Tuesday top tips – virtual learning

Good Morning everyone!

Are you new to online learning?  Wondering how to take part and get the best from virtual teaching?  Try our quick Tuesday tips, and take a look at yesterday’s post for links to online videos for iPads and Microsoft apps.

  • Are you sitting comfortably?  Try to find a quiet and comfortable space.  If you can, make this your dedicated learning space so that you keep it separate from the rest of your home life.  Remember to take regular breaks, stand up and have a stretch.
  • Are you prepared?  Think about what you want from the session and any specific questions you have.  Look at your notes from previous sessions and any instructions you have been given beforehand.  Think about ways to reduce background noise if you can and try to reduce distractions, for example, temporarily turn phones to silent and turn off email notifications.
  • Ready to take part? Practice using online apps, joining group chats and sharing your screen with other students beforehand so you feel comfortable. Think about how you will take notes during the session. Don’t record sessions without permission.

Remember to act as you would in live sessions, be polite, professional and patient with others!  

There’s lots more help online, including a blog post from Pearsons


Online learning help

As learning and teaching has moved online we thought we would gather together links to some helpful videos and tutorials. This is only a selection, there are many more out there. 

Future facing learning

Find videos on YouTube from Nicki Wise to help get you started,  TU iPads on YouTube or follow @tuipads on social media for more support, hints and tips TU iPads on Instagram

The University’s Future Facing Learning page has a number of self help tutorials to help you get the most from an iPad and apps.  You can find the full set of videos, including Microsoft apps such as OneDrive, Teams, and Sway along with accessibility tips, through the link below. 

Future Facing Learning

iPad help from Apple

Check out the iPad playlist on Apple’s YouTube channel Apple video help for iPads

Microsoft help

There are many tutorials and videos for the whole range of Microsoft software, including Sway, OneDrive, OneNote and Skype for Business on the  Microsoft 365 training site


Happy Friday Everyone!

What’s your virtual librarian name?

We hope you are all well and getting to grips with staying indoors.  Each Friday we’ll try to give you a fun activity to make you smile.  Today we want to celebrate all the librarians working online to keep giving communities and students access to information so we want you to find your virtual librarian name.

Step 1: Take the first name of a favourite childhood character.

Step 2 : Now add the last name of your current favourite author.

Add them together and there you go!  We’ve had Rapunzel Pullman and Ranger Cleeves up to now … why not share yours on social media to make other folks smile.

And, don’t forget, your very own real life librarians are still here to help!

You can send us emails via libraryhelp@tees.ac.uk  or click on the link below to find out who your real life librarians are and book a virtual tutorial http://libguides.tees.ac.uk/lrs/tutorials  

We’re also busy developing online workshops and other ways to stay in touch so look out for future posts giving you more details.

In the meantime, have a happy and healthy weekend.

Critical thinking and fake news

Critical thinking is a skill for life as well as something you’re expected to demonstrate in your academic studies.  You need to evaluate your sources of information on a number of levels, including accuracy, reliability and bias.. 

Why is this relevant now?

It’s important to think carefully about where you find your information, particularly as more of us are using online sources in the current situation.  In your studies you are expected to use academic sources and reliable information.  

Don’t rely on a Google search! You can access lots of our resources even while you’re away from campus – use the filters in a Discovery search to limit your results to Full Text Online.  You can also filter your results to show ‘Peer Reviewed’ results which have been through a process of checks before publication. For more information see our Discovery help pages

These skills can also help you to make informed choices about where you get other information. Remember to use reliable and trusted sources for important topics such as Coronovirus updates .  Always check official sources to help you make decisions.  

The university website has links to national and international guidance on the Teesside University – Coronovirus information page   

Keep up to date with Student and Library services information on the dedicated  Coronovirus update page


Here are some tips and tutorials to help you.

You can find lots of useful information on our Critical Thinking guide

Wondering about fake news? Have a look at our guide to Facts Matter

Wellbeing on Wednesday

Hi Everyone,

Today’s post is a reminder to be aware of your own wellbeing and stress.  It’s easy to forget about yourself when you are looking after others or adapting to new situations. Keeping in touch with your own emotions and mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health.  There is lots of online support available, including the Mind website so please make the most of it and remember to ask for help if you need it.  Be kind to yourself and to others!  

Find out about Student and Library Services help on the Student support page

Here are some top tips:

When you are anxious you might feel stuck and unsure of how to feel better. You might even do things that unwittingly fuel your anxiety. Follow these simple steps to help you cope with your anxiety right here, right now:

  1. Take a deep breath
    Remember the 7/11 rule.
    Try slowly inhaling to a count of 7 then exhaling to a count of 11.
  2. Accept that you’re anxious
    Remember anxiety is just a feeling, like any other feeling. By reminding yourself that anxiety is simply an emotional reaction you can start to accept it.
  3. Question your thoughts
    When people are anxious their brain comes up with ideas that are often unrealistic and unlikely to occur, which can fuel the anxiety. Try asking yourself these questions when challenging your thoughts:

    • Is this worry realistic?
    • Is this really likely to happen?
    • If the worst possible outcome happens, what would be so bad about that?
    • How have I/others managed this before?
    • What I might do?
    • How could I prepare for this?
  4. Use a calming visualisation
    Picture yourself somewhere that brings up a positive feeling, such as on holiday. Try to visualise using all of your senses; how did you feel, what could you smell, what could you see, what could you touch and what sounds could you hear?
  5. Use positive self-talk
    Anxiety can produce a lot of negative chatter. Instead of thinking ‘I can’t cope’, try thinking ‘I can tell I’m feeling anxious because…but this won’t last forever and I have plenty of strategies I can use to manage it.’
  6. Focus on right now and take control
    When people are anxious they are usually thinking and worrying about something that may happen in the future. Instead, pause, breathe and pay attention to what’s happening right now. Ask yourself what you would be doing if you weren’t feeling anxious today. If you were going to go to the gym, can you exercise at home?  If you planned to meet a friend, can you ring them or arrange an online chat?

Let’s get started!

Here are our top three tips to get you going.

  • Search for online resources.  You can limit a search in Discovery to only show results with ‘full text online’ – try our  Discovery help pages  for more hints.  You can also search our ebook collections – our ebooks guide  has all the help you need.


  •  Book a virtual appointment with an academic librarian to help with assignments, research and referencing.  Take a look at our online  booking page  for more information.


  • Make the most of our Learning Hub online tutorials and support pages.  We have a wide range of helpful resources which you can dip into at a time to suit you and follow at your own pace.  There’s information from all of our Succeed@Tees workshops and a whole lot more.