Following on from my guest lecture at the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies (click for abstract) at Liverpool Hope University earlier this month, I’ve received a number of requests for my presentation slides. As a result, I’ve added them to SlideShare and made them more widely available below. These slides are supplied with an important caveat, however. I designed the talk to balance descriptions of what worked and what didn’t work over the course of my PhD research; I also talked a great deal around the slides – that means that important content and context is missing in several areas. Nonetheless, I think the literature cited, methods overview and some of the results reported will be of interest to researchers and others in the field. If you require an alternative format, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Tips for thesis-making: the first in an occasional series.
Your university or department will supply specific guidance on page formatting and the presentation of the thesis, but in my experience (and the experience of PhD students around me) finding the information on how to achieve correct presentation of a thesis using Word is surprisingly difficult, as is remembering the process once you’ve worked it out. In particular, issues of page numbering (sounds simple: it isn’t) and combining separate chapter documents whilst maintaining/generating Endnote references without duplication (sounds complicated: it is) can add hours to tight submission timescales. In this first post I address page numbering. This is not a beginners guide to Word. This is aimed at people with reasonable proficiency.
I know what you want to do. You have combined all of your chapters and additional appendices, abstract etc into one document. You have saved the thesis file. You have backed up the file, diligently, in a million different places. You now need a Title page without numbering, the following pages (your acknowledgements, abstract, table of contents, table of figures) require Roman Numerals, your thesis then begins on what needs to be Page 1, the first page of your first chapter and run throughout the remainder of this substantial document. Of course you know what you want do to. Now we just have to get Word to do your bidding.
First, remove any pre-standing page numbers from your document. Next, on the Home menu, go to the Paragraph section and select Show/Hide Formatting button (to ‘show paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols’). This will allow us to see the formatting interventions we are about to make.
The next step is to insert a Section Break between the early pages of your thesis and what will be Chapter 1 Page 1. The Section Break is the key. In Word 2007 (my current edition) the section break is found on the Page Layout menu as ‘Breaks’. Firstly, make sure you have selected the area where you wish the page numbers to be differentiated (the page before Chapter1). Now, go to Page Layout > Breaks. It has a sub menu (pictured) containing Page Break options and Section Break options. Select “Next Page: Insert a section break and start the new section on the next page”. The Section Break may alter formatting around it. Keep the section break and make whatever changes need to be made to keep everything else in its place.
Now we add the numbers. Above the Section Break, select the Insert menu. From there, click next to Page Number to access the Page Number Menu. Select “Format Page Number”. In the box marked “Page Number Format” select your preferred numbering for the opening pages of your thesis.
Next, with your cursor still in the opening section of your thesis, insert page numbers in the usual way. This should give you your desired numbering for the opening sections of the thesis.
To add usual numbering to the main part of the document you need to return to the Page Numbering menu. Select “Format Page Number”. In the box marked “Page Number Format” select your preferred numbering for the remaining pages of your thesis.
Move your cursor to a section of the thesis after your Section Break (where usual numbering is intended). Now insert page numbers in the usual way. At this point you should have number i, ii, iii, iv, through to 1, 2, 3, 4, for the whole document.
But what about your title page? This is currently page i, and it doesn’t look great. Click your mouse in the footer of the first page. A new Design menu is activated at the top of the Word window (pictured). In the Design menu, go to the Options sub menu, and tick the box marked “different first page”. This will remove the number from your title page.
Congratulations, you’re done! If you have an automatically generated Table of Contents, update it now to see the results.
Last week I blogged about the InterFace Symposium in Southampton. As with many events, the organisers sought to enhance delegate experiences and communities using a mix of social networks and other Web 2.0 tools (a Ning social network, Micro-blogging with Twitter, online publishing with Scribd). It can be difficult to quickly assess the accessibility of such services and make decisions as to which service is most appropriate – or at least it was until JISC TechDis and Southampton University pulled together to create Web2Access.
Web2Access is a great reference site for anyone wanting to make more informed decisions about applying web 2.0 tools in an accessible way. The resource allows you to search for information in different ways. You can search by activity (for example, collaborative writing or ) and Web2 Access will then give you a percent score on the success of those applications in accessibility terms. So at time of writing Twitter scores an overall 88% , Accessible Twitter scores 95%, Facebook 69%, Ning 72%. These ratings are subjecting and based on manual and automatic tests. If you follow links for each individual service, you can discover more detailed information about how each service scores for users with different disabilities. Alternatively you can browse by Disability or using the Search box on the website front page. There are also useful pages describing how the sites listed have been tested, answering Frequently Asked Questions and linking to useful e-Learning resources.
If you are involved in organising teaching and learning and are wanting to make more use of Web 2.0 services in your e-learning activities, or if you are interested in how Web 2.0 can supplement your existing methods, or events in an accessible way, Web2Access provides a rule of thumb for most situations.
NEWS FLASH: I’ve just received word that today JISC have published the final report for the JELS project (full title: ‘A study of effective evaluation models and practices for technology supported physical learning spaces’). This is great news for me and the team. You can read the final report on the JISC project pages, or visit the Learning Sciences Research Institute project pages.
