Category Archives: Campus online

Front Line Services team

Kent People: Templeman Front Line Services teams

By Christine Davies, Learning Environment Assistant

Can you tell us more about your role?

Together, our teams – Facilities Management, Learning Environment, Service Delivery and Support & Liaison – look after the physical spaces, resources and service points in the Templeman Library. We help users make the most of our physical collections/study spaces and provide in-person/online help with library and IT queries. We could be the person on the phone helping you with a password reset, issuing your carrel key from the Welcome Desk, trundling past with a trolley of textbooks, or handing over a computer to support working from home.

Students are at the heart of what we do, but we also have plenty to offer staff, as well as our local community. A real privilege of working in the Library is our dual capacity for education and leisure. Of the 12 items I currently have on loan (you can borrow up to 40), one is a cookbook, a CD, two are DVDs and the rest a mix of fiction (titles like Golden Hill and The eye of the reindeer) and non-fiction (topics as diverse as running, medieval science and beauty).

How has the pandemic affected your work?

In March 2020, the pandemic prompted a University-wide lockdown and the Templeman closed its doors too. Most of our teams were suddenly tasked with working from home although a handful of essential staff remained to manage building maintenance (Covid-proofing) and book returns (or avalanches, in those early days!).

The experiences of front-line colleagues – including Jon Peacock (Support Supervisor), Nick Goodman (Support Officer), Sally Vinicombe (Welcome Desk Supervisor), Joe Lucas (Learning Environment Team Leader) and Luke Ranger (Facilities Manager) – highlight three distinct phases in the Templeman’s pandemic timeline:

1)    Panic stations (March-July 2020)

Jon: The IT & Library Support Desk had to move entirely online and quickly familarise ourselves with MS Teams and other remote working tools so we could advise others. The first lockdown was particularly busy in fielding calls, emails and online chats from students and staff grappling with remote-working and technology, all in the lead-up to exams!

2)    Covid-proofing (July-December 2020)

Luke: As we planned how to re-open in line with Government guidance, we re-calculated our building capacity and implemented measures to promote safe movement and behaviour. This involved moving/removing furniture to create individual socially distanced study spaces, distributing signage to support a one-way system, and locking/cordoning off areas of risk (like unventilated group study rooms).

Joe: We adapted team operations, introducing work bubbles to limit the spread of Covid. We focused on fulfilling book fetch requests to ensure access to physical resources while limiting visitor footprint. We made retrievals twice daily, processing and storing requested items at a reservation pick-up in the Welcome Hall. We also introduced a 72-hour stock quarantine to delay items moving between users.

Sally: The Welcome Desk stripped everything back to essentials only, suspending our visitor services to prioritise student access to the Library, and switching our approach to advisory rather than hands-on. We handled a wider variety of queries, stretching our own knowledge base and encouraging students to be more self-sufficient.

Nick: We’ve added Perspex screens to the Support Desk and re-spaced the desks to reinforce social distancing for the safety of staff and customers. It’s also been exciting to explore new ways of improving our remote support through MS Teams.

3)    The new normal (January-June 2021)

Joe: From September 2020, we noticed that quarantine had an impact on users, particularly in accessing high-demand items. So we increased our digital offering, reintroduced self-service shelf access and made adjustments to secure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. In response, students were complying with what was once considered unnatural: sitting a desk apart from their friend, studying with a mask and following a one-way system around the building.

How can colleagues make the most of library services?

As lockdown eases, we hope to gradually reintroduce our full range of services over the summer, as well as prepare for an effective Welcome Week. Our bookable study spaces are already available and we hope to reopen our popular Chill-Out Room by September.

If you’re visiting the Library, check out key updates on our website and a whiteboard in the Welcome Hall. We recommend using our online tools to check opening hours, building occupancy, and our catalogue. Library Search remains an invaluable resource, and our Library Collections colleagues have been busy adding more e-resources throughout the pandemic, so do use the filters to check if your book or journal is available online.

Other useful digital tools include our Software finder and E-resources A-Z. Why not check out BOB (Box of Broadcasts), a handy way to catch up on recent TV & radio, our recently-added collection from the National Theatre or Summer Reads chosen by colleagues from across the Library?

You can stay up to date by following our blog and social media channels. Our Support Desk is open through the summer (09:00-18:00 weekdays, 12:00-18:00 Saturdays), and you can reach us remotely during these hours by phone (01227 82 4999), email (libraryhelp@kent.ac.uk) or via the “Chat to us” that appears on most library webpages.

computer-laptop-work-place-mouse

Care first webinars w/c 2 August 2021

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 2 August –  Friday 6 August) webinars are as follows:

Monday 2 August 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 3 August 2021 – ‘Coping with uncertainty’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 4 August 2021 -‘Anxiety of the clinically vulnerable as restrictions ease’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 5 August 2021 – ‘The benefits of cycling’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 6 August 2021 -‘Information for MHFA’s, Mental Health Champions & Managers supporting teams as restrictions ease’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wooden sign reads: Welcome to community garden

Kent Community Oasis Garden: Restoration volunteers needed!

