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Inspiring Success

Inspiring Success

November 13, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Inspiring Success is an annual, two-part initiative, designed to provide employability support and funding for unemployed or underemployed graduates from Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

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Things you should know ahead of #LboroGrad2018

Things you should know ahead of #LboroGrad2018

November 12, 2018 Lauren Proctor

With just one month to go until this year’s London Graduation ceremonies, here are some things eligible graduates need to know ahead of #LboroGrad2018:

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Holly Collison UN Meeting

Holly Collison UN Meeting

November 12, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Holly Collison, Lecturer within the Institute for Sport Business, has received an invitation from the UN to attend an expert meeting on the use of sport as a tool to prevent violent extremism.

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'Co-working with Things' - Exhibition Preview at the Martin Hall

November 12, 2018 Steven Lake

Join LU Arts for the opening of Assunta Ruocco’s ‘Co-Working with Things’ in the Martin Hall Exhibition Space on Wednesday 14th November, from 4-6pm. Wine and refreshments provided, and the artist and curator will be present to discuss the work.

In 1947, artist Anni Albers urged us to consider ‘materials as our co-workers’. In so doing she invited us to develop new relationships with machines, tools, materials and working spaces. This exhibition explores how the things with which artists work can be seen as co-workers. All the artworks presented are based on simple sets of rules derived from what was possible within a particular, contingent context: working at home or in the printmaking workshop. The works are ongoing, and insist on labour intensive relationships with materials, tools and machines arranged within particular furnished spaces.

An exhibition of artistic research conducted as part of the practice-based PhD project ‘Co-working with Things. How Furnished Spaces Contribute to the Emergence of Artworks’, supervised by Gillian Whiteley and­­­­ Eleanor Morgan, within Loughborough University School of the Arts, English and Drama. All prints were produced within SAED Printmaking Workshop with the help and advice of printmaking tutor Pete Dobson. Exhibition curated by David Bell, with support from Radar­.

For further details visit the LU Arts website here.

This Week at Loughborough | Monday 12th November 2018

This Week at Loughborough | Monday 12th November 2018

November 9, 2018 Sammie Man

Tuesday 13th November 2018

Public lecture: Ashortwalk from Loughborough | 6-7pm |  U020, Brockington Extension Building

Dan Dicker, founder and director of ashortwalk, will give a talk about his time at Loughborough and his experience in a graduate career at Dyson. He will then go on to discuss how this led to developing his own company. Make sure to book your place here.

Annual Research Conference |  9:30am-4:30pm |  Sir Denis Rooke building, Holywell Park

This event will feature talks from Doctoral Researchers and Research Staff, including keynote speeches from Dr Enid Montague from DePaul University Chicago and Dr Suzie Imber from the University of Leicester. You will also have the opportunity to attend a networking lunch. Don’t forget to book your place here.

Vintage Sale |  10am-5pm |  Room 1, Students’ Union

Make sure to check out the Vintage Sale this week, where you will be able to get some great deals on jackets, knitwear, sportswear, and sweats. There will be various brands for sale, including North Face, Adidas, Levis, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Lacoste.

Wednesday 14th November 2018

School of Science Placement and Careers Fair |  1-4pm |  James France Exhibition Area

Unsure about CVs and future job opportunities? Come and speak to students and different companies to get advice and hear about their experiences. You will also have the chance to speak to employers about what they have to offer. Not only this, there will be CV clinics available where you can get hints and tips on applications.

Featured Event

headshot of Shami Chakrabarti

Thursday 15th November 2018
Public Lecture: Gender Equality |  6:30-7:30pm |  Room J.1.04, Edward Herbert Building

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to hear from Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General and a member of the House of Lords, as she gives a talk on ‘Gender Equality: 100 Years on from the Representation of the People Act, where are we today?’. There will also be a chance to ask questions, so make sure to book on here.

Thursday 15th November 2018

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Pitch Like A…DJ |  6:30-8pm |  Fusion

Pasquale, the founder of DBE, will be giving a talk on how he developed the popular event and the obstacles he faced along the way. You will get the opportunity to learn about how he first pitched the idea to DJs, venues and the audience and how it grew into the major event it is today. He will be chatting about what his inspiration was and what comes next for DBE. Make sure to reserve your space by emailing: enterpriseeo@lsu.co.uk.

London Postgraduate Open Evening |  5-7pm |  London Campus, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

If you are considering postgraduate study make sure to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to head down to the London Campus on a free coach service to find out more about what both campuses have to offer. You will have a tour of the beautiful London Campus and be able to speak to current students and staff, to get advice and ask questions. Book your place here.

Mock Assessment Centres |  6-8:30pm |  CC021 James France

On campus to help you develop your interview skills and help you learn more about assessment centres, will be Network Rail, PwC, 3M and Careers Network. This event will teach you pivotal assessment centre skills and you will have the opportunity to experience group exercises.  You will need to book on the Careers Online website. 

Faith Fest |  7-10pm |  Room 1

Head over to Room 1 this Thursday to enjoy a showcase of different faiths and cultures. You will be able to learn about the way that different societies celebrate their culture and faith in their country, whilst enjoying a free sit-down meal. EVERYONE is welcome, so make sure you come down!

Saturday 17th / Sunday 18th November 2018

Media Alumni Weekend |  All weekend |  Students’ Union

This exciting weekend will give students the opportunity to learn more about the media industry. There will be guest lecturers hosting sessions and workshops, as well as, a networking event on Saturday night for students and alumni to make connections and swap stories. The busy weekend will finish on the Sunday with a unique multi-media challenge. Buy your tickets here

Opportunity Deadlines

Telephone Fundraising Team |  Deadline: Friday 16th November

If you need some flexible part-time work and love networking with people, then this is the job for you. We are looking for enthusiastic students to work on our 2019 Telephone Fundraising Team. You will have the opportunity to network with successful alumni and have full professional fundraising training beforehand. Find out more and apply here.

Claudia Parsons Logo Design Competition |  Deadline: Friday 16th November

With the new hall, Claudia Parsons, opening very soon we are holding a competition for students to design the new hall logo. Make sure to have a read of the technical specifications and a bit of history about Claudia before you get designing. Submit and find out more details here.

Student engagement: Facilitating critical and criteria-based feedback in large cohorts to improve writing skills

November 9, 2018 Andria Iacovou

In another of our regular Teaching Innovation Award project blogs, Amanda Harrington explores a key area of student learning engagement.

Background

I am an Occupational Psychologist working in the School of Business and Economics.  Like many of you reading this, I want to find ways of engaging and motivating students in large cohorts.  In 2013, with a previous TIA, I started setting up student study groups, encouraging them to meet between lectures.  Based on positive feedback about the value of these groups, I have continued using this approach with large cohorts.

The TIA money will be used to pay student researchers to run focus groups and to help analyse those data.

Aims

  • To develop an approach to formative feedback that is time-efficient for the lecturer, and is practical within large cohorts
  • To help students with the skills required for essay-based exam papers, and in so doing ensure that their writing abilities impress potential employers both during their placements and at work. (I haven’t begun to think about how to follow up results on a longer-term basis yet!)

Objectives:

  • To develop students’ skills in critical, criteria-based self- and peer-feedback to improve essay-writing in large group teaching.
  • To establish processes of writing practice and feedback, for use within and between lectures not only to improve essay-writing skills but also knowledge of the module’s content.
  • To facilitate such positive experiences of voluntary self-directed study groups in their first semester, that students continue using this approach throughout their degree.

Context:

The project focuses on a first-year module in Organisational Behaviour, in the School of Business and Economics, attended by 300 students.  It is assessed with a 2-hour exam, where students choose two out of a choice of four essay-based questions.

The intention is for students to write essay plans and practice essays throughout the semester, to give each other feedback about their writing and to identify how to improve their own essay writing.

Progress so far:

Week One:  In the lecture, it took 5-10 minutes to have the 300 students form ‘Self-Directed Learning Groups’ of 4-6 students.  These groups sit together in the same seats every week.  All group work is done in these groups.

Students were introduced to a structure for giving feedback and advised, for the first week, to concentrate on giving each other positive feedback only.

‘Homework’ included each student to write an essay introduction and then to discuss this introduction in their Self-Directed Learning Groups.

Week Two:

We discussed what an introduction needs to cover.  I showed one possible introduction, stressing that there are many ways to write an introduction.

‘Homework’ included students writing an explanation for two theories from week 2, to share these explanations within their Self-Directed Learning Groups and to give each other feedback on these.

Week Three:

A slight disappointment, as I had hoped to receive some examples of student writing.  However, on moving around the lecture theatre and in email exchanges with some students, it is clear that a lot of groups have at least produced some written work, and discussed their writing in groups.

In the lecture, in 10 minutes, Self-Directed Learning Groups produced a one-page essay plan for one of two exam questions, about last week’s topic.  Groups were invited to volunteer their essay plans so I could give them feedback.  I gathered about 10 and worked through ALL of them, identifying at least one positive point from each plan.

 

Next week, one of my students from a previous year has agreed to present his experience of working in a Self-Directed Learning Group and how this impacted on his writing.

 

If you have read this far and want to discuss any of these ideas, do email me :

Amanda Harrington

November 2018 Task Sequence Media

November 7, 2018 Gary Hale

The new November 2018 Task Sequence media has been created and can be found in the following location: –
\\ws2.lboro.ac.uk\DesktopResource\Windows\TaskSequenceMedia\ TS_Media_Nov18.zip

Documentation – “\\ws2.lboro.ac.uk\DesktopResource\Windows\TaskSequenceMedia\Create an SCCM WinPE disk or USB Flash Drive.docx”

Existing USB media will have to be updated. PXE imaging will work as normal.

CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION AND HELP?

Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information.

Beating Stress the Library Way!

November 7, 2018 Steven Lake

As today is National Stress Awareness Day, it’s a good time to remind you of the many ways the Library can help you to keep calm and carry on.

We offer a useful range of online advice sheets, covering everything from essay writing to revision skills – and stress busting!  We stock also stock an extensive range of self-help reading among the Mood Boosting and Books on Prescription range among our Leisure Reading section up on Level 4. To say nothing of the vast array of the latest fiction, biographies and graphic novels to help take your mind off your textbooks.

And if you’re getting stressed about finding information for your coursework, don’t panic – ask your Academic Librarian! Not only are they specialists in the knowledge areas for your particular Schools, they’re also very friendly and just love being asked questions! They also run, throughout the year, a series of Get the Know How sessions about practically every aspect of academic advice – sort of like our advice sheets, only with a friendly human face 🙂

Outside the Library, the University also provides specialist help with the mental rigours of academic life courtesy of the University Counselling Service, which offers a broad range of services ranging from one-to-one meetings with their experienced staff of fully trained counsellors, to online self-help resources and workshops tackling a variety of issues and topics including homesickness and meditation.

National Stress Awareness Day raises awareness about stress, how to prevent it and how to manage it once it occurs. Further resources on beating stress can be found on their website.

(Sadly Charlie the Cat isn’t available to borrow!)

Chelsea is using Dr Varuna De Silva's AI research for smarter football coaching

Chelsea is using Dr Varuna De Silva's AI research for smarter football coaching

November 6, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Varuna De Silva, Lecturer within the Institute for Digital Technologies, discusses with The Conversation how Chelsea Football Club is using AI research for smarter football coaching.

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Thousands of employers are paying a £9 living wage! Pinch yourself, then watch carefully what happens next

November 5, 2018 Donald Hirsch

Twenty years ago next April, after a century resisting the idea, the UK Government finally brought in a compulsory minimum wage of £3.60 an hour.  That’s either £5.30 or £6.20 an hour in today’s prices (depending on which inflation index you believe).  This felt pretty low, but at least outlawed the lowest wages paid in sweatshops.

If, on the day in 1999 that the National Minimum Wage was introduced, you’d told me that campaigners two decades later would be using our research to advocate a ‘living wage’ about 50% higher than this, I’d have been pleased but not optimistic about their success.

If you’d said that over 4,000 employers ranging from the Scottish Government to IKEA would by then have committed to paying this rate, I’d have been somewhat incredulous.

But if you’d told me that a Conservative government would have taken up the idea of such a Living Wage, leading to a 26% increase in the compulsory minimum for over-25s in the space of four years, with ambitions to raise it further, I would have taken another look at the calendar, and realised it was April the 1st.

The Living Wage Foundation’s effort to ensure that workers are paid enough to afford an acceptable living standard (as calculated by our Minimum Income Standard team) has been an exemplar of campaigning success.  Impressively, since the Government tried to steal its clothes by introducing the lower and but compulsory National Living Wage (NLW) in 2016, it has only grown in reach, with ever more organisations recruited as Living Wage Employers.  It seems like official endorsement of the principle of the living wage makes employers keen to sign up to the real thing, not least because the gap between the NLW for over 25s and the real living wage outside London is not all that great.  (However, there is a wider gap with the higher London Living Wage, and for under-25 year olds, who have a lower compulsory minimum.)

And here’s why the next two or three years will be crucial.  This gap between the compulsory NLW and the real, voluntary UK Living Wage has actually been shrinking considerably in recent years, as seen in Figure 1 (the zig-zags are caused by the two levels being uprated at different times of the year).  By next April it will have halved in four years to below 80p an hour: for the first time falling below 10%.  If you only looked at this graph, you might think that within a couple of years the Living Wage Foundation’s main job will have been done, although they will still need to campaign to rectify the wider pay gap for those on the minimum in London and for under-25-year-olds.

