“It wasn’t until I had my vision tested that I discovered I had a green colour deficiency and so colour overload is a problem, such as occurs in some pie-charts. I tend to use blue as this is usually a safe colour for presentations and when developing web pages if you have a colour deficiency – blue, pale colours. When items are highlighted, the text goes white on a blue background.
To show you how this looks I have made a PowerPoint presentation about colour deficiencies – it is available for download from Slideshare.”
This could save the day when you cannot think what to write in certain parts of an assignment or dissertation – the University of Manchester has an Academic Phrasebank.
It is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological “nuts and bolts” of writing organised under the headings to the left. It was designed primarily with international students whose first language is not English in mind. However, if you are a native speaker writer, you may still find parts of the material helpful.
“I have changed the look and feel of Blackboard to make it easier for me to find my way around, read course titles and find documents. I set it up how I like it and then you can personalise your page (top right of the menus). I chose the forest theme because I found it had quite subtle shades and it was easy to see and use and it wasn’t too stark. Then you click on submit at the bottom of the page, and it puts it all into place for you. But then I was working with someone who did not like my colours so I used the Internet Options in Internet Explorer to quickly make it easier for her to read content with a blue background.” (High Contrast mode is also available through the My Places menu on Blackboard)
“A problem of using a laptop in class can be the light given off by the laptop’s display. I found sitting at the back of the class stopped a lot of this unwanted attention, but this also had the disadvantage that you might not be able to see/hear what the lecturer was saying. Instead, I found a simple remedy which is free. 99% of laptops have the ability to dim the screen’s brightness, either by using the function keys (FN + F6 & F7 on some laptops) or from the graphics display properties available in control panel – under the display settings. Some laptops also offer dimming as part of the Power options in Windows.
Dim laptop screen
By dimming the screen you will reduce glare – reducing eyestrain, reduce unwanted attention and will also save your laptops batteries from being drained – advantages all round!”
“I use Zoomtext a lot for reading and assignments when the screen reader is the most useful thing. I use the printer and scanner, although now I do not use the scanner so much as most of it is on line – I have large fonts and mouse pointer but usually read things with a screen reader as it saves my eyes.”
Amber – Nursing