The Kent Community Oasis Garden is a growing space project jointly run by the University of Kent and East Kent Mind. The garden aims to promote good mental and physical health for everyone who visits and volunteers at the space.

The project is based at the Canterbury campus on the Crab and Winkle pathway north of Parkwood. Over the past 18 months the garden has been mostly closed due to the pandemic however, we are hoping to relaunch the space in September and open it fully to students, staff and community members.

However, we need your help! We are looking for some keen new volunteers this summer to help us restore the site to a useable and maintainable growing site before the new term and there is lots to do!

If you are a looking for something to get stuck into being newly back on campus, or will be staying on site over August, we need some extra people to help us install a new rabbit proof fence, build a new composting area, and battle with the weeds!

We are open every Wednesday from 10:30am – 1:30pm where a small group of existing volunteers will be able to welcome you to the project and get you started. This is a great opportunity to get some fresh air, exercise, and meet some new people at a valuable project.

If you would like more information about the project you can visit https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/kentcog/ or email kentcog@kent.ac.uk. Please also feel free to just turn up on a Wednesday!

critical-law-tv

Critical Law TV: A unique partnership between Kent Law School students and KMTV 

Critical Law TV is a new and ground-breaking partnership between Kent Law School and KMTV, with law students producing and presenting a series of four documentaries investigating contemporary legal issues.

This exciting project offers law students the opportunity to combine their knowledge of the law with a passion for journalism.

Over a series of four episodes, students investigate the impact of contemporary legal issues within the local Kent community. Supported by Kent Law School academics, they’ve been investigating topics such as:

  • Surrogacy Law reform
  • the impact of Brexit on local businesses
  • the impact of immigration law and policy on Kent refugees
  • and the property law reforms proposed post Grenfell.

Students have been assisted by KMTV production professionals, journalists and creatives, to produce and present four documentaries for broadcast on regional and digital TV.

Critical Law TV programmes will be broadcast to around 250,000 homes in Kent and Medway on Freeview, Virgin, BT and online as well as feeding into a wider UK local television network of 13 million households.

Critical Law TV: broadcast schedule 

Watch Critical Law TV at 19.00 (BST) on:

  • Friday 6 August: Brexit and Law
  • Friday 13 August: Property Law
  • Friday 20 August: Family Law
  • Friday 27 August: Race and Law

About KMTV

KMTV is a unique partnership between KM Media Group and the University of Kent..

How to watch

  • KMTV is available on Freeview on Channel 7, with coverage across 236,800 households in Maidstone, Medway, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sheerness, Sittingbourne and surrounding areas. KMTV broadcasts to the rest of Kent via Virgin Media Channel 159, kmtv.co.uk for On Demand and live streaming, and the KMTV app (available on both Android and iOS)
  • Download the KMTV app on the AppStore 
  • Download the KMTV Video app on Google Play

Clearing 2021 campaign - student photo

Clearing 2021 – how we’re using social media to showcase Kent

Social media is a huge influencer and driver of traffic for Clearing 2021. To work alongside our paid advertising campaigns, we have generated new digital content involving Kent staff, students and alumni. Working in partnership with KMTV, we have created a suite of material for use across social channels and external advertising, within websites and embedded in emails to showcase why Kent is a great place to study.

Content includes

  • A series of student video testimonials from Kent students who applied via Clearing, their story, tips and advice.
  • A series of alumni video testimonials who applied via Clearing sharing their Clearing story, advice and what they’ve gone on to do since graduating.
  • Clearing Application advice videos recorded by MORA recruitment officers targeted to parents, teachers and prospective students.
  • A brand new ‘Guide to Clearing’ animation produced by a Kent Digital Arts student.
  • New video content across accommodation, wellbeing, scholarships and Kent Sport featuring Kent staff and students from these areas.
  • Student testimonials from students talking about their courses, why they chose to study them and why they like studying them at Kent.
  • A series of good luck, congratulations and Clearing reminder videos all recorded by Kent students.
  • Promotion clips for our Clearing open event on 29 July.
  • Content for platforms including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to drive awareness and engagement.

 

This content shows off the best of the University community and is a key part of our Clearing strategy for 2021. You’ll be able to see these posts across our social media channels and can take a look on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/UniversityofKent

Staff in Registry

Staff Conference September 2021 – tell us what you’d like included!