Figure 1 – Comparison between National Minimum wage for over-25s and real Living Wage outside London, 2014-19

But the policy that has caused this convergence, the Government’s commitment to raise the NLW to 60% of median pay, will be completed in 2020.  After that point the original aim was to peg it at that 60% rate.  The risk is that even if such a commitment is kept, NLW recipients could become worse off again if living costs rise faster than median pay rates, which can happen in an economic downturn.

Yet last week saw another twist to the story, which would have seemed even more mind-boggling to my 1999 self. In considering in his Budget what would come next, the Chancellor expressed the ambition of moving the NLW from 60% to two-thirds of the median wage (the threshold of ‘low pay’ as conventionally measured) in due course.  This further ambition would not only fix a compulsory ‘pay floor’ higher than for almost any other country, but by adding nearly £1 more to its level would under present conditions move it slightly above the real, voluntary rate.

But unlike the plans for its first five years after George Osborne announced the NLW in 2015, this is an ambition rather than a political pledge. By undertaking to consult the Low Pay Commission, which looks closely at the economic effects of increases in the compulsory minimum, Phillip Hammond is once again changing the rules of the game.  This is sensible: you can’t go on legislating higher pay forever without regard for whether employers are willing and able to create jobs that pay it.  Now is a good time to tread cautiously, testing whether convergence between minimum pay rates and minimum worker needs is feasible without creating an unacceptable rise in unemployment.  This is likely to mean more gradual increases in real minimum pay rates than have been seen in the past three years.  But the fact that this is being done under an officially-endorsed project to end low pay is an extraordinary development. And the voluntary campaign to adopt a living wage will continue to play a crucial role in holding government and employers to this ambition.

To understand more about the living wage, read The Living Wage  by Donald Hirsch and Laura Valadez 

“An admirable introduction to the Living Wage…highly readable, incisive analysis…this is the book to have.” Journal for Social Policy

ADIM Conference 2019

ADIM Conference 2019

November 5, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Loughborough University London is hosting the Academy for Design Innovation Management (ADIM) International Research Conference next summer 2019 (19-21 June 2019). This is being organised by Dr Erik Bohemia in collaboration with ADIM’s international partners, such as Hong Kong Polytechnic, OSLO Metropolitan University and Middle East Technical University.

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This Week at Loughborough |  5th November 2018

This Week at Loughborough | 5th November 2018

November 2, 2018 Sammie Man

Tuesday 6th/Thursday 8th November 2018

Poppy Appeal Rag Raid |  London

There are two opportunities to get involved with a Poppy Appeal Rag Raid this week. On Monday or Wednesday night, you will head down to London to spend Tuesday or Thursday raising money for The Great British Legion. Ask your Rag Rep for more details or you can sign up here.

Wednesday 7th November 2018

Postgraduate Open Evening | 4pm-7pm |  James France

If you’re interested in studying a masters degree or a PhD make sure to attend this Postgraduate Open Evening. Throughout the evening you will have the opportunity to learn about the different options that both our campuses have to offer, as well as the chance to hear from current students. There will be representatives from academic departments and admissions ready to give you advice and chat about your options. Book your place here.

SCB & Association Ltd Presentation |  2pm-3:30pm |  CC111 James France

On campus will be SCB & Association Ltd, who are a commodity brokerage firm that specialise in biofuels, energy and agricultural markets. They will be here to tell you more about their company and what opportunities they have to offer for students and graduates. Book your place on the Careers Online website.

Wednesday 7th – Saturday 10th November 2018

Loughborough Town Fair |  Various times |  Town Centre

The annual Loughborough Fair is back this week. Running from Wednesday to Saturday, Loughborough town centre will be filled with various rides, catering stalls, and some surprise attractions. Make sure to take some time to relax and head down to this great event. More info can be found here.

Thursday 8th November 2018

Christmas Shopping Event | 6:30pm-10pm |  EHB

It’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping. This week you’ll have the opportunity to get one step ahead because there will be 25 stalls of local businesses selling fabulous gifts and decorations to help you be prepared for December.

Featured Event

Friday 9th November 2018
Remembrance Day Service |  10:45am |  The Garden of Remembrance

This Friday, Loughborough University will be holding a Remembrance Day Service where prayers will be said for all those who have died in conflict, and for those who are remembered in the Garden. Refreshments will be served in the Centre for Faith and Spirituality afterward.

Sunday 11th November 2018

Remembrance Parade and Events |  All day |  Loughborough Town

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, Charnwood Borough Council has organised numerous events to take place in Loughborough town centre. Ranging from a parade to a tea dance, there will be so many great ways to get involved. You can find the full list of events here.

Opportunity Deadlines

Claudia Parsons Logo Design Contest |  Deadline: 16th November 2018

To celebrate the opening of the new hall, Claudia Parsons, we are holding a competition to design the new logo. It is open to all students, but the deadline is the 16th November so make sure to get them in quick. More details can be found here.

Telephone Fundraising Team Applications |  Deadline: 16th November 2018

Another great opportunity to get involved with the university is to join the Telephone Fundraising Team. We are currently recruiting enthusiastic students to connect and network with successful alumni. It’s a great opportunity and a chance to build your CV, you can apply here.

Doctoral Researcher President Team's Post (October 2018)

Doctoral Researcher President Team's Post (October 2018)

November 2, 2018 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Leah Henrickson

This is the first of what will hopefully be monthly blog posts detailing the activities of the DR President’s Team (President: Leah Henrickson; Vice-President: Hugh Tawell).

Note: This post refers to PhD/EngD Students as Doctoral Researchers (DR) and Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). This is because the University uses the former language, and the Union uses the latter. Hopefully everyone will eventually just agree on one title, but we’re not there yet.

The academic year is now in full swing, and this year’s DR/PGR President’s Team has now been officially in post for one full month. And it’s been a busy month, full of meetings and event planning. Vice President Hugh welcomed the new cohort of DRs at the Doctoral College Induction, and President Leah has been trying to get the President’s Team’s Twitter account back up and running. The Team has also been trying to engage DRs via the ‘Doctoral Researchers of Loughborough University’ and the ‘Loughborough Students’ Union London 2018-2019’ Facebook pages.

While trying their best to keep DRs up-to-date using social media, this post offers a more detailed rundown of Leah and Hugh’s recent activity.


First, let’s start with the fun/sociable stuff. With the help of Kamal, the LSU Postgrad EO, we’ve organised the following events:

Wallace and Gromit Postgraduate Film Night (6th November 2018, 6PM)

Are you itching for A Grand Day Out, but you’re wearing The Wrong Trousers? Did you give yourself such A Close Shave this morning that your skin feels like a Matter of Loaf and Death?…It’s time for some Wallace and Gromit!

All Loughborough DRs and PGTs are welcome to join us for a FREE screening of the first season of Wallace and Gromit (four 30-minute episodes) at 6PM on 6th November in the Graduate House training room. THERE WILL BE FREE PIZZA. While there will also be snacks and soft drinks available, do feel free to bring your own so we don’t run out. Please note that this is a SOBER event – no alcohol will be provided, and we ask that you leave your booze at home. Hosted by the President’s Team, LSU Postgraduate EO, and PhD Social & Support Network. Click here for the Facebook event.

PGR Rep Professional Photoshoot (14th November 2018)

PGR Reps get the chance to have professional headshots taken. These photos will be posted in every school to ensure that it’s clear who the Reps are. These photos can also be used for LinkedIn profiles, Facebook profile pictures, whatever. It’s one of the perks of being a Rep.

Postgraduate Union Night Out (24th November 2018, 10PM – 4AM)

Want to check out what the Union is like as a nightclub, but intimidated by all the undergrads? Just want to let your hair down and party with other postgrads? We’ve booked out Fusion (the upstairs room at the Union) on Saturday, 24th November from 10PM for DRs, PGTS, and their guests. It’s free entry, drinks will be cheap, and the room will be filled with cool people. Join us for what will hopefully be the first of a few postgraduate-specific Union nights out. Bring your friends!


Now, for the admin/process/operational stuff. The meetings we attended included:

Student Voice 

In this meeting, we were introduced to the LSU’s Student Voice, which provides students with advice, peer support, and representation related to their academic programmes. This includes helping recruit for and manage the PGR Rep scheme. We discussed PGR Rep elections (which are run by each school), Lead PGR Rep elections (which are run online by Student Voice), and Rep training (14th November 2018). We also began what will hopefully be a prolonged discussion about the situation at Loughborough in London. London has for a short period faced a reduction in staffing, but Voice is working hard to ensure that London students have access to the advice and representation they need despite these challenges.

LSU

In this meeting, we met the Union’s new Director, who gave us a rundown of the massive structural changes the Union is currently undergoing. Kamal, the LSU Postgrad EO, joined us for this one. The LSU still hasn’t conclusively determined what new structure it would like for the 2019-2020 academic year, but it’s a structure that won’t include the Postgrad EO role. We’re currently trying to figure out how we can ensure that postgrads (DRs and PGTs) will be represented by the Union without this role.

Doctoral College

In this meeting, we met with Duncan from the Doctoral College to discuss how we can involve DRs in the planning and running of the annual Research Conference and Summer Showcase. The Doctoral College would welcome help from DRs with things like conference bag stuffing, setup for the days, social media takeovers, etc., so stay tuned for these opportunities. We also agreed the Doctoral College would create an opportunity for researchers to present their research in forms other than posters (e.g. art pieces, displays of models, etc.) at the Summer Showcase next year. We’re hoping the chance for DRs to present their work in other ways will increase engagement, particularly from those who may find it difficult to convey their work via posters, or who just want to try out different methods of dissemination.

Doctoral College Sub-Committee

In this meeting, we were introduced to each school’s Director of Doctoral Programmes (DDPs). The DDPs, representatives from the Doctoral College, and representatives from various Professional Services all talked about issues related to the DR experience, from recruitment to experience. We learned a lot during this meeting, and are looking forward to working with those from across the institution who have vested interests in enhancing the experiences of DRs.

Well, that’s all, folks! We’re looking forward to getting to know you at the Wallace and Gromit film night (6 November) and the Postgraduate Union Night Out (24th November).

Leah and Hugh.

The horrors lurking in our “natural” foods

The horrors lurking in our “natural” foods

November 1, 2018 PR Office

We live in an age where we’re all hyper-aware of what we should and shouldn’t eat, what’s good for us and what’s not, but when it comes down to it, do you actually know what’s in your ‘natural foods’? 

Dr Mhairi Morris, a Lecturer in Biochemistry at Loughborough University, found her research into diet and cancer led her to discover some of the weird and not-so-wonderful things that go into our tasty treats. 

Here she reveals her favourite findings. Beware, you may never be able to enjoy raspberry ice cream again. 

As a cancer researcher, something I’m always being asked about is diet and cancer. In researching a recent post that I wrote covering the evidence on diet and cancer risk, I read an excellent book called Radical Remission by Kelly Turner.

The author outlines nine key factors common to patients who undergo radical remission, which she defines as statistically unexpected survival against all odds.

However, in reading this book I also discovered a rather disturbing fact…

Did you know that ‘natural’ raspberry flavouring is derived from the secretions of a beaver’s anal glands?! This flavouring is called castoreum and is often used to flavour ice cream, jam and sweets.

Since discovering this surprising little fact, I have paid much closer attention to the labelling on my food shopping!

This led me down a bit of a research rabbit hole looking into all the different things that supposedly ‘natural’ foods actually contain. In a world that seems increasingly obsessed with eating clean and consuming food as close to nature intended, there is a burgeoning market for ‘natural’ food products in the health food industry.

But just how natural are your ‘natural’ foods?

The vast majority of consumers believe that a food product labelled with the term ‘natural’ doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients. However, just because a product says natural, doesn’t necessarily mean ‘as nature intended’.

In the UK, consumer food is regulated by the Food Standards Agency, which restricts the use of the term ‘natural’ to foods that have: “ingredients produced by nature, not the work of man or interfered with by man”, but ‘natural’ additives, colourings and flavourings are a whole different ball game and are governed by separate laws.

What constitutes a ‘natural’ product may surprise you!

‘All natural’ foods

Let’s start with the genuinely natural foods and the disturbing truths behind their ingredients.

Honey is an all-natural product, right? Well, not necessarily. Pure honey should contain only honey derived from the beehive, but is often tainted with a long list of additives, including sugar syrup, corn syrup, fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, beet sugar and ‘honey from a non-authentic geographic origin’. Some honey is even laced with illegal Chinese antibiotics and heavy metals – yikes!

Olive oil is another food product that you would be forgiven for thinking contains purely the oil from cold-pressed olives, but is often supplemented with other oils, presumably to bring down the cost of manufacturing.

Even extra virgin olive oil has been found to contain hazelnut oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, palm oil and walnut oil – a worrying array of hidden ingredients that has potentially serious implications for nut allergy sufferers.

‘Natural’ additives

Often, we’ll see food packaging proudly claiming that its contents contain ‘no artificial additives’, which perhaps fools the consumer into thinking it’s somehow healthier, but in fact some of the ‘natural’ additives used are quite disgusting.

For example, ‘all natural’ vegetable crisps often contain xanthan gum to give them a “fatty mouth feel” (mmmmm, delicious!).

This xanthan gum is made from a ‘slime’ – yes, it is actually called slime – which is secreted by a particular strain of bacteria, and is essentially the same black slime that covers those vegetables you forgot about at the back of your fridge. Delightful.

Are you a fan of jelly beans, or other hard-coated sweeties? They often use shellac to give them a shiny coating, which you may see listed as ‘confectioner’s glaze’ on the packaging.

