Thursday, 15 November 2018

5 Tools That Helped My Studies



Max Cresswell, Internal Communications Co-ordinator, The University of Hertfordshire


Now that November is starting, exams and coursework deadlines are right around the corner… and you should certainly be worried, they come around quicker than you think. Luckily for you, I’ve come up with 5 tools that I found were a must need when doing my degree. 

1.     Microsoft Office

What do I need to say about Microsoft Office, it’s a must for every student. The most useful of all the tools but also the most obvious, as I don’t know any student who doesn’t use this, Word for writing papers, PowerPoint for creating presentations or Excel for data analysis, I don’t think I completed a piece of work without using a Microsoft Office program. To make life even easier, the University offer Microsoft Office for free to all University of Hertfordshire students! Just use your username and password when verifying your subscription and you’re ready. The University even provide computers and laptops available in the LRCs and computer labs, with Microsoft Office already installed. 

2.     Lynda.com

Perhaps one of the most useful tools I found. If you don’t already know, Lynda.com is an online learning platform, they have a big variety of courses to chose from, from business to technology to photography. They provide videos on every subject area to teach you information about the subject area. Videos can be long or short, the longest one I saw was 127 hours. In my study time, I found this tool extremely helpful, if I had a bit of free time I would often turn a video on and expand my knowledge of an area of my degree. The best bit is, the University provide this for you free of charge! Simply sign in, using your University email and password.

3.     Herts Mobile app

Certainly, as a fresher, the University app saved my bacon on numerous occasions, it provides you with all the information you need, I can’t recommend it enough. The most useful section of the app I found was the wayfinding bit. At the start of my studies, I found the campus really confusing and still do to this day, I once even went to the wrong campus for a lecture. Meaning this tool was and is a big help to me. The other app tools include, find a pc, bus times, notification, ask herts and service status. 

4.     Google scholar

Referencing still is the bane of my life, I hated it as much as you all hate it. I struggled with University referencing, since it was very different to what I was doing at sixth form, referencing there was plain and simple, just from a web page. University is a big step up from that, I had to start looking for more reliable sources, books and scholarly articles, it was a huge struggle. Fortunately, I was told about google scholar early in my course and it was a massive help to finding information and my referencing. If you don’t already know, google scholar is a google program that searches scholarly articles for the subject area that you type in, this helps find reliable sources and great information.  

5.     Ask Herts

Finally, we have Ask Herts. Pretty much anything you need to know, Ask Herts has the answer to. It is very quick and easy to use, you simply type something into the search bar and it will give you search results matching what you entered, then you chose which one you want the answer to, simple. Any University information you want, Ask Herts has the answer. I used this myself to ask about the parking situation at the University, it gave me results for: can I park on campus, residential parking, students parking at the university and many more. It was quick and gave me the answer that I was looking for. I cannot stress how helpful Ask Herts was to this specific query I had.

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