How To Create A High Quality Personal Statement For University Entry

As part of my responsibility for the BSc Computer Science course at Birmingham City University, I get the opportunity to review a lot of Personal Statements submitted by students looking to join the course.

I spoke to students at Solihull College about how to best present themselves for successfully university entry and the slides are included below. The slides are hosted on the SlideShare account for Thomas Lancaster.

I do recommend that students put the time in to identify their skills and experience and to relate these to the courses that they want to take.

This will help them to obtain a valuable and worthwhile position to study a Computing or IT subject at Birmingham City University.

How To Quickly Grow Your Pinterest Profile

One area I’ve been working on is expanding my use of Pinterest, as it’s an excellent social site, but one that I’ve fallen very behind with.

You can view my Pinterest profile here.

Pinterest is mostly a site where you can share graphics and images that you’ve seen on other sites and liked. You can also upload your own graphics and images directly to Pinterest.

However, this definition is quite broad, as you can also pin videos, slides and other resources.

There are several ways to quickly add pins to images of interest.

First of all, if you Follow other prolific pinners, you can repin some of the pins that they’ve made.

Second, you can create boards relating to areas of your research. Then just choose some of the main sites that you know of and pin appropriate images.

Third, pin your own talks. This can easily increase their exposure. You can pin slides that you’ve uploaded to SlideShare.

Fourth, you can search websites directly on Pinterest to find appropriate graphics. Use this to start off with some of your own other professional presence sites.

Fifth, grabbing screenshots is a great way to quickly create other images which you can share.

Just be creative! Pinterest had a lot of potential and is an excellent visual community and a way to expand on your own professional online presence.

Examples Of Promoting Research Through Professional Presences

Here are the slides that I delivered at the HEA workshop “Professional Presences For Academics” related to examples of different promotional methods. The slides are hosted on the SlideShare account for Thomas Lancaster.

They cover all types of ways of self-promotion using web sites, blogs and social media, but they will be particularly useful to anyone involved with academic research.


One thing that I’ve found works very well is promoting talks and research activities both before, during and after their release, and these slides include a number of examples and ideas.

What Makes Up A Professional Presence For Academics?

There’s always a question about what makes up a good professional presence for academics.

There are so many different sites which could be registered with and used, and this can look overwhelming to someone new to representing themselves online.

These are the slides I delivered for a recent Higher Education Academy workshop where I broke down the main different components which should be considered. The are hosted on SlideShare account for Thomas Lancaster.

One area I found particularly useful to go through was the different ways in which you can promote academic research using social media, so a number of sites related to that are included.

Outsourcing Assignments? Exposing The Threat Posed By Contract Cheating To The Computing Industry

I recently joined Robert Clarke in speaking about contract cheating to a room full of academics and people from within the wider Computing industry.

As well as looking at examples of contract cheating and the research involved, the talk also considered some of the implications for student employability.

The presentation took place for the Wolverhampton branch of the British Computer Society. The slides, hosted on SlideShare account for Thomas Lancaster, are included here.

Contractor sites, such as Freelancer.com, are widely used within the Computing industry, both by workers and contractors. It is only when they are used for academic work which is then submitted towards academic qualifications that this becomes unacceptable.

It was interesting to hear the reactions of the wider Computing sector to the research. That is certainly an area for further research, discussion and exploration.

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