Strictly speaking, shellac is natural – it’s derived from the secretions of the female Kerria Lacca, an insect native to Thailand. Vegans, beware!

‘Natural’ colourings

If you see a food that is dyed using ‘natural’ red food colouring, or you see cochineal on the list of ingredients, you may be interested to know that this is derived from the female cochineal bug.

Crushed insects aren’t usually top of my shopping list, that’s for sure, and once again something vegans need to look out for.

Another ‘natural’ food colouring used to dye food and drinks shades of yellow is tartrazine, which is derived from coal tar.

Whilst I can see how this might be thought of as ‘natural’, again, coal is not something I’d choose to eat!

This food colouring has also been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children because it literally wastes the good nutrients in their diet.

For example, it binds to zinc, which is then rapidly excreted in the urine preventing it from being used in the body’s metabolic pathways.

‘Natural’ flavours

Some milks contain ‘fake milk’. Yep! Fake milk is used to enhance the milky flavour! This fake milk actually comprises oil, urea, detergent (!), caustic soda (!!), sugar, salt and skim milk powder.

The bottom line

So, there you have it – an evidence-based run down of what really goes into some supposedly ‘natural’ food products. The key take-home message is that fresh is best. Unless YOU were the one involved in processing the food, even if you read the labels closely, you really can’t know for sure exactly what you’re eating.

If you want to eat natural, then growing your own fruit and veg is by far your best bet.

More blog posts by Dr Mhairi Morris can be found here.

Happy Healthy Halloween!

Happy Healthy Halloween!

October 31, 2018 Ondine Barry

Ever-desperate retailers are getting in on the seasonal bandwagon by promoting Halloween festivities, which could mean spending your hard-earned money on potentially unhealthy and expensive cakes, snacks and sweets.

Venture tentatively into the local supermarket on a dark autumnal night and you could be faced by your ultimate fear – scarily unhealthy food at exorbitant prices! However, savvy shoppers can enjoy a happy Halloween.

We all want a party and Halloween is a great excuse – but how can we make sure it’s healthy and economical?

Trick or Treat!

The expert nutritionist’s guidance on the big 6

Almost all foods come with a health breakdown by nutrition – these are called macro nutrients – the big 4 are carbohydrates (carbs), protein, fat and salt, but due to recent research two important sub-divisions of carbs and fat are also provided, these are sugar and saturated fat.

So these comprise the big 6 macro-nutrients health experts argue you should be very concerned with on your shopping expedition. So much so that the NHS even provides a web page detailing the reference intake (RI) values. Essentially, these guide you to the right amount you should eat of each based upon the daily intake of a female consuming 2000 calories.

All food can be both health and unhealthy – it depends on the amount you eat!

Most people ask me – is this health or is that healthy? But all foods are healthy and unhealthy. Most consumers pay little attention to the nutritional information, and even if they do read it – the information – even the traffic light warnings, do not mean much because you cannot see how it easily relates to health.

A single test for a perfect food

In what follows I will use a single value to determine the healthiness of a food based upon the distance 2000 calories of the food is from the six RI values.

The RI values help determine a ‘Goldilocks zone’ in terms of nutrition.  Too little of these can cause severe problems, whilst too much can cause severe health problems, but getting it just right – a balance of all 6 nutrients – keeps you healthy (subject to a lot of factors including getting all the other nutrients such as calcium, iron, etc – but that is another story!).

There are a couple of problems using this distance measure – first I have to assume that each nutrient has equal value to health, and the distance (above or below the RI)  also has an equal value to health. So for example having no salt is the same as having double the RI value. This method also assumes have more than double the RI value is much worse than not having any salt for instance.

Examples

It will help to give a few examples (e.g., if I was to only eat lard), then clearly this fat-based food would not supply much nutrient apart from fat and saturated fat. Indeed that is all you get, trace salt and no carbs or protein. Doing the calculations gives the health index a score of nearly 50 (almost the same value as granulated sugar). We know a perfect score would be zero but looking at a real food (Complan, a meal substitute), this will give me a very good score of 9.

Indeed one popular baby food scores 11. So a value between zero to 15 seems sensible to aim for. But anything close to 50 is not healthy at all. By healthy we mean will it deliver the right amount and balance of macro-nutrients if we eat 2000 calories of it.

We should not forget the economics of eating – it turns out that you can buy 2000 calories of lard or sugar for exactly the same price – about 35p, whilst for the same number of calories Complan costs about £4.50 and the baby food over £11!

The question is can we buy cheap healthy food for our Halloween party?

Food comparisons are shocking!

Looking at the table below I have picked out a few basic food-stuffs and well-known processed foods which might be used regularly and as snacks/treats for Halloween. They are ranked by the 2000kcal healthiness index and also I’ve listed the cost of eating 2000kcals.

Now this table is both shocking, revelatory and probably controversial because many foodstuffs such as kale (32) and avocado (27), which we take as given as healthy products, do very badly. This may be because they do not contain macro-nutrients such as salt or sugar or they may have too much carbs. Though great in a mixed diet, you could not really live on them without some health problem, for example a diet purely of avocados would yield too much fat.

Should we feed our kids savoury snacks versus sweets or healthier fruit? Well the index comes down firmly on savoury snacks. This is likely because sweets and fruits are one-hit-wonders, just sugar (which is a carb), so carb-based foods like crisps which contain little or no sugar seem healthier. Fruits and smoothies typically contain just sugar as their main macro-nutrient, so they perform very badly even though they may have useful vitamins.

Weirdly, apples (44) are worse than chocolate (30) because chocolate – although sugary – also provides you with protein. The balance of macro-nutrients really matters here – that is why semi-skimmed milk (25) is better than whole milk (30), which is in turn better than skimmed milk(37). You would be better off drinking Alpro Soya (22).  Although the Alpro would cost £7.18 to live on, while the milk £1.93!

Surely salads are healthy? To some extent one mixed salad (23) is better than milk, but at a cost of £85.71 would not be worth paying, as for £1.26 you could just eat bread and get a health score of 12!

Should I eat vegan?

For your Halloween meal would beans or pizza or burgers be any good? One of the best foods is actually a vegan pizza (10), a very good score, although 2000 kcals could set you back just over £6. Falafels (11) might be better costing just £5.60 as well as just good bread (12) costing £1.26. The only meat-based food which appears in the healthy part of the spectrum is a simple bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich(12), but 2000 kcals would set you back over £12.

So yes, vegan foods do seem cheap and healthy, though many meat dishes have health indices below 20: Annabel Karmel Beef Cottage Pie (15), Weight Watchers Chicken Tikka Masala ((16), Birds eye chicken nuggets (17), Beans with Pork sausages (19).

But some vegan foods are dramatically bad. Fruit is the one-hit-wonder with far too much sugar, typically scoring 40 or higher. Even berry fruits such as blueberries score 29 with a cost of £35. Mixed veg do slightly better at 17 on the index for £3.77, but chickpeas cost £3.77, though with a high index at 23. In this latter case you would be better off with a Pork Farms medium pork pie (22) costing £3.16.

Contrived?

The index is simply what it is – a distance valuation of the macro-nutrition values for 200 kcals of each food from the reference intake provided by health experts.

You should never just eat one food in a whole day, Pandas and Cows do it (more or less) but we are omnivorous in fact we are Granivores, as our diet would normally contain high values of seed and grains – this is likely why the index tends to favour savoury snacks over sweet snacks.

Indeed if we did eat like pandas – bamboo shoots would be a score of 41 and cost us £141 to live on a day. Unhealthy and far too expensive. So eat simply, vary your diet and become a Halloween Vegan! That should scare a few people!

This Blog post was written by Dr Jonathan Seaton, Reader in Business Economics. Jon can be reached on J.S.Seaton@lboro.ac.uk.

 

Loughborough University London Open Evening

Loughborough University London Open Evening

October 31, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Join us from 5-7pm on Thursday 15th November to find out about our postgraduate taught, research and enterprise opportunities. Continue reading

Dr Seaton investigates the health economics of Halloween monsters' diets

October 30, 2018 Ondine Barry

Sweets and chocolate usually get a bad press – but compared to the diets of some of horror’s most recognisable creatures, which involve eating brains, blood and entrails – feasting on six Freddos suddenly becomes less problematic.

 

But which Halloween monster has the best, or worst, eating habit?

The Creature

Especially for tomorrow, SBE economist Dr Jon Seaton has used a standardised health index – taking into account fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and salt – to compare their devilish diets.

 

MOST horror creatures live on just one thing – humans, writes Dr Seaton.

Vampires drink our blood and zombies eat offal – for ease of access – though some films portray a bit of brain-eating too. Werewolves bite and eat our flesh, though thankfully they will often eat sheep and lambs instead. And there are a whole host of other monsters and ghouls who are partial to a bit of hominid.

But in an age where so much emphasis is placed on health and wellbeing, which classic ghoulish creatures would benefit from a Jamie Oliver-style intervention.

Here is a short assessment of all their diets, which have been ranked using a simple health index – although their actual foodstuffs have had to be substituted for everyday sustenance – such as lard instead of brains – to be able to use the health scale.

Some monsters don’t bother eating our remains after killing us, for example, Frankenstein’s monster ate stew given to him by an unsighted man in the film The Bride of Frankenstein.

And, mummies do not seem to eat anything – just wander around in bandages – so let’s assume they would eat something from their past life, like a garlic-infused flatbread (both were staples in ancient Egypt).

 

So, for the classic monsters – vampires, zombies, werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster and the mummy – we will assume they would only eat in today’s world, respectively: black pudding, haggis, lamb neck, big chunky soup (for a big guy) and garlic flatbreads.

 

Are these sensible and economical diets? Well, according to the health index, where close to zero is best, most healthy is the mummy’s diet – scoring 10.5.

 

Two of the meat-eaters, the werewolf and Dracula, both score poorly, over 35 – in the main because they do not get enough carbs and sugars, and far too much protein.

 

The zombie’s closest legal non-human offal-based food is haggis – containing heart, lung, liver and barley – which scores very well relative to the others with 23.1.

 

Interestingly, the veg and bean soup selected for Frankenstein’s monster scores well for protein and carbs, but is too high for salt and too low for sugar, fat and saturated fat.

 

In conclusion, for the classic five monsters, eating only garlic flatbread is the healthiest choice because humans have a very strong reliance on a grain/seed-based diet and it contains well-balanced levels of carbs, protein, fat, salt and saturated fat.  But a more balanced diet is clearly optimal.

 

Perhaps one monster – which could actually exist and has many sightings – is the Yeti or Abominable Snowman, or his American cousin the Bigfoot or Sasquatch. These have been observed according to some websites as having an omnivorous diet much like our own.

 

As Yetis live in the Himalayan region of Nepal, bordering both India and the Tibetan region of China – the closest food type in our supermarkets could be a frozen chicken chow mein, which blends meat with vegetables. A diet of just this ready meal alone scores nearly 25 and is of average healthiness score relative to all the other monsters diets studied.

 

Checking out other creatures with a meat- or fish-based diet yields similar results.

 

Cannibalistic creatures or ghouls, who eat human flesh – or in this case a pork shoulder substitute – yield unhealthy high values for our index, as does the fish diet for King Kong (remember the giant octopus/squid he ate) and the Creature from the Black Lagoon (who presumably eats fish) – as a salmon diet also contains too much protein and little else.

 

 

Another amphibian portrayed in the recent film The Shape of Water was fed a diet of eggs – which gets it into the top 10 of healthier diets.

 

Perhaps a sweet diet or fruit diet is a good thing?

 

Seriously sweet-toothed giant ants (from the film Them!) are attracted to sugar – this diet for a human would obviously be terrible. Although you would obtain cheap calories, there’s no protein, fat or salt, and too many sugars.

 

How about fruit?

 

Many monster films include apes – Planet of the Apes and King Kong  – which we commonly associate with a high fruit diet, though this is not altogether true.

 

A pure diet of bananas is extremely high in sugars and carbs, but little else of essential macronutrients… hence a Planet of the Apes diet of just bananas is quite frankly ‘bananas’, narrowly missing a score of 40.

 

Specialising in a one nutrient approach, like the giant ants, is something we also see in the brain bug from Starship Troopers. This is a creature which feeds off human brains – and as brain is mainly fat, let’s assume that a lard diet would suffice.

 

Not only is this disgusting, it’s obviously very unhealthy as you over consume fat and get very little nutrition elsewhere, so it gets a score of 50 – very similar to the sugar-only diet.

 

So, there it is… a Halloween assessment of horror’s most horrendous diets, which sees the Mummy, with its flatbread feast, come out on top as the number most healthy monster.

 

Enjoy your Freddos.

 

This Blog post was written by Dr Jonathan Seaton, Reader in Business Economics. Jon can be reached on J.S.Seaton@lboro.ac.uk.

 

 

Halloween’s 13 healthiest monsters

Halloween’s 13 healthiest monsters

October 29, 2018 Peter Warzynski

Sweets and chocolate usually get a bad press – but compared to the diets of some of horror’s most recognisable creatures, which involve eating brains, blood and entrails – feasting on six Freddos suddenly becomes less problematic.

But which Halloween monster has the best, or worst, eating habit?

Especially for Halloween, Loughborough University economist Dr Jon Seaton has used a standardised health index – taking into account fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and salt – to compare their devilish diets.

Continue reading

LBA001: Academic Writing Workshops

October 29, 2018 Matthew Cunningham

Using academic language appropriately and correctly can make a tremendous difference to the quality of your work, but it doesn’t always come naturally.

