these out of the way early on.
  10. After completing a revision period cross it  off from your timetable. This will help instil a sense of accomplishment.
  11. At the end of each week assess your performance and change your plans accordingly.
  12. Consider using different coloured pens to highlight specific topics or rank subjects according to importance.
  13. Keep your timetable flexible and be ready to change if circumstances change.
  14. Try not to spend the whole day revising one subject.
  15. Most experts suggest studying in slots of forty minutes and then taking a break.

You many want to take a look at Leicester University’s multiple design revision timetables. Leeds University also have a demonstration of how to create your own timetable, taking into account the time you have left and your subject strengths and weaknesses.

Revision Tools – 1. Internet Blockers

There are a number of tools available online that can help your study become more effective and stop you procrastinating on websites like Twitter and Facebook. This week we’ll be giving you some tips on using online study tools to help you make the most of the time you have.

Internet/Website Blockers

You can use these to completely block your access to the internet, or block any websites that are officially a waste of time. Obviously we mean Facebook, but you might have any number of similar vices. One of the most simple of these tools is ‘Cold Turkey‘. It blocks any websites you choose for any time period you choose.Stay Focusd‘  does the same thing, but with a work-around that involves solving a puzzle, and for Macs you can get ‘Self Control‘ in just a few minutes! These tools don’t help you if you also have access to the web on your phone, but you could always try making it a game with your flatmates. Have everyone put their phone in a communal area, and the first person to crack and look at their phone has to cook dinner.

Written Kitten

For those of you still writing essays or dissertations, Written Kitten creates more of an incentive to keep writing. For every 100 words, a new kitten appears to give you something to work towards.

E-Resource of the Month – Oxford Art Online

What is Oxford Art Online?

Oxford Art Online offers access to the most authoritative and scholarly online art resources that are available. Users can access or cross-search a number of Oxford art reference works: Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Arts, the Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.  Use the About page to discover more information about these reference works, such as descriptions, their key features and their editorial information.

How do I access Oxford Art Online?

Go to the E-Resources A-Z page, then if you’re in College, click the gold G, or for off-campus access click the green W. If you are off-campus, you’ll need to log in with your IT username and password.

Searching Oxford Art Online

K110591GOYA 1You can either browse Oxford Art Online to get a feel for its content. Click on ‘All Content’ to see all the material it offers, then browse the content alphabetically, or refine by category or by specific reference work, e.g. Grove Art Online. However, you might want something specific, e.g. images or biographies, and you can browse by these as well. Images are copyright cleared and biographies are well researched and cited (thus offering a more academic alternative to Wikipedia), so you can feel confident about using them in your research.

You can also search Oxford Art Online. There is a basic search bar on each page, which will accept keywords and restrictions to Grove Art and/or Images.  For instance, you could use this to search for an image of Goya’s ‘Saturn’, or using Grove Art, you’ll also find an extensive biography of Goya.

The advanced search allows you to be more sophisticated. You can either search generally, or more specifically for images, biographies and bibliographies. You can search in specific reference works or refine by category.