Caramel Whistle have just published the results of a thorough trawl of the web, seeking out the best Sign Language resources for students of BSL. This round-up includes Mobile Signs and some of the resources and technical vocab sites I’ve listed here previously, but more importantly he introduces some great new finds.
For me, there are two clear highlights. The first is Spread the Sign, a European website that hosts a text-to-sign search. This allows you to translate a word or phrase from a range of european spoken languages into a sign language equivalent. You can search for a term and then view the results in BSL, or see it signed in any of 10 languages, including Swedish, Turkish, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Czech. Importantly, video is smooth and sharp. This is a great site that rewards exploration.
The second highlight is Qia Resources for ICT. This site offers common and specialist vocabulary on Information and Communications Technology. As with Art Signs, this is useful for anyone working in media, education, computer science or a related discipline.
See the full article here: Learning-a-Language.
Another useful free tool for post graduates and academics. YouSendIt is a secure online file transfer service for sending large files that can’t be squeezed through your inbox. This service is useful for all sorts of situations, particularly if you’re looking for a high-speed (quicker, cheaper, perhaps greener?) alternative to putting a CD in the post. Their ‘Lite’ service is free and supports up to 1GB per month. Perfect if you’re looking for an easy way to share audio or video files with third parties for collaboration or transcription, without using FTP.
Since starting my BSL course last year (final exam on Monday!) I’ve been struck by the potential for mobile technologies to assist translation and memory for BSL students on the move. As a result, I was really excited to discover Mobilesign, an online dictionary developed by the University of Bristol’s Centre for Deaf Studies (and discovered via a hunch based upon yesterday’s edition of the BBC’s See Hear). From what I can glean, Mobilesign has been developed in conjunction with SignStation, a website promoting Deaf awareness and workplace materials.
Mobilesign contains over 5000 BSL signs, available through a minimal, mobile friendly interface. Suitable for phones, PDAs and any other networked mobile tech, signs can be searched for by string (any search term, or set of terms) or through the A-Z index. Through sister site SignStation you can explore by category or via a picture dictionary when you register. Registration is free.
Bristol cite an underlying bespoke content management system allowing
access to indexes of the most requested signs, related signs and regional variations. This rewards exploration, and complements other materials from CACDAP and the great resources developed by the University of Wolverhampton that I’ve linked to previously. To see all my articles linking to BSL resources, pop ‘BSL’ in the search box, or use the BSL category listed on the left.
Earlier today, Professor Dame Wendy Hall gave a presentation at the Mixed Reality Lab here at Nottingham as part of the MRL’s distinguished lecture series. Her lecture ‘What is Web Science and why is it important?’ scoped the Web Science Research Initiative as an emergent discipline, discussed the semantic web, and, by way of introduction, described her own route into Multimedia. If you want to hear more on this from Wendy herself, Nodalities are hosting a podcast interview with Professor Hall covering just these topics.
Amongst other sources of inspiration, Prof. Hall cited Hyperland (1990) a BBC2 ‘fantasy documentary’ by Douglas Adams. This 50 minute film examines (then) contemporary cutting edge research through dream encounters with a software agent (played by Tom Baker) and hypermedia visionaries such as Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson, to propose how interactive multi-media might constitute the future of TV.
As Douglas Adams’ website notes, whilst Adams was creating Hyperland – a student at CERN in Switzerland was working on a little hypertext project he called the World Wide Web… To discover this vision of futures past, watch Hyperland below.
Last week I blogged about Art Signs – an excellent video resource produced by Wolverhampton University, specialising in BSL vocabulary relevant to those in the arts, (higher) education or (in my case) digital media. Yesterday I spoke to some colleagues looking for wider vocabulary, so here are some links to other extensive glossary sites developed by Wolverhampton for those building skills in BSL in Further and Higher Education…
- Science Signs
Including glossaries for anatomy, biology, chemistry, genetics, physics, environmental science, geography and geology. If you want to know what the sign for deoxyribonucleic acid is, you’ve come to the right place.
- Engineering Signs
Including glossaries for architecture, construction, housing, surveying, computer aided design, civil engineering, electronic and electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
- Secondary Curriculum Signs
If the above university websites are over whelming, a reduced dictionary is available via the Scottish Sensory Centre. They also deliver the ‘crowded cottage‘ which features some household and day-to-day signs alongside some fun colloquialisms.
I’ve been taking a CACDP British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 course this year to develop my communication skills. My final exam is in a few weeks, with a topic focused specifically on work. Early in the course our course tutor John Smith, put the group in the way of newly developed BSL Online Learning Support resources for students studying our CACDP Level 1 course and as our vocabulary has developed, the value of such online video resources have become more and more appreciated.
The CACDP site is great for very basic vocabulary, but due to my academic background I’ve been searching for other online resources to use in tandem with the course to help revise specific vocabulary around higher education and learning sciences. During this search I’ve discovered the excellent Art Signs.
Art Signs is a glossary site from the University of Wolverhampton featuring hundreds of signs for the Arts categorised by discipline, alongside those relating to research, learning and teaching. Signs are listed alphabetically and thematically. Clips are short and speedy – but this is a comprehensive database. Everything from file types and internet terms, through methodology, to teaching and learning vocabulary is on there. Art Signs rewards careful searching and will be of great benefit to those working in Education, Research, Media, Technology and the Arts.