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Help in using Writing for University Courses

This page covers the following:

1 Technical information

2 Using Writing for University Courses off-campus

3 Information on accessibility

4 Using Writing for University Courses

1 Technical information

Writing for University Courses will run on all standard Sheffield Hallam University computers (i.e. all computers in the Learning Centres, CIS computer rooms, staff computers).

If you wish to use Writing for University Courses on any other computer (i.e. a home computer, non-standard computers in specialist areas in Departments/ Schools/Faculties), it needs the following.

1.1 Recommended Browser Settings

Writing for University Courses only runs on Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or above. For a list of browser accessibility features (e.g. for people with disabilities), make sure the browser title bar is active by clicking anywhere in the browser window, then press the F1 key. The Internet Exporer help system will open. Select the 'Contents' tab from the left-hand window, then select 'Accessibility'. Close the help system when you have finished using it.

We recommend that you alter the Microsoft Internet Explorer Internet Options settings as follows:

Select Internet Options from the Tools drop-down menu in Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer options

Select the Advanced tab and tick both options underneath the Accessibility heading as follows:

Advanced options for Internet Explorer

1.2 Recommended Screen Settings

Writing for University Courses is designed for use on university computer settings of a minimum screen resolution of 800 by 600 pixels, in thousands of colours. If you are working on an off-campus computer please note the minimum settings required. You can increase and decrease the text size by selecting 'Text Size' from the View menu in the browser as follows:

Internet Explorer Text Options

 

1.3 Using the QuickTime Player controls

When you access a page in Writing for University Courses that contains video, you will need to click on the image to watch the video. The QuickTime player controller bar will be displayed under the video clip. The controller bar will also be displayed when listening to 'Audio only' versions of the video clips. The QuickTime player controller bar consists of:

 

  • volume control
  • play/pause
  • slider - which can be dragged to jump to other parts of the video clip
  • step back
  • step forward
  • QuickTime settings

QuickTime Player controls annotated image

2 Using Writing for University Courses off-campus

You can access Writing for University Courses (http://universitywriting.shu.ac.uk) from any computer on campus at Sheffield Hallam University (go to the Student Home page, click on Key Skills, then on Writing for University Courses).

If you are a student or member of staff at Sheffield Hallam University, you can also access Writing for University Courses off campus (e.g. at home) by inserting your user name and log-in in the dialog box which will appear.

3 Information on accessibility

This information is for those who need to use access keys instead of a mouse.

Below is given a list of all the access keys used in Writing for University Courses. Please refer to your browser's accessibility guidelines for use of the ACCESS KEY feature, as it varies from browser to browser. Also note that some older browsers may not support this feature.

List of Access Keys:
Alt+1 = Topic Menu
Alt+2 = Main Menu
Alt+3 = Help
Alt+4 = Contents List
Alt+5 = Definitions
Alt+6 = Print Guide
Alt+7 = Advice
Alt+8 = Practice

Alt+K = go to page content
Alt+N = go to menu on the page (navigation list)
Alt+L = link to larger practice exercise - on practice pages
Alt+A = go to link for audio only versions of video clips
Alt+T = go to links for transcript only versions of video clips, or to text only versions of media
Alt+P = go to link for printing the content on transcript pages

Press the ENTER/RETURN key after pressing access keys to go to the required location.

Further accessibility instructions:

If you are using the 'Tab' key to navigate (i.e. to move from one link to the next), continue pressing the 'Tab' key until you reach the point you need, then press the 'Enter' key.

4 Using Writing for University Courses

4.1 Navigation

Use the following links at the top of each page in the site to navigate.

  • Main Menu - will take you to the Writing for University Courses Main Menu
  • Topic Menu - will take you to the menu for the main topics: Main Rules of Written English; Punctuation; Use of Words.
  • Contents List - this will take you to a list of all the pages in Writing for University Courses. Use this to find a particular item.

Once in a topic or section, use the Menu at the left of the page to navigate.

The following links are also always available at the top of each page of Writing for University Courses.

  • Definitions - this opens a pop-up window listing some possibly unfamiliar terms used in Writing for University Courses.
  • Help - will bring you to this help page.
  • Print Guide - opens a pop-up window giving advice on how to print.
4.2 Moving between Practice and Advice

Each topic consists of Practice and Advice sections. Guidance on using these is available on each of the topic menus (i.e. Main Rules of Written English; Punctuation; Use of Words).

When in the topics, the tabs in the top left corner of the page allow you to move between Practice and Advice.

Practice and Advice links also appear within examples and exercises.

4.3 Examples

Writing for University Courses makes much use of examples.

To make clear the difference between examples of appropriate or correct usage, and examples of incorrect usage:
• throughout Writing for University Courses any examples of incorrect usage are marked with an asterisk (*) before them.

4.4 Printing

Writing for University Courses cannot save your work.

You will lose your responses to any activities:

  • if you exit a Self Test or Skill Check while using Writing for University Courses
  • if you completely exit the whole of Writing for University Courses.

You are therefore strongly advised to print any work you wish to keep, as you go along.

Generally, you can print any page by going to File in the top browser tool bar and clicking on Print.

There are a few exceptions. Here you will see a Print icon within the page (e.g. some Practice exercises). If you find that your printed page omits the right hand edge of the page on screen, then print it in landscape (i.e. prints a wider page). You do this by: go to File on the top browser tool bar; click on Page Setup; click on landscape, click OK. Then click Print. Remember to go back to Page Setup and click on Portrait to return to normal.

4.5 Saving your work

Writing for University Courses cannot save your work. As soon as you exit it you will lose any responses to exercises. If you exit a Self Test or Skill Check while using Writing for University Courses, you will lose your responses.

You are therefore strongly advised to print or save any work you wish to keep, as you go along.

You can save any page by:

  • click on Print Screen
  • open Word
  • click on the paste icon on the top browser tool bar or press Ctrl+V
  • save as a Word document.

 

 

© Learning & Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University 2004