The Academic Language Support Service offers a range of support in academic writing and study skills specifically aimed at and designed for native or near-native English speaking students.

Students can sign up on Learn module LBA001 for courses on

Coherence in writing 1 Wavy Top WAV0.41 30th October 5PM – 6.30PM

Punctuation and proofreading Wavy Top WAV0.41 1st November 5PM – 6.30PM

Coherence in writing 2 Bridgeman Building BRI 2.08 6th November 5PM – 6.30PM

Paraphrasing and summarising Wavy Top WAV0.41 8th November 5PM – 6.30PM

IT Services Start of Term Survey - Help Them to Help You!

October 26, 2018 Steven Lake

Fancy £30 to spend on Amazon for just a few minutes of your time – and help fellow and future students into the bargain?

IT Services are running a Start of Term Survey 2018, and it’s a golden opportunity for you to give them feedback on your experience here at Loughborough University and to ultimately help them improve their services.

The survey will take a few minutes to complete. And! For a chance to win a £30 Amazon Gift Card simply enter your student ID and follow IT Services on Twitter via @LboroITServices (assuming you haven’t already!)

To complete the survey visit the link below:

https://lboro.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/start-of-term-survey-2018

Take Something Horrible Home This Halloween!

October 26, 2018 Steven Lake

Trick or treating not your thing? Then why not experience the spooky season from the comfort of your armchair by taking a dip into our very own Twilight Zone of horror & the supernatural here in the Library… if you dare!

We have an ever-expanding stock of horror novels among our Leisure Reading collection upstairs on Level 4, including Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks, as well as graphic novels such as Alan Moore’s From Hell and the first book in the ever-popular Walking Dead series, as well as a wide selection of more classic spine-chillers downstairs in our literature section on Level 2 including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and a wide range of classic supernatural tales by M.R. James, H.P. Lovecraft and Algernon Blackwood.

If your taste for the macabre is more visual than textual, then we have a comprehensive selection of books exploring every aspect of the horror genre on the big (and small) screen among our cinema & television collection down in the 791 section on Level 2, ranging from Alfred Hitchcock to Hannibal Lecter and Dr Jekyll to Dr Who.

Don’t forget that you can also explore the cobwebbed vaults of the British Film Institute and Box of Broadcasts (BoB) online if you’re looking for something creepy to watch… just don’t watch it alone!

Trends in fitness

Trends in fitness

October 25, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Ksenija Kuzmina (Institute for Design Innovation) and Dr Holly Collison (Institute for Sport Business) have worked with Sport England and the Loughborough University student community to identify areas where the sport industry could to encourage women to be more physically active and engaged in sport.

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Update to Windows 10 Staff Task Sequences on 26/10/18

October 24, 2018 Mike Collett

The Windows 10 Staff Task Sequences will be updated on Friday 26th October. The Task Sequences will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time or perform and In Place Updates from Windows 7.

The following changes will made:

Imaging and In-Place Update Task Sequences

  • Updating Intel HD4600 display driver which has been causing issues.

Imaging Task Sequences

  • Updating Symantec Endpoint Protection to version 14.2 MP1.

TIMESCALE

26/10/18– 07:00am-10:00 am

CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION AND HELP?

Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information

Time-travelling to the civil rights era

Time-travelling to the civil rights era

October 23, 2018 PR Office

Dr Andrew Dix is a Lecturer in American Studies, whose areas of interest include African American culture, twentieth and twenty-first century US fiction, the literature and cinema of US sport, film adaptation, Hollywood stardom, and cinema and globalisation.

Here he examines the powerful episode of Doctor Who that centred on Rosa Parks, an activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Continue reading

Life after Loughborough - the master's question

Life after Loughborough - the master's question

October 22, 2018 anastasia

Studying for a master’s degree might not be for you. You may be itching to go into the real world and truly ‘make a difference’. Or maybe to start saving for a house. Perhaps even to take a year off to start your professional Instagram career while traveling around Laos.

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Taking my research to the other side of the world...

Taking my research to the other side of the world...

October 22, 2018 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Stephanie Rankin-Turner (School of Science)

This summer I had the privilege to take my research to the other side of the world as part of the UK cohort in the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) summer research programme.

JSPS is a funding institution which aims to facilitate international research collaboration between Japan and the rest of the world via a range of fellowship programmes. These programmes are pretty wide-ranging, targeting everyone from Masters’ students to Nobel Laureates. Last year I stumbled upon the JSPS Summer Programme, a scheme enabling postgraduate researchers to spend two months working at a Japanese research institution of their choosing. Needless to say, I did not waste any time in jumping on this unique opportunity.

With the support of my supervisor, I got in touch with Professor Kenzo Hiraoka, my hopefully-soon-to-be collaborator proposing I join his research group for the summer. As a PhD researcher just starting out in my career, and having had no previous contact with this research group, I was a little wary about making such an out-of-the-blue proposition. But thankfully he was more than happy to welcome me onto his team! Following a brief discussion about my research and a proposed plan for the summer, we put together an application. After a few long months of waiting, I received that long-anticipated email informing me I had been selected!

The next couple of months flew by and, following a brief induction day at JSPS headquarters in London, I was soon flying to Tokyo to begin my summer of research. The program started with an orientation at a beautifully secluded university in Hayama where, along with other research fellows from around the world, I would stay for a week. The induction to life in Japan from JSPS was brilliant, introducing us to everything from the language and cultural norms to calligraphy, music and origami. Any fears about embarking on this journey were rapidly eliminated and I couldn’t wait to move to my host university and start my research.

For the rest of the summer I lived in a mountainous city called Kofu, based in Yamanashi prefecture (renowned for Mount Fuji, delicious fruit and outstanding wine). Life working at the University of Yamanashi was vastly different from my workplace in the UK (it certainly took me a while to get used to wearing special slippers in the lab!), but I quickly felt at ease thanks to the support of my new colleagues. I was constantly amazed by the generosity of the people I worked with. Much of my time was spent in the lab working directly with two Professors who, despite both being obviously incredibly busy, did not hesitate to dedicate a great deal of time to my project. They trained me in new techniques, shared their knowledge and stories of academia, and generally went out of their way to ensure my time in their lab was fruitful and enjoyable. Outside of the lab, I had the chance to immerse myself in Japanese culture, travel around the country at weekends, climb Mount Fuji, and make some incredible friends. The Japanese people are the most welcoming and generous people I have ever met, from my colleagues in the lab to strangers on the street.

My time spent in Japan has been one of the highlights of my career to date. The chance to work with incredible researchers on the other side of the world and sample life in a country so very different from my own was invaluable and an experience I will never forget. As a researcher, experiencing working life in another lab and another country can give you a completely different perspective on your work, not to mention a unique networking opportunity. The generous fellowships on offer from JSPS can enable you to achieve this, and I would strongly recommend the programme to anyone!

Interested in Applying?

In the autumn of each year the British Council opens applications to UK PhD and MPhil science students to take part in the fully-funded summer research programme. Application to the 2019 summer programme will open later this year, so if you’re interested in seizing this incredible opportunity, keep an eye on the British Council website.

Renowned national and international organisations join the Collaborative Project

Renowned national and international organisations join the Collaborative Project

October 18, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Loughborough University London is to collaborate with more than 30 respected national and international organisations for a project that challenges students to solve real business problems.

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Using  Data to Activate Learning

Using Data to Activate Learning

October 17, 2018 Ash Casey

Guest Post By by Matt Magowan

We’ve all been here. An activity is set up 3 vs 2 with an emphasis on students defending space. You have set up a conditioned game, thought about the playing area, adapted the rules and scoring system. It’s going to be awesome. Until it’s not. Observing a group, you notice they apparently aren’t ‘on board’ with how awesome your lesson is meant to be. They can’t figure out how to do it. Without just being a ‘sage on the stage’ I wonder…how do I give clear feedback? How do I intervene and ensure that I scaffold learning, as opposed to just imparting my knowledge on the students?

Whilst student centred approaches such as TGfU, Cooperative Learning, and Sport Ed (to name a few) have been advocated to help ensure that learning takes place across the four learning domains in PE, the role of the teacher isn’t really clear. Many easily available resources with practical activities to help deliver these approaches exist, but again, less clear is the role of the teacher. Truly student centred approaches, are environments where teachers are responsive to students’ needs, yet it is this area that I have found most challenging. What happens when I have to intervene to activate learning? How can I ensure I scaffold learning appropriately?

Then one day I came across the Holy Grail. Goodyear and Dudley (2015) propose a clinical approach, diagnose → respond → evaluate,  to collect and use data to ensure that teachers are having an optimal impact on student learning. In the time crunch teaching world, this model has proven to be super easy to wrap my head around and implement.

 

If we recognise that the learning process is more than just regurgitating what the teacher has said, this model for teacher action provides a framework for teachers to reflect on our interactions with students and to assess student learning. Most importantly, we can empower learners to assess where they are on an individualized learning journey, become their own and their peers teachers, provide spaces for students to share their learning and support them to be resilient, collaborate and find help when needed.

As I reflect on my own teaching practice, I find myself constantly thinking was my initial activity pertinent to the learning goals, with a clear space for feedback? Did my game/activity adaptation scaffold learning appropriately? Did my questioning pose the right challenge to student understanding or did it lead the learning too much? Whilst a simple flow chart can look just that, simple. In practise it is very different, and it takes us as practitioners to be constantly reflecting on the data that we collect from active interactions with students and to be thinking about the learning environments that we create.

References

Goodyear, V & Dudley, D 2015, ‘“I’m a Facilitator of Learning!” Understanding What Teachers and Students Do Within Student-Centered Physical Education Models’ Quest, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 274-289.

Life outside the Loughborough bubble!

Life outside the Loughborough bubble!

October 16, 2018 Jameel Shariff

It’s my second last blog for Loughborough University and I’m writing all way from Australia! YES, I’m back in Sydney!

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Making the most of the summer holidays

Making the most of the summer holidays

October 16, 2018 alice

In this blog post I’ll be talking about what I did over the summer holidays. Sun, sea, sand and ice-cream- what more could you want! Not only did I get up to lots but I also had lots of amazing opportunities which hopefully will inspire you or give you a few ideas of some of the things that you could try out in the holidays. Continue reading

Is this the moment to call time on Universal Credit, a decade on?

October 16, 2018 Donald Hirsch

The past week’s whirlwind of critique of Universal Credit is quite overwhelming because it brings together so many different kinds of problem, each with a large impact on the lives of low income families. Some are to do with delays people have already experienced by new claimants and the huge suffering that will cause if existing claimants are ‘migrated’ onto UC by being forced to reapply for benefits. Some is to do with the large number of significant losers being created by UC entitlements – contrary to the original design which was claimed to create mainly winners. And a lot is to do with the world waking up to the impact of severe cuts affecting benefits, tax credits and UC, such as the failure to uprate them with inflation and the two-child limit.

Out of this depressing list, the toughest question now emerging is whether there is a case for abandoning Universal Credit entirely. There are two main arguments against this. The first is that it would just cause further chaos. The second that it is still possible to achieve the original advantages of UC, if only it were implemented in a different way.

The first argument, that you’re too far down the road to reverse this policy now, becomes weaker as the road itself seems to extend ever further into the distance. It’s just emerged that a full ‘migration’ of existing claimants onto UC will now start in ‘November 2020 at the earliest’. That’s ten years to the month since the policy was announced in a white paper. It’s all very fine the government making a virtue of a ‘cautious’ schedule for implementation, but its constant revision of this schedule raises the obvious question of whether there’ll ever be a time when people can be moved onto this benefit without severe risks, while in the meantime thousands of new claimants are already feeling battered by the system. And the coherent case made last week by the Resolution Foundation’s Torsten Bell that any incoming Labour Government will inherit a system with millions on UC is starting to look much less clear-cut, whenever you think the next election will occur.

So the case for a ‘pause and review’ for UC, with all options on the table, becomes stronger by the day. Such a review would need to look at the second and even bigger issue of whether major changes to UC could still produce its claimed advantages, including a more seamless and responsive system for claiming working-age benefits, which would encourage greater take-up and improve work incentives. Some say that the very fundamentals of UC, with its monthly payments and online, real-time system for adjusting them, were always flawed. But would it really be impossible to adapt such a system to make it supportive rather than hostile to the claimant? When Gordon Brown’s tax credits created a serious problem of having to repay overpayments incurred after people’s earnings changed, he responded by making it much more supportive to people in such situations, disregarding the first £25,000 of increase in earnings from one year to the next. Among improvements to UC, one might envisage ‘run-on’ periods under which reassessments that caused reductions were not implemented instantly, but only after a period that ensured people were not left short. Similarly, emergency payments when people first apply could be far better designed to support those in dire need, without saddling them with debt to repay later.

In other words, the key question is whether Universal Credit applied with greater generosity of cash and spirit could be made to work properly. I don’t know the answer to this question, but it at least needs to be seriously examined, as does the question of what new administrative problems might be caused by moving people on UC back onto tax credits. We can’t let revulsion at the cruel way that the system is presently being applied cause a rush into a reversal that, hastily applied, could yet create new cruelties of its own.

How to make the most of your degree: career tips from a graduate engineer

How to make the most of your degree: career tips from a graduate engineer

October 15, 2018 charlie

I arrived at Loughborough in 2013, having never studied ‘engineering’ in my life before. I didn’t have LinkedIn, I had never had a job, and I certainly didn’t know what a CV was.