As we start to look forward to 2021/22 – and following a challenging 18 months for us all – we’re planning a week-long series of events for colleagues to join together to mark the start of the new academic year.

Our proposed Staff Conference will take place virtually and on our campuses from Monday 13 – 17 September between 11.00 and 13.00 each day (till 15.00 on Friday). The idea is that you can dip into the sessions that most interest you over lunch or in work time, or catch up with recordings later on.

Over the week, we’re planning a number of activities, both informative and informal, that you can choose to join in or to run yourself. These may include:

  • Talks and discussions about projects, initiatives, and activities of the University
  • Sessions focusing on wellbeing support available to staff
  • Informal events to take part in individually or as a team
  • Staff awards to celebrate the achievements of all our staff over the last 18 months.

The Staff Conference is all about you so we’re keen to hear from staff across Kent, whether in Divisions or Professional Services, what you would like to do during this week – what would be helpful in your role at Kent or something you’d like to share with colleagues!

If you would like to present a session – either a short, interactive session or a longer discussion – forward your suggestions to our Staff Conference organising team via communications@kent.ac.uk by Friday 13 August at 17.00. Please outline your proposed session using no more than 300 words, indicating in particular how you propose to engage and interact with your audience.

We hope that this will become an annual event to mark the start of the academic year. But for now, we look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions soon!

Students taking part in Professional Practice MSc

Master’s Course in Professional Practice

Article from the Digital and Lifelong Learning team:

We would love to tell you about our Master’s course in Professional Practice, run within the Department of Digital and Lifelong Learning. Over the past decade we have had a fair number of colleagues who have decided to study with us. We currently have individuals investigating succession planning/change management and the management of exams within the University and it is a great way of recording and reflecting the momentous changes that we as a learning community are currently navigating.

The course is a standard 180 Credit Master’s degree but spread over three years (two 30 credit modules a year, with a 60 credit dissertation module in the final year). This allows participants to balance home, work and study. The course is unique in that you make your work your study and your study your work as the focus of all the modules is your professional role within the University.  Modules are taught over two extended weekends (Friday-Sunday). There are no exams as all the modules have final assessment which involves a short presentation followed by a written work-based assignment. As a member of staff doing a part time University of Kent course, you are entitled to 50% fee remission – this means you get a Masters qualification for half the price. In addition, if you currently hold level 7 credits and/or experience this can be APECL-able.

Delivery

After a couple of induction days, you will start the Evidence Based Practice module on 24-26 September, with the second weekend being held on the 5-7 November. This module explores the nature of information used to answer work-based/practice-led questions and develops critical thinking,

In January, you will move on to study the Learning and Development module. Here, you will explore the way we learn as professionals,  which as you know is totally different from learning at school or college. The module runs on 21-23 January and 11-13 March 2022.

Successfully passing the first year, you have a PgCert in Professional Practice. You then start on the 2nd year, which begins with an optional module and continues with a module to develop skills and prepare your research proposal in readiness for the final year.

Modules and Assessment

You can find out more about the programme content on our Professional Practice webpages. If you would like to arrange an informal chat, please email dall@kent.ac.uk and we will arrange a time to meet with you on a one-to-one basis.

You can also learn more about the course at a drop-in session run by Dr Anne-Maria Brennan  on Wednesday 28 July between 12.00 and 14.00. Please click here to join the session.

Winners of the University Teaching Prizes 2021 announced

This year’s University Teaching Prizes received a record 34 applications from across the University. The Panel, chaired by Professor Richard Reece, was impressed by the range and quality of applications, and the overall commitment to education and the student experience.

The award winners demonstrated both strong evidence of engagement and impact across all 3 criteria:  1. Excellence in Teaching or Supporting Learning; 2. Dissemination and Influence and 3. Above and Beyond Expectations of their roles. A showcase and award event is being planned for the Autumn term.

Division of Arts and Humanities

Winner – Frances Kamm – School of Arts

For her decolonising the curriculum work that championed, embedded and influenced the arts-based curriculum here at the University.

Highly Commended – Christopher Burden-Strevens – School of History

For his above and beyond, influence and excellence in initiatives surrounding student mental health and assessment innovation.

Division of Natural Sciences

Winner – Jill Shepherd, Sashi Kommu, Tim Fenton and Michelle Garrett – School of Biosciences

For their collaborative work on the Patient Centred Engagement of Students clinical day (PaCES), which increased students’ clinical exposure, within the BSc Biomedical Science programme.

Highly Commended – Stefano Biagini, School of Physical Sciences 

For his sustained commitment to championing and influencing equality, diversity, and inclusivity considerations.

Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS)

Winners – James Bentham, Jack Cunliffe, Rachel McCrea and the wider Year in Data Analytics team – School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR), Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and Careers and Employability Service

For their cross-divisional collaborative Year in Data Analytics initiative.

Division of Human and Social Sciences (HSS)

Winner – Amir-Homayoun Javadi – School of Psychology

For his innovative, captivating, and influential classroom-based teaching.

Highly Commended – Raluca Popp – School of Politics and International Relations

For her collaborative inclusive and student career focused work with the Q-step programme

Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice (LSSJ)

Winner – David Acheson – Centre for Journalism

For his innovative, imaginative, and inspiring online content which had a huge impact on both staff and students.

Highly Commended – Darren Weir – Kent Law School

For his extensive work in building communities of practice within Law

Highly Commended – Tracee Green and Sarah Brown – Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

For their innovative and collaborative development of practitioner-based learning.

University Prize Learning Support

Winner – E-learning Team – Education Directorate

For their sustained excellence, innovation, influence, and impact internally and externally.

Breathing advice from puppets

A collaboration involving Professor John Dickinson from the School of Sports and Exercise Sciences and a social enterprise called Breath Champs CIC helps children, families and communities to learn about breathing in fun ways. Their video gives asthma and exercise advise delivered by puppets!

The project started when Professor Dickinson met Ms Heather Henry at the Medway Asthma Self Help Charity AGM, where he is a trustee and she was a guest speaker. Heather is a Nurse Entrepreneur and founder of the BreathChamps CIC. Heather discovered that John’s research fitted into a lot of the support she was looking to offer the children she engages with through BreathChamps.

Heather’s goal is to make her town of Sale the UKs first child asthma friendly town. This means sharing asthma knowledge with local people and organisations so they look out for children and know some simple things that will help them – the same model as dementia friendly communities.

The idea for creating this video and using puppets came from Heather. Her social enterprise produces several videos like this providing information about breathing issues that are relevant to children experiencing them.

John provided five tips to encourage children to take exercise. The script for the video was produced and a local puppeteer from Hale Barnes called Jamie Marks was contacted and asked to perform it. Jamie makes all his own puppets and performs as well.

Heather said: ‘Is it easy? It’s a skill!’

When asking about the puppets used in this video John said: ‘Unfortunately I did not actually get to meet the puppets. I provided the information to Heather who then put it into a script for the puppeteers to use.

‘I would love to incorporate the puppets into lectures but I’m not sure my puppeteering is up to scratch!’

Prior to supporting the making of the video, John delivered a sport and asthma masterclass for Breath Champs. This was attended by coaches and physiotherapists with an interest in supporting athletes in overcoming breathing issues.

Children (and many adults) learn best through play, which is why BreathChamps uses puppets, games, craft, singing and stories. You can see more of this on the BreathChamps YouTube channel.

Parking permit charges from 1 August 2021

An annual increase in parking permit charges will apply from 1 August 2021. Charges will vary from 65p for a staff daily voucher to £4.24 upwards for a 12-month permit.

The staff parking permit allows you to park in a marked bay on campus from Monday to Friday from 08.00-17.00. You can register up to 5 vehicles so long as the vehicle parked on campus is ticked as the “active vehicle” on your permit the day it is parked.

Types of permits available

 

1. Full monthly permits

You have the option of a 12-month, 3-month or 1-month permit, which will cost from £4.24 to £10.57 per month, depending on your gross monthly salary. Payment will be taken directly via salary deduction each month.

2. Staff daily voucher

Currently only a free 12-month is option available, from 1 August 2021 there will be a charge for issuing the daily voucher permit, but you will now have the option to purchase a 3-month or 1-month permit as opposed to just a 12-month permit.

  • 12-months = £2.50
  • 3-months = £2.00
  • 1-month = £1.00

Please remember with a daily voucher permit on the days you wish to park on campus you will need to purchase a virtual daily parking voucher by logging on to your permit account. From 1 August 2021, the cost of these daily vouchers will increase to 65p per day. These daily vouchers allow you to park in a marked bay in pink or blue zone car parks, the same as a full permit.

Which option is best for you?

If you are regularly on campus Monday to Friday and need a parking space, a full permit may be the best option.

Daily voucher permits are designed for those colleagues who either don’t park on campus every day or work a shift pattern that means they are not always parked at the times a permit is required, with the new 3-month and 1-month options giving you more flexibility than a 12-month permit.

As we start returning to campus this summer, and some of us move to hybrid working on and off campus, it is advisable to look at all the options available and work out which will be the most cost-effective for you.

If you no longer require your permit, don’t forget to complete the ‘Cancel your parking permit’ form at the bottom of this webpage.

Find out more

For more information on types of permits available and costs, see the Transport webpages.