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Say YES to opportunities

Say YES to opportunities

October 15, 2018 davina

When the Doctoral College at Loughborough Uni sent out a description of this three-day opportunity in their e-mail bulletin, I was blissfully ignorant of the importance and pedigree of the Young Entrepeneurs Scheme (YES). In fact, I learned the competition was first held in 1995 at Loughborough University!

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Advice for freshers – How to make your first year count!

Advice for freshers – How to make your first year count!

October 15, 2018 simona

For this blog I decided to write about some things for your first year that I would definitely recommend doing.

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Cost-effective home comforts for your student room

Cost-effective home comforts for your student room

October 15, 2018 Timi

Changing environments and moving into an unfamiliar place can cause a surge of emotions that, if not handled properly, can cause mental distress and discomfort. This blog will help explain how you can rearrange and decorate your new living space to ensure peace of mind whilst not breaking the bank.

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How to create (and stick to!) a budget

How to create (and stick to!) a budget

October 15, 2018 vicky

As the new academic year begins, it’s time to get organised. And as this month is National Finance Planning Month I thought I’d write this blog on budgeting. Something every student has to look at every once in a while, to ensure they don’t get dangerously deep in overdraft and student credit cards.

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London is Falling Down on Mental Health: The Fight Against Mental Ill Health in a Global City

London is Falling Down on Mental Health: The Fight Against Mental Ill Health in a Global City

October 14, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Tim Oliver, Senior Lecturer for the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance, has spoken on BBC’s Sunday Politics London today about mental ill health in London and the UK. Take a look at his blog on the subject below.

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Re: Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-imaging Task Sequence on 12/10/18

October 12, 2018 Mike Collett

This work is now complete.

Sport Business academic visits Toronto Raptors training camp

Sport Business academic visits Toronto Raptors training camp

October 11, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Steve Swanson, Director of the Sport Business and Leadership MSc programme, recently had the opportunity to attend the Toronto Raptors training camp in Vancouver, Canada.

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Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-imaging Task Sequence on 12/10/18

October 10, 2018 Mike Collett

The Windows 10 Staff Re-imaging Task Sequence will be updated on Friday 12th October. The Task Sequence will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.

The following changes will made live:

  • Add support for Stone 1210 All in One desktop computer
  • Add support for Dell laptops and 2 in 1 devices

TIMESCALE

12/10/18– 08:00am-10:00 am

CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION AND HELP?

Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information

Physicist in America

Physicist in America

October 10, 2018 Liam

My name is Elliot and I am a Physics and Mathematics student currently studying abroad at Purdue University in Indiana. Continue reading

Paul Ntutila is featured in BBC's See Hear!

Paul Ntutila is featured in BBC's See Hear!

October 10, 2018 Lauren Proctor

As part of Black History Month, Diplomacy, Statecraft and Foreign Policy MSc student, Paul Ntutila is featured on BBC’s See Hear. Continue reading

Stuff. Stuff, everywhere.

October 9, 2018 Graeme Fowler

You’re a member of staff, a new student, an established student, a researcher, a partner, a tenant, a visitor. You could be a lecturer, manager, undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD candidate, programmer, one of the grounds team, a plumber, joiner or electrician, the VC, a counsellor, someone coming for an interview.

A little bit like when you’re walking along University Road and you can’t see the electrical distribution system or the district heating pipes, or the drains, because they’re underground – there’s an awful lot of invisible (unless you know where to look) “stuff” all around you, making the University’s IT systems work. Underneath, alongside, over and – surprisingly – through you.

We have lots of stuff:

  • Three datacentres: two active and one backup, where we can run the University’s entire set of IT systems from one alone if we need to
  • Independent (but connected) compute platforms (big servers)
  • Over 600 virtual machines (what used to be separate physical servers) powering all of the central IT applications and many of those run by departments
  • Hundred and hundreds of disks providing a lot of storage (an increasing number of which aren’t disks but flash, solid-state disks)
  • Literally miles*, and miles, and miles of fibre optic cable between buildings
  • Over four thousand wireless access points, meaning you stay on eduroam wherever you are on campus, including outside (in most places)
  • Also thousands of wired network points, with correspondingly many thousands of metres of network cabling connecting them to
  • Over a thousand network switches
  • Two HPC clusters (with many more big numbers floating inside them, very quickly!)
  • Large numbers of managed lab machines, and rather more managed staff desktop machines

*or kilometres, if you’re more used to that. I’m old enough to work in metric and imperial!

Supporting all of this (and far more) are over 140 staff, spread across campus. We are, collectively:

  • Project managers
  • Systems engineers
  • Network, wireless & data communications engineers
  • System administrators
  • Unified communications specialists
  • Programmers, writing C/C++/Java/Perl/PHP/Bash/Ruby/Python/C#/Powershell/Javascript/Go/whatevernext!
  • Web designers
  • Technical support specialists
  • Windows server, Linux server specialists
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop specialists
  • Storage administrators
  • Datacentre, power and cooling specialists
  • DBAs using Oracle, MS SQL and MySQL
  • Software engineers using a plethora of different commercial and open source platforms
  • Managers
  • First line support specialists on our Service Desk and in the PC Clinic
  • IT Security gurus
  • High Performance Computing (HPC) specialists

So, next time you’re standing at a bus stop submitting coursework through Learn from your mobile phone while it’s attached to eduroam, remember that there’s an awful lot of stuff in place to allow you to post your stuff to your lecturers!

Getting Brexitalk Right: 7 rules

Getting Brexitalk Right: 7 rules

October 8, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Tim Oliver, Senior Lecturer for the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance has written a blog for the Clingendael Institute magazine on ‘Getting Brexittalk Right: 7 rules’.

Continue reading

Dr Gerhard Schnyder to present at the Emerging Markets Conference

Dr Gerhard Schnyder to present at the Emerging Markets Conference

October 5, 2018 Lauren Proctor

This week, the Graduate School of Management at St Petersburg State University, Russia is hosting the 5th edition of the Emerging Market Conference in which Dr. Gerhard Schnyder from the Institute for International Management will present at.

Continue reading

Fruit Routes Harvest Events 19th-20th October

October 5, 2018 Steven Lake

After Salzburg: two questions each for the EU and the UK

After Salzburg: two questions each for the EU and the UK

October 4, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Nicola Chelotti, Lecturer within the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance, has written a blog for us on some of the questions both the UK and the EU face over the Irish border and their future relationship.

Continue reading

All about placements with Annabelle

All about placements with Annabelle

October 4, 2018 Liam

Hi, I’m Annabelle and I have been on placement at the University this year, working in The Place as Placements Assistant. Continue reading

World Space Week 2018

October 4, 2018 Steven Lake

Boldly going where no one has gone before, it’s World Space Week, the annual celebration of mankind’s exploration of outer space.

Each year, the World Space Week Association (WSWA) selects a theme for the upcoming World Space Week (WSW) to provide a focus of the activities and events that take a place throughout the world, during 4th-10th October . The 2018 theme is Space Unites the World, which celebrates the role of space in bringing the world closer together.  The theme is inspired by UNISPACE+50, an historic gathering of world space leaders which will occur in 2018. UNISPACE+50 will promote cooperation between spacefaring and emerging space nations and help space exploration activities become open and inclusive on a global scale.

Launched specifically on 4th October by the UN General Assembly to mark the successful launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, in 1957, and the signing of the ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’ on October 10th 1967, World Space Week has been held every year since 1999, and seeks primarily to educate people about the positives of space exploration and encourage better public understanding and support for space programmes.

We have many and various astronomical and astronautic resources in the Library, including access to the  National Geophysical Data Centre database, which provides the latest satellite geophysical data from the Sun to the Earth and Earth’s sea floor and solid earth environment, including Earth observations from space, and the NASA Scientific & Technical Information database, which includes up-to-date information about NASA’s space projects. We also hold a good selection of books about space & space exploration in general.

To find out more about World Space Week, visit their website here:

http://www.worldspaceweek.org/

PC Clinic and Software Downloads Module page on LEARN

October 2, 2018 Steven Lake

Want to keep track of the latest IT developments across campus, as well as news about software and hardware upgrades? Self-Enrol onto the PC Clinic and Software Downloads Module page on LEARN.

The PC Clinic page features essential information while highlighting the key IT services available to students such as printing and computer lab availability. Including tutorials for Printing and connecting devices to the Wi-FI.

The Software Downloads page features download links to a range of different software with FREE access to Microsoft Office 2016 also, including specialist software such as MatLab and SPSS.

New Music and Arts Scholarships for 2018

New Music and Arts Scholarships for 2018

October 2, 2018 Liam

LU Arts is offering nine arts scholarships that are open to students across our Loughborough & London campuses. Continue reading

New Resource - Global Digimap

October 1, 2018 Steven Lake

We’ve recently added a new resource to the Digimap stable, our popular geographic database.

Global Digimap provides access to global datasets in cartographic styles and downloadable formats that are useful to you. The service provides the following:

  • An easy to use interface to allow you to browse, annotate and print global maps.
  • A data download facility to providing access to global datasets for use in GIS software.

Please note that as this is a new service and still in development it is subject to change and may be unavailable while Digimap works on it.

Visit https://digimap.edina.ac.uk/global to find out more.

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher Vice President...

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher Vice President...

October 1, 2018 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Hi Everyone, I’m Hugh Tawell and I’m the new Doctoral Researcher (DR) Vice President. I am a second-year chemistry PhD student in the school of science. My research involves drug design and synthesis to combat sleeping sickness. In my role as Vice president I look forward to working alongside the President to try to improve the doctoral experience and provide support for all researchers across campus.

Tip: My main tip would be to get involved with as much as possible across campus both social and academic. It is important to get involved with a diverse range of activities to make new friends as well as personal development. The Doctoral College provides a range of events such as Café Academique and the Summer Showcase which are excellent opportunities to communicate your research to a diverse audience. This is not only good practice for attending larger external conferences, but it also helps consolidate your understanding of your own topic. In terms of opportunities to socialise the Student’s Union has plenty of societies where you can meet with likeminded people.

 

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher President...

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher President...

October 1, 2018 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Leah Henrickson.

My name’s Leah, and I’m the Doctoral Researcher (DR) President for the 2018-19 academic year. Vice-President Hugh and I are here to make sure that DR interests are represented across the University, and to ensure that you’re aware of all the on- and off-campus services available to you as Loughborough students. While Hugh’s role focusses on managing the DR Rep system, mine is more about welcoming new students, liaising between DRs and University bodies like the Doctoral College and LSU, and just being my usual charmingly loud self.

‘Tell me more about that that self!’ I hear you thinking. Because I can sense how interested you are in this post, here’s a quick rundown of who I am:

  • I’m in my third year in the School of the Arts, English and Drama, writing a thesis about reader responses to computer-generated texts. (Yes, it bothers me that there is no Oxford comma in my school’s name.)
  • When I was little, I wanted to perform in musicals. These dreams were squashed when it became apparent that I couldn’t act or dance. Now I just sing along to the Rent soundtrack when there’s no one else around.
  • I hold a diploma from the Iceland Álfaskólinn (Elf School) in ‘Elfs- and Hidden people-research-study’.
  • My accent is Canadian.

With that, get stoked for a good year, folks! You’re at a fantastic university – enjoy it.

tl;dr: I’m here to make sure you have a good time at Loughborough. Are you reading this and not having a good time? Feel free to get in touch. I’m nice, I swear.

Why you should apply to become a Student Ambassador

Why you should apply to become a Student Ambassador

October 1, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Applications to become a 2018/19 Student Ambassador are now open! If you’re wondering what the job involves or why you should submit an application, keep reading!

Continue reading

Even Steven's?

Even Steven's?

September 29, 2018 Ash Casey

Are the Steven’s or Ramesh’s or Eva’s and Marie’s in your classes ever even?

No.

They’re all individuals and need to be treated as such. We can’t simple scratch a start line in the sand and start our teaching from there. Steven is not starting from the same line as Eva and even if he is there’s no guarantee that they start together every week. We know that children learn at different speeds. They also learn different things. So how do you challenge them all?

Firstly, think about drawing different start lines. We are very good at extending children at  the end of the lesson. We set extension task but not extension starts and we need to think about beginnings and not just endings.

Think Hollywood. How many films start with a “Once upon a time?” How may end with a “Happily ever after?” None (or very few that I can think of). Why? Because it takes too long to tell the whole story every week. And a lot of the details are irrelevant.

Lessons are the same. We don’t need the details every week. We need to start the story from the most relevant place. Imagine rewinding the film to a point that everyone in the audience remembers? Most of the audience would get frustrated and bored.

Why is a PE lesson any different?

It isn’t. So let’s stop using the rewind button and stop looking for our once upon a times. Instead let’s acknowledge that there are no even Stevens.

That said, it’s not realistic to draw 30 different start lines in every lesson. Instead, we can take some averages. What we can’t (or at least shouldn’t) do is take a class average.

So how can we begin?

I’ll use a basketball lesson as an example.

How frequently do we start with the shot rather than the part of the game where the shot takes place?

Let’s take the set shot as our example. We often start on a cone and ask our students to take two steps and then layup. How often does that happen in a game? How frequently are we a perfect distance from the basket with no opposition? Has Steven done the layup before? Or Ramesh or Eva and Marie? Do they all need a cone as their start line?

In the past, I’ve started with the game and three start lines. Steven’s wearing a red bib. He’s on the first start line. He can’t be marked closer than a mere and when he thinks he can score he can shout “shooting” and have a free shot. This teaches him to get in the right position to score and then he gets his two steps and a layup.

Eva and Ramesh are wearing yellow bids. They can be closely marked and defenders can try and block their shots from a metre away once they have called “shooting.” They are on start line two. They still get a chance to layup but the pressure is higher than that on Steven.

Marie is wearing a green bid. She get no help from the game but can still perform a layup if she can get in the right place. She’s on start line three.

So in one game we have three start points, and I’m sure you can think of others. The key is not looking to even everything up for the Steven’s, Ramesh’s, Eva’s and Marie’s in your classes. Look, instead, for different start lines.

While You've Been Away... Changes in the Library Over the Summer

September 29, 2018 Steven Lake

A warm welcome back to all of our returning students! As usual we haven’t been resting on our laurels during the long summer break, and we’ve made a few changes since June…

Single Sign On. Over the summer we’ve begun work on streamlining access to our electronic resources by moving away from Athens authentication to a single sign on process using the University username & password. The project is ongoing and so you need to be aware that there are:

  • Some resources which have moved from Athens log in to Single sign on
  • Some resources are in progress
  • Some resources are still Athens authenticated.
  • You can keep up to date on developments through our news link here.

Self Collection of Hold Requests. We have started storing hold requests on the shelves in the High Demand section on Level 3 so that users can collect them and issue them without having to ask for them at the main desk. This only applies to our stock – Inter Library Loans will still be stored in the office behind the desk.

It’s very easy to use – books can be found in alphabetical order on the shelves filed under the first three letters of the user’s surname and the last three numbers of their ID. For example, our own Matt Cunningham would be CUN331. Where a user only has two letters in their surname, just use those two letters followed by the last 3 digits of their ID number.

New Decor. All the old workstation desks on Levels 1 & 2 have been replaced with new ones. We’ve added plasma screens displaying booking details outside of every Group Study Room in the Library, and the Help Desk on Level 4 has been removed to expand the study area.

Wifi Upgrade. IT Services completed their upgrade of the Wifi coverage throughout the building, so hopefully you won’t encounter any more dead spots!

Oh yes – and as you can see from the picture above, we had the Red Arrows fly over for the Graduation Ceremony. As the old police recruitment poster used to say – “Dull it isn’t!”

Welcome to the Library

September 27, 2018 Steven Lake

So, you’ve made it to Loughborough – congratulations! At the University Library we take great pride in how we support all our new users – if you ever have a question about how we can support you, ask one of our friendly staff.

As a new student you are automatically enrolled as a member of the Library. your student ID card is also your Library card. Don’t lose it as you need to swipe in through the barriers to enter the Library and to use our self-service machines to borrow your books.

Getting the most of out of your Library

Academic Librarians will be out in the schools during induction week – look out for the Library session in your timetable. You don’t have to wait for the session to use us though – feel free to pop in when you arrive and have a look round, or just come along to one of the quick library tours & induction sessions we’re running over the first week of term.

We’ve also set up a dedicated web page for new starters full of handy tips about how to use the library and get the best out of us. Check it out here – http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/library/students/about/welcome/

Get the Know How Library workshops

During the autumn term Library staff will be running workshops offering helpful guidance on a wide variety of academic practices including essay writing, note taking, time management and presentation skills. You can find more information about these workshops on our webpages.

Using the Library

Enquiry Desks

The Library offers an Enquiry Desk Service across all levels of the Library during standard office hours (Monday – Friday 9AM to 5:30PM).  User Services staff will be able to help you with most of your enquiries and if necessary will refer you to a colleague with more specialist knowledge.

The Enquiry Desks are staffed by a smaller team of Library staff until 10pm on weekdays, and throughout opening hours on Saturday and Sunday. The staff will be able to help you with most of your enquiries but may need to refer you to a daytime member of staff for detailed assistance.

Finding Information

For specialised help in finding information in your subject area, each School has its own Academic Librarian to offer support and guidance.

Academic librarians are available to assist all University staff and students to find and use information resources effectively, develop library collections to meet your needs and to be your contact point for any information related enquiry.  They have all developed expertise in the subject areas of their Schools and are very happy to help.

Study Spaces

The Library has a range of different study spaces, from silent and quiet spaces to group and social areas. There are also a number of spaces that you can book online including grpup study rooms, bookable booths on Level 4 and individual study carrels on Levels 1 & 2 . Ask at the Enquiry Desk to be shown how to book these rooms yourself.

IT Facilities

There are 250 PCs (excluding those dedicated to accessing Library Catalogue Plus) available in the Library with the majority of these located on Levels 3 & 4. The Library also has a wireless network throughout the building, enabling users to connect to the University’s network from their laptops.

The Library provides basic A4/A3 monochrome and colour printing/copying facilities. Before being able to print or copy you will need to purchase printer credits. You can pay for this at the main Enquiry Desk on Level 3 of the Library.

PC Clinic

The Student PC Clinic is now situated on Level 3 of the Library and is available to help with any IT queries you may have. It is staffed during standard office hours through until 6PM (Monday – Friday) and is open 12pm-2pm at weekends.

Library Café & Shop

We have a café situated on Level 3 which is one of the most popular on campus, not least of all because of their amazing breakfast cobs – as Library staff will testify! We also have a small shop situated near the entrance which sells a variety of snacks, stationary and basic essentials.

Leisure Reading

Here at the Library we’re championing leisure reading! Why? Well, not only is reading for pleasure a great mood enhancer, it’s also strongly linked to academic achievement. So, if you want to give your grades a boost, why not come and browse our dedicated Leisure Reading Collection? The Collection comprises a broad range of genres including contemporary fiction, graphic novel, biography, memoir, crime, fantasy, horror and science fiction – something to suit all tastes!

… And of course, look out for our favorite feline, Charlie the Cat. Your Loughborough experience isn’t truly complete until you’ve had a selfie with him!

Aris' experience as a Student Ambassador

Aris' experience as a Student Ambassador

September 27, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Student Ambassador applications for 2018/19 are now open! If you need some convincing, hear from Aris and his Student Ambassador experiences in this blog. Continue reading

New Age Job Market: A Sophisticated Hunt?

New Age Job Market: A Sophisticated Hunt?

September 25, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Zamira is a Student Ambassador and Chevening scholar who recently completed her studies at Loughborough University London. In this blog, Zamira offers her advice on the new age job market and how digital knowledge is key in today’s globalised world.

Continue reading

Loughborough University crowned University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times

Loughborough University crowned University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times

September 21, 2018 Lauren Proctor

We have been named The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year 2019! Continue reading

Windows 10 1709 Task Sequences Now Live - Introducing OneDrive Files on Demand

September 21, 2018 Chris Carter

The Windows 10 1709 Task Sequences are now live.

Windows 10 1709 introduces the concept of “Files on Demand” to the OneDrive client. This allows users to access their files directly from the cloud rather than having to download all of their files to the local PC, which can be a problem for users of PCs with small hard drives or SSDs.

At present we have not enabled this feature by default, however users can enable it if they so wish. To do this, they should right-click their OneDrive icon, select Settings, go to the Settings tab and tick the box for Files on Demand there. This is advisable for any users who do not have the required disk space to download all of their files.

For more information on this, including how to ensure files are always available offline, please see https://support.office.com/en-us/article/learn-about-onedrive-files-on-demand-0e6860d3-d9f3-4971-b321-7092438fb38e.

Please report any issues or queries to the IT Service Desk as usual.

Library Car Park Closures During Freshers' Week

September 21, 2018 Steven Lake

New students will be arriving for the start of term on Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th September. To assist with their arrival into halls various car parks will be open only to arriving students on these days, including the Library car park on the following days:

  • On Tuesday 25th September half of the Library car park will be closed.
  • On Thursday 27th September the entire Library car park will be closed.

Security recommend that visitors use the multi-storey car park next to the Engineering School, which is only a five minute walk to the Library. A full list of the car parks affected is available here – http://www.lboro.ac.uk/internal/news/2018/september/car-park-closures-for-freshers-arrival.html

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Beware Doctor Who! Brexit likely to make time travel more expensive

September 20, 2018 Ondine Barry

Warning: The Blog post contains some amount of speculation and silliness.

For many students starting University – the prospect of sitting down to a tried and trusted TV favourite may just be the right thing to relax to –  after the exhausting and emotional move from home and loved ones and ‘freshers week’ excitements.

No doubt when Jodie Whittaker takes over the role of Doctor Who from Peter Capaldi in the longest running Scifi series in TV history on October 7th. Many have celebrated the adoption – at long last – of a female actor in the fictional portrayal of time travel.

The first 11 Dr Whos

But time travel is not a fiction, it actually is feasible but very expensive though not particularly useful. But if you were interested in exploring time travel, now is the time to try it out as Brexit is likely to make time travel much more expensive.

The actual economics of time travel is quite straightforward. We all travel in time, that’s obvious if you look at a clock! But we all travel in time at the same rate. However there are ways to travel in time at different rates than other people. According to special relativity by simply moving away from someone and moving back, you distort time – by a really tiny amount, but the faster you move and the further you move the greater this future time dilation effect becomes. Indeed this effect is taken into account by the GPS satellites. Tests of forward time travel have been tested with atomic clocks on airplanes flying round earth, a very slight tiny microsecond impact was found. This means that if you did fly around earth – say 100 times nonstop – you would go faster into the future than everyone else, but you probably would not notice this gain except that 100 days of your life have just been wasted and an increased aversion to trays of chicken dinners! Given that post Brexit many media reports suggest flights may become more expensive, then forward time travel will become more expensive also, although to be honest it’s not a very viable technology!

Space travel – the speeds and distances and potential for higher gravitational effects – may make future time travel more viable than simply flying round the planet. But nevertheless expensive and for the UK – given our smaller role in European Scientific ventures perhaps much more expensive following Brexit. One example here is the new GPS system that we may have to create – already it is costing us more for a feasibility study – the GPS satellites do in fact gain future time travel, so again time travel will cost us more for the UK.

What about backwards time travel? Is that feasible?  Will it be impacted by Brexit. Yes of course it is feasible and yet again more expensive with Brexit. There are two ways to backwards time travel, one in person, the other as an observer. If you pay everyone in the world to fly round the earth, then you move slower in time than they will – as they will forwards time travel. Hence backwards time travel for an individual is massively more expensive than future time travel. As observers we can time travel backwards by viewing history through a telescope – many are aware of the recent discoveries of galaxies documented by Hubble for instance occurring shortly after the big bang. Here there may be some better news as the European Space Agency (ESA) relationships with our science community is not affected by the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. However some large science bids from the UK will likely be affected and this may impact on our ability to historically observe time travel.

So overall – the hopefully lucky 13th Doctor Who in this re-incarnation has much more to fear than the Daleks, Cybermen or Ice Warriors – Brexit is the real enemy of cheaper time travel and space.

This Blog post was written by Dr Jonathan Seaton, Reader in Business Economics and member of both the Accounting and Finance and Economics discipline groups. Jon can be reached on j.s.seaton@lboro.ac.uk

Deployment of Java 8u172 to Windows Staff Service

September 19, 2018 Mike Collett

We shall be deploying Java 8 Update 172 to the Windows Staff Service (Windows 7 and 10) beginning next Tuesday.

The rollout plan is:-

  • ITS and Careers – 25th Sept
  • Professional Services – 8th Oct
  • Schools A-M – 11th Oct
  • All Staff – 17th Oct

The user will be offered the update each day until the installation is successfully completed. For the first two weeks the installation can be postpone if the timing is inconvenient. After two weeks the installation becomes mandatory.

CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION AND HELP?

Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information.

Postgraduate Arts Degree Show

September 19, 2018 Steven Lake

Coinciding with the University’s Open Days, the School of the Arts, English & Drama will be hosting the annual Postgraduate Arts Degree Show down in the Fine Art Gallery this Friday and Saturday.

The Postgraduate Degree Show represents the culmination of the work by the University’s arts students. It is an opportunity for them to showcase their skill, vision and ingenuity, all of which are enhanced by the level of sophistication that results from exploring a discipline in greater depth.

This year’s show is open 10am-5pm, Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd September and will take place in the Fine Art Gallery.

You can view the work exhibited ahead of the 2018 show, and from the 2017 and 2016 shows as well.

Planning based on needs and not tradition

Planning based on needs and not tradition

September 19, 2018 Ash Casey

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” must be one of the lamest reasons for maintaininga traditional curriculum in PE and yet I, for one, have used it as a reason for not changing what I do/did as a teacher.

I was an ‘expert’ in Rugby and Cricket. Or, put differently, I had played these two games throughout my formative years and I felt comfortable teaching (or more likely coaching) those sports. I had a back catalogue of experiences that ensured I was comfortable in all situations. This ever increasing mass of playing and coaching experience was served as an pedagogical anchor. Imagine it being like the starter pack from some video game. I was given it as a young player/teacher and I spent my time (both in school and out of school) ensuring it was fit for every purpose. It was the stable centre of my practice. It was like a swiss army knife of teaching rugby and cricket (i.e. it had a tool for everything) and woe betide anyone who asked me to teach anything else

As a teacher, I was obstinate. I taught the school’s sports of rugby and cricket. This was a rugby and cricket school after all. If anyone wanted to play/learn about football (soccer) they should have gone to a different school.

And I wasn’t alone.

Tradition – as they say – was our middle name.

But I didn’t always teach like that. When I discovered pedagogical models, for example, I wanted to teach differently. But then I found myself in a trap of my own making. Well my own co-construction. I didn’t lay the foundations after all. I just lived with the walls of these traditions and upgraded them as I went along.

So what did I do?

I began to look at the needs of my pupils. I began to look at their learning and not my teaching. In short, I discovered pedagogy and found that there were other ways of doing things.

Yes. I had to acknowledge that my swiss army knife of teaching rugby and cricket was far less useful.

Yes. I had to challenge the traditional expectations of my colleagues and my school.

Yes. I had to become a beginner teacher again (at least in some regards).

Yes. I has to come to appreciate that this would be a long term project.

And yes. I started slowly.

My first change was at a whole year group level. And it was in cricket. Not my best laid plan.

It failed.

Why.

Because it challenge the traditions and my colleagues head-on.

My second change (no I didn’t give up) was in single classes (three classes in fact in the same year group) and in gymnastics. I didn’t challenge the dominant hierarchy of sports and I didn’t ask any other teachers to come along with me for this ride.

Instead, I became a beginner user of Cooperative Learning and I helped my students (and they helped me) to work cooperatively. That was the task, target, and/or goal I set for myself.

I wasn’t comfortable but I was enthused. I wasn’t infallible and I didn’t have a swiss army knife of teaching gymnastics. But I survived. Thrived even.

My third change was in Tennis and with the same sorts of groups. I took my lessons from the first two changes and I developed. I didn’t try and bring anyone with me but a couple of colleagues showed a passing interest.

Six years later and I was leading whole year groups in a sport education/games making season with the full support of my colleagues.

It took time. Patience. Energy. And commitment.

I fell down a lot. But I stood up one more time than I fell down.

So what am I saying?

Don’t let tradition be an excuse or a barrier. Equally don’t try and build Rome in a day. Start small and find your own way of doing things differently. My colleagues were moved by actions and not just ideas. They were encouraged by the responses of the students to my teaching and the enhanced learning opportunities I was able to create. Traditions endure because they work. What you have to try and show is new ideas work better/differently and that that better/different is a good thing.

So don’t get bogged down in tradition but be realistic about what it will take to make sustainable changes. Most of all look at your pupils needs and don’t be overly swayed by tradition.

University Open Days, 21st-22nd September

September 19, 2018 Steven Lake

The University will be holding Open Days on Friday 21st September and Saturday 22nd September. Visitors, students and staff should be aware that campus, and in particular the Library, will likely be extremely busy on both days.

The Library will, as usual, be hosting several displays and stands by other support services within the University on both days, and they will be taking up temporary residence this week on Level 3. As such certain study areas on this level will be unavailable during this time.

10 things as old as our 2018 Freshers

September 17, 2018 Megan Bennett

1. Eminem – The Real Slim Shady

It’s been 18 years since Eminem released this iconic song, which is now essential for any good throwback playlist.

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

J.K. Rowling’s fourth book smashed records and sold an impressive 372,775 copies on its first day!

3. The first cloned piglets

In March 2000, PPL Therapeutics announced that they had successfully used adult cells to clone 5 piglets. They were named Milly, Christa, Alexisa, Carol and Dot-Com.

4. X-Men

Fun fact – Hugh Jackman took ice cold showers before filming to get into the angry mindset of his character. Now that’s some serious dedication!

5. Play Station 2

March 2000 saw the launch of Sony’s PS2, which went on to become one of the most successful gaming consoles ever released!

6. Big Brother

The iconic Big Brother house has been on our TV screens since July 2000. But after 19 series of Big Brother and 22 series of Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 5 announced that the newest series will be its last.

 

7. Britney Spears – Oops!… I Did It Again

Britney’s second album, Oops!…I Did It Again smashed records and has sold over 25 million copies to date. Fun fact – the album was originally going to be called Sunflower.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas was the first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted for the big screen. Is it too early to start watching Christmas films now? Asking for a friend…

9. USB flash Drive

The USB stick is essential for any university student. Originally called DiskOnKey, the first USB stick held only 8GB.

10. The first British women reach the South Pole

In December 2000, the first all-female British group trekked across Antarctica to the South Pole. We feel cold just thinking about it!

By Deven Stross, NSF https://photolibrary.usap.gov/PhotoDetails.aspx?filename=CEREMONIALPOLESUNDOG2.JPG

Is France having a moment? Emmanuel Macron and the politics of disruption

Is France having a moment? Emmanuel Macron and the politics of disruption

September 17, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Our Director of the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance, Professor Helen Drake, has written a blog on  ‘Is France having a moment? Emmanuel Macron and the politics of disruption in France’.

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Bradgate Park Archaeology Fieldschool, Part Two

September 17, 2018 Kerry Featherstone

Bradgate Park Stables dig, with horse bones outlined.

Last week I blogged about my visit to the Archaeology Fieldschool, where I met Richard Thomas, the lead archaeologist.  There was a lot to take in, both information and atmosphere.  Richard is clearly a great communicator, explaining the site to me as well as leading the work of the students.  The job requires incredible attention to detail as well as the interpretive imagination: Richard has a look in his eyes that is calm but intensely focused.  I can do the imagination bit, but not the attention to detail – and I was immediately grabbed by a find at the dig for which there is not, as yet, a clear explanation.  To the right of the entrance, where the porch would have been, is a large, dense pile of horse bones.  Not whole skeletons, just legs.  And buried with joints still intact.  As I stared at the find, I could see hooves sticking out; a fibula, a stifle joint, a tibia…  Why would the legs be detached and buried intact?  Some macabre building material? Superstition? It’s not clear.  For an archaeologist, it’s a conundrum.  For a poet, it’s a gift.

 

On the Discovery of a Cache of Horse Bones at the Stables in Bradgate Park

 

The horses are waiting.

Under the floor, their legs still-jointed,

running from the dark dream of the stables.

The grooms have gone; the stone has been robbed out

but the horses are waiting.

 

They are waiting to click monstrously upright;

shaking off the rubble, to play

their hooves on the cobbles,

cracking coronets.

 

The horses are waiting to find their heads:

to flare their nostrils with phantom breath and turn

towards the outer door.

 

The horses are waiting in heaps of bone, marrow and pulse

sealed in gravel and clay

for a July day when the dig will find them,

and drive them across the water-meadows

 

to barrel onto moss and bracken,

drumming up Bowling Green,

in the summer drought where the undergrowth dies,

herding revenge under the sun at Tyburn.

 

For a charge of fury, throat-latch at the cry,

by the paths and riverside

in a rake of metal shoes and wild eyes,

the skeleton horses are waiting.

Dr Aidan McGarry to speak at International Literature Festival Utrecht

Dr Aidan McGarry to speak at International Literature Festival Utrecht

September 14, 2018 Lauren Proctor

On the 19th September, Dr Aidan McGarry (Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance) will be speaking at the International Literature Festival Utrecht.

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Windows 10 Staff Task Sequences to be updated to 1709

September 14, 2018 Chris Carter

We will be updating all three Windows 10 staff task sequences (IPU, Provisioning and Re-imaging) to install Windows 10 1709 on Friday 21st September. This is in-line with the agreed strategy of supporting the latest-but-one available version of Windows 10 in Microsoft’s Semi-Annual servicing channel (previously known as Current Branch for Business).

Users who are already on Windows 10 will be upgraded to 1709 in the near future.

In addition to the update to 1709, the following other changes will be made live:

  • Support for new OneDrive functionality, including Files on Demand
  • Java updated to Java 8 Update 172
  • .NET updated to version 4.7.2
  • Forced removal of QuickTime added to In-Place Upgrade task sequence

TIMESCALE

21/09/18– 08:30am-10:00am

CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION AND HELP?

Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information.

New Creative Writing Evening Class from LU Arts

September 13, 2018 Steven Lake

LU Arts is running a new Creative Writing evening class this academic year. It’s open to students, staff and the general public, and runs every Wednesday evening during the first two terms of the 2018-19 year, starting on 10th October. It’s designed to be a broad class suitable for beginners up to those with more experience in writing creatively.

Learn how to open your work with a bang, develop characters, utilize the senses, use dialogue to develop character, and lots more. The class will have a particular focus on fiction and poetry but is intended for people interested in honing their creative writing skills in any form, and our experienced tutor will be able to adjust the course to cover your particular needs.

Bookings for the autumn/winter classes will open on Monday 24th September and costs £50 for Loughborough University students and £100 for the general public/University staff. Further details available from the link below.

http://www.arts.lboro.ac.uk/calendar/event/creative_writing_classes/

Chinese investor pull-outs are expected in Europe football financing

Chinese investor pull-outs are expected in Europe football financing

September 13, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Professor Aaron Smith (Institute for Sport Business) features in a recent report by Channel News Asia on Chinese investors in European football.

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Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-imaging Task Sequence on 14/09/18

September 12, 2018 Mike Collett

The Windows 10 Re-imaging Task Sequences will be updated on Friday 14th September the current Task Sequence will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.

The following changes will made live:

  • Support for Stone 1210 desktop computers
  • Support for HP Z  legacy Workstations
  • Installation of RST Command Line Interface (Rstcli64.exe) on Optane capable computers
  • Installation of Setup Optane Memory Utility on Optane capable computers

TIMESCALE

14/09/18– 08:00am-10:00 am

CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION AND HELP?

Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information

Top advice for Freshers from Loughborough alumni

Top advice for Freshers from Loughborough alumni

September 11, 2018 Liam

It’s nearly time for you to join us at Loughborough! There are countless opportunities to get involved with here – you might be feeling a little unsure of where to start. To help you out, we asked our alumni; those who have been there and done it all, for their advice.  Continue reading

Loughborough University London students inspire the future expansion of Here East

Loughborough University London students inspire the future expansion of Here East

September 11, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Here East was once the former Press and Broadcast Centre of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and is now a thriving hub for emerging start-ups, established companies and world-class institutions including Loughborough University London.

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Bradgate Park, Archaeology Field School: Part One

September 10, 2018 Kerry Featherstone

At the end of July, I was delighted to be able to visit the Archaeological Fieldschool at Bradgate Park.  Run by Leicester University, it offers students experience of a real piece of research: digging, recording and interpreting.  It’s an intensive few weeks, with seven hours digging all day – I was lucky to be able to spend some time with Dr Richard Thomas, the co-director of the Fieldschool.  He explained that a laser survey of the Park in 2014 revealed 240 earthworks, so there are plenty of possible sites to explore.  As well as giving the students a great experience, the annual digs allow visitors to the Park to see more of the historical significance of the site.  Showing people the significance of locations like this increases our understanding, and encourages us to appreciate and look after these fascinating places.

This year’s dig focussed on a building that faces the ruins of Bradgate House.  Evidence for the building came from 18th century drawings; it featured on Ordnance Survey maps until the mid-19th century, but nothing now remains.  Richard told me about what they’ve found: a stable block, housing up to 27 horses for Bradgate House.  They have recorded exterior walls and the post-holes that would have separated the stalls.   It was in operation in the 17th century, and seems to have been extended to look more impressive the visit of King William III in 1695: a coin from William’s reign has been found in the extension, dating the building to that era. If the King is visiting, it’s a good excuse to show off, after all.  The archaeologists have established that there was a hayloft on the second floor and space for grooms: their experience of the stables might have been different from that of the owners of Bradgate House and their royal visitor. There is a sun-dial, and evidence of the large and elegant porch that can be seen in an illustration from the 1700s.  With Richard’s explanations, it became easier to imagine the bustle of daily life and the activity in the stalls and tack-room.

At the end of the dig, the site is backfilled – saving it for future archaeologists who may have access to even more sophisticated equipment and techniques in future.  I was able to watch their work for a while, and wrote this poem:

 

Foundations

 

Crossed lines marking

against measured steps,

work out the twists of

human history.

 

They are bent in prayer at the dust of a trench,

scraping out the living;

articulating

the limbs of an aristocratic landscape,

L-shaped.

 

A loose wooden enclave surrounds the diggers – with legs bent,

they can’t jump out.

Here is a check shirt, pinstripe wall patterns, houndstooth bricks.

 

Yellow and blue plastic against the pale

dried earth, and the patches of dark activity.

Everything robbed out but foundations,

leaving a difference between the red brick and stone,

a difference between the slate that’s thrown away and the rocks left to record.

 

The materials turned

from their quarry to the stately house, then to village homes.

As much work to take apart as it took to build.

 

The archaeologists work on under endless sun,

Back-filling history on a Thursday.

 

Change and challenge

Change and challenge

September 10, 2018 Ash Casey

I’m sure, someone somewhere, came up with the idea of new school year resolutions.

You might not call them this but I’m sure – whether you’re starting new school year #22 or starting your 1st year as a qualified teacher – that you made yourself some promises. Maybe you’re setting out to change something in your practice? Or maybe you’ve set yourself some pedagogical challenges for the coming year? Either way, you’re now faced with the biggest challenge/change of them all.

Making it a reality.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was quoted by Richard Nixon as saying “in preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.” Eisenhower – who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, and was later elected the 34th President of the United States of America – understood the potential idiocy of relying on plans when the uncertainty of others is brought to bear on a situation.

I’m not suggesting that teaching is a battle but the idiom holds true. When you try something new it is challenging (which is of course we name it as such). Change is a tough ask. Which is why, in the sunshine and holiday filled days of summer, we challenge ourselves to do just that.

Had our grandiose plans been made on a wet and windy Tuesday afternoon in autumn then maybe our change and challenged wouldn’t have looked quite so tempting. We’d have planned for less change and less challenge and would have, perhaps, thanked ourselves for our conservatism.

After all.

What were we thinking?

This is of course why we planned ahead.

Plans are not inflexible. They are adaptable and come with a large degree of intent. Indeed, commanders intent is what the USA now aspires for. The outcome is what’s important and not the route to achieving it.

So what’s your intent?

What did you plan in those halcyon days of summer which now looks and feels a little like you dreamt it up after three days at Woodstock?

What were you thinking?

No. Seriously. What. Were. You. Thinking?

Just because it looks hard and feels out of reach why not reach?

Ok. So you might not get in all right. You might fall over a few times. But if it was a good idea in summer why is it suddenly such a stinker?

Look at what you intended and find the gold at the end of the somewhat crocked rainbow you painted.

Surely the challenge is still there. You knew it wouldn’t be easy and you were right. But that plan was made with purpose and intent. It had the kids best interests at its core. Edison didn’t fail 10,000 times. He simply found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.

Finding ways that don’t work is at the heart of learning. As a teacher you’re a learner too. To fail to change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s just a step on the way to achieving your new school year resolutions.

Balancing the powers of dominant shareholders with transparency and disclosure practices

Balancing the powers of dominant shareholders with transparency and disclosure practices

September 7, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Dr Anna Grosman, Lecturer within the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Aija Leiponen, Associate Professor at Cornell University, have written an article on ‘Balancing the powers of dominant shareholders with transparency and disclosure practices’.

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Loughborough Sustainability go plastic free

Loughborough Sustainability go plastic free

September 5, 2018 Liam

The Loughborough University Sustainability Team ditched the disposables, cut the cartons and shunned the straw as they took on the Marine Conservation Society’s #GoPlasticFree challenge. Continue reading

My Summer So Far…

My Summer So Far…

September 5, 2018 vicky

As I am writing this blog I am halfway through my first-year summer break (it’s gone way too quick!). I have been lucky enough to spend this first half of my summer traveling a little around Europe and working as a nannie in between my time abroad. Continue reading

What is going to Uni in a different country like?

What is going to Uni in a different country like?

September 5, 2018 simona

Even though I was an exchange student in the USA, so I had experienced living abroad for one year, I had never been to England, never really heard true British accent before or never even seen any of the universities in England in real life before coming to Loughborough. So it was a totally new, exciting but also challenging experience. Continue reading

Graduation & graduating

Graduation & graduating

September 5, 2018 Jameel Shariff

If I’m completely honest, I’m really struggling to find the right words to start this blog because it doesn’t feel real that I’ve actually graduated! After three years of rehearsals, performances, presentations, tests and essays, it’s all over. I know I said that when I handed in my last assignment, but this is really it! I’m now a Loughborough graduate, an alumni! Gosh, I feel so old saying that.

Anyway, the effort put in by the entire Loughborough team for graduation and Grad Ball truly paid off. I had the best two days of my life!

Graduation day… my family, friends and I were anticipating this day for weeks. Fussing over what to wear, planning what time to arrive, thinking about how embarrassing it’d be if we fell on stage. And when the day finally came, it went by SO fast!

When I had put on my gown, my Mum burst into tears of joy. It was so nice having my family there to celebrate the end of my Loughborough journey. Baby Heba came as well and she looked adorable as always, wearing her Loughborough baby-grow, and she even had her own ticket to get into the ceremony!

The official graduation ceremony was so heart-felt. Our Vice-Chancellor made the BEST speeches which were so inspiring and made us all proud to be part of the #LboroFamily!

I also got photos with the famous Loughborough graduation placards, which I always wanted to do! Ah, the little things in life that make you happy, ey.

The next night was The Greatest Grad Ball, themed after The Greatest Showman, of course! It was our last chance to dress-up all fancy and celebrate before parting our separate ways.

When I say Loughborough went all out, I mean ALL OUT, the full SCHERBANG! Circus performers, fire breathers, chocolate fountain, a wedding chapel, candyfloss, fireworks, just to name a few!

To top that, Mabel was the headliner, yes Mabel! Finders Keepers, Mabel! Me and my friends went early and managed to stand in the front row. She was epic! Fuse ODG also performed and he got a few of my mates on stage to dance with him. No one does Grad Ball like Loughborough!

We all made it to end of Grad Ball, 4am! I know it sounds dramatic, but we’re never going to be in the same place at the same time, to plan spontaneous meet-ups again, so it felt really special spending the last few hours in Loughborough with all of my friends together.

The next day I returned home to Birmingham and my sister threw me a Graduation Party! She made a cake and got heaps of fancy graduation goodies that were personalised with my name on. It was such a thoughtful gesture to mark the end of my degree!

Although I’m technically no longer a Loughborough student, I’m going carry on blogging to keep you updated about my postgrad adventures, so you’re still stuck with me for a while! A few months ago, I mentioned that I had no solid plans for life after Loughborough, but that has changed! I’ll let you know exactly what this is in my next blog, but just know, it’s another big adventure! Until then, enjoy the rest of summer!

From the US to the UK

From the US to the UK

September 5, 2018 davina

One of the most common questions I get after people hear that my accent is from the United States is: “What is different in the UK from the US?” Without fail, I am caught by surprise and stumble my way through an answer about driving on different sides of the road or spelling words slightly differently. With this blog entry, I hope to provide a more satisfying answer. Continue reading

Part-time work: maths, cocktails and purple t-shirts

Part-time work: maths, cocktails and purple t-shirts

September 5, 2018 anastasia

“About 3,150,000,000” search results came up in Google for “how to find part-time work”. 20,000,000 search hits for “Loughborough part-time work” …. so why are you still reading this blog post? Since you are still reading, I’ll tell you about my personal experiences through Loughborough part-time work, doing everything from working in a bar to teaching mathematics. Continue reading

What to expect in your first few weeks of university

What to expect in your first few weeks of university

September 5, 2018 alice

Tick tock, tick tock. Time is flying by and already the time when you’ll start University is soon approaching. What will University be like? Will I fit in? What will there be to do? All these questions were flooding my mind before starting, so today I’m writing to give you a little head’s up before you arrive here. Continue reading

Changes to Accessing Online Resources

September 4, 2018 Steven Lake

The Library is currently working with IT Services to remove Athens authentication for accessing online resources and moving to Single Sign-On using your University username and password. This means that when you access resources that previously required your Athens username and password, you will be taken to a University sign on page and prompted to enter your University username and password.

Some resources have already switched including Box of Broadcasts and ProQuest resources. Over the course of the next few months we will be continuing to switch other online resources to Single Sign-On. In most cases you should notice no difference when accessing resources on campus. While we are in a transition phase, we recommend that you use the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client to access resources off campus.

We will update the list of resources that are changing on this post as they make the switch. If you have any queries or experience any issues with logging in to resources during the changeover please contact us at library@lboro.ac.uk

The following resources have made the transition:

Induction Week checklist

Induction Week checklist

September 3, 2018 Lauren Proctor

If you are joining us this September, 2018, here is a checklist of things to keep in mind ahead of induction week.

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Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) into the Digital World

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) into the Digital World

August 31, 2018 Ash Casey

Continuing professional development is a journey not a destination. It’s not professional developed after all. The same goes for education. It’s not a one off thing. You aren’t educated and nor are you developed. You are learning, developing, changing, refining, progressing. In short. You’re growing.

Teachers haven’t learnt everything. The statement “I’ve forgotten more about teaching than you can even beginning to comprehend” is a classic example of the perceived value of ongoing development. Of growth. The trouble is…what has been forgotten? What has been laid put one side never to be picked up again? And what is left?

I turn to two quotes for a possible answer. The first is from the song “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel and the second is from an unknown source. Regardless, they reflect what I’m thinking here and the argument/inspiration for this new blog series.

  1. “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
  2. “If you defend your weaknesses then this is what you’re left with.”

Firstly, apologies for the ‘man’ reference by S&G. This didn’t need to be gender specific. The point, though, is people hear what they want to hear and ignore the rest of it. In their book, DecisiveChip and Dan Health argue that when we are faced with decisions we narrow our focus to what’s immediately in the spotlight and ignore the rest. In fact, we don’t (at least not very often) seek alternative and conflicting views. We see that we want to see and base our decisions on the information that allows us to do what we want to do anyway. The same can be said of teaching. We find a way that works and we teach that way. To do anything else is challenging and time consuming.

Yet, by ignoring what lies outside of the spotlight we ignore opportunity and the chance to grow. We build walls around ourselves and (potential) ignore our weaknesses. In fact, we often go as far as defending them. Which brings me to my second point. If we defend what we have learnt, and ignore the growth and development that we might enjoy if we were less blinkered, then we are stuck with what we already have. Strength and weaknesses alike.

But how do you engage with the things you hear? How do you face your weaknesses head on and seek to change? Especially as a teacher in a busy school where opportunities to develop are increasing limited by time and budget constraints?

We’ve found that trying to get people together is getting harder and harder (if not nigh on impossible). Our alumni (i.e. the newly Qualified and recently qualified teachers who qualified at Loughborough) can’t take time out of school to attend the one-day workshops we host. Equally, their holiday time is too important. It’s become a space not only to recuperate but also to catch up with work that they couldn’t get through during term time. And, as such, they simply can’t “spare a day.”

Our solution. A teacher education blog. This one. Why? Because talking to last year’s cohort this (i.e. social/digital media) is the best platform for engagement. It’s easy. In their own time. And doesn’t require a day away.

The aim over the coming year (and beyond if it works) is to engage in professional discussions about teaching. It is to share ideas that might help your teaching. It’s a way of offering support to the community without it costing the earth. The aim is to start at the start of the school year and share content that should take less than 10 minutes to read. Feel free to send in some ideas and if you want to contribute then please let me know. Fingers crossed that we can take PETE at Loughborough University further into the Digital World.

5 reasons why you should download the myLboro app

5 reasons why you should download the myLboro app

August 29, 2018 Lauren Proctor

The myLboro app is a digital guide to Loughborough University London. If you haven’t already got the app, here’s 5 great reasons why you should download it now!

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Opening Soon

Opening Soon

August 24, 2018 Ash Casey

The new Loughborough University Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE)  blog will start on 31st August 2018.

2018 School Games on Campus - Advice to Library Visitors

August 24, 2018 Steven Lake

The 2018 School Games are being held on campus at the end of next week, from Thursday 30th August to Sunday 2nd September. Visitors to the Library should be aware that in order to allow for set up, operation and de-rig of the School Games, some car parks, roads and pedestrian areas across campus will be fully or partially closed. There are also likely to be increased noise levels on campus at certain times and in particular areas.

Specific to Library visitors, the top tier of the Library Car Park will be closed to visitors from Thursday 29th August to Sunday 3rd September, although the Library will remain closed over that weekend.

Further information about the even can be found below:

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/internal/events/event/2018-school-games.html

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

Emerald Insight Resources Access Changes

August 23, 2018 Steven Lake

We have now moved our access to the Emerald Insight database to Single Sign On from Athens authentication, and are in the process of updating all catalogue links and Subject Guides.

However, there is an off-campus access issue with journals linked from the catalogue to Emerald. Until it is resolved, to access these off campus you need to follow these steps:

  • Log into the VPN or Emerald first.
  • Select Institutional Log in, then UK Federated, then Loughborough University.

If you experience any further issues or problems, please let us know.

Top tips to remember when writing your master’s dissertation

Top tips to remember when writing your master’s dissertation

August 23, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Are you in the middle of writing your master’s dissertation? Here are some top tips to get your through it! Remember the deadline for 2017/18 students to submit their dissertation is 10 September 2018.

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Box of Broadcasts Moved to Single Sign-On Access

August 22, 2018 Steven Lake

As part of our ongoing project to move all of our resources to a Single Sign-On system from Athens authentication we have just completed transferring Box of Broadcasts (BoB) across to this new system, and we encourage users to take the following steps to ensure their access is uninterrupted.

  • Clear any cookies on your PC.
  • Either from the Library Catalogue, or from any other link, please update your BoB bookmark to: https://login.learningonscreen.ac.uk/wayfless.php?entityID=https%3A%2F%2Fidp.lboro.ac.uk%2Fsimplesaml%2Fsaml2%2Fidp%2Fmetadata.php&target=https%3A%2F%2Flearningonscreen.ac.uk%2Fondemand . This should enable you to link direct from on-campus without the need for any login and from off-campus would direct you to the blue Loughborough University login screen.
  • The first time you use this route you should be asked to re-register and then there should be a pop-up giving you the option to import playlists and so forth. This can be a bit slow in appearing, though some users may find that their playlists automatically migrate across.
  • Once you have re-registered and imported your lists subsequent access will be much simpler and quicker.
  • If you are using BoB for teaching purposes please re-register ASAP so that we can address any problems with playlists etc. before teaching commences.
Abolition's early struggle against the booming global slave trade

Abolition's early struggle against the booming global slave trade

August 21, 2018 Peter Warzynski

Dr Catherine Armstrong is a historian of colonial North America and the United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Here she describes abolition’s early accomplishments at a time when it was more prosperous to turn a blind eye…

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Staff & Researchers Book Renewals

August 21, 2018 Steven Lake

The due dates for all books borrowed or renewed by University Staff and Researchers can now be extended to 8th February 2019. Due dates for all books borrowed or renewed by Undergraduates and Postgraduates remains the same (3rd October and 5th October respectively).

Please note that all books are still subject to recall, so remember to check your emails regularly.

10 things you need to know before joining Loughborough University London

10 things you need to know before joining Loughborough University London

August 20, 2018 Lauren Proctor

Yasantha joined Loughborough University London from Sri Lanka, and is currently studying a master’s with the Institute for Digital Technologies. We asked Yasantha to tell us ten things that every student should know before starting a postgraduate programme at Loughborough University London. Keep reading to find out his thoughts.

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