User Profile

Ros Walker
BA(Hons), PGCE, MSc, CMALT IT Trainer (Assistive Software & Accessibility)

Company
University of Huddersfield

Industry
Education

Location
Huddersfield, UK

At-A-Glance
The University of Huddersfield is a public university located in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. It has been a University since 1992, but has its origins in a series of institutions dating back to the 19th century.


“It’s not every day you get a marriage proposal. I got one yesterday, from a student, and it was just after I had shown her how to use MindView7. We laughed, a lot, and then the student smiled at me and said ‘You have no idea what a difference you have just made to my life.’ ”

“I wish someone had shown me this sooner.”


Over the last two years, I have run the ‘HudStudy’ services at Huddersfield University. This was set up as a service between Computing and Library Services and Disability Services as an inclusive service for students to use IT to help them study. From the outset, one of our key pieces of software was MatchWare’s MindView software. Initially, this had been purchased by Disability Services and there was no standardised installation around the University. We moved the budget to central services and added MindView to the main ‘image’ so that it became available on every staff and student PC. In addition to this, it was regularly part of many students’ DSA package, so they had MindView on their personal laptops.

However, software without training is rarely used well, so we also put in place a programme of training. We worked with DSA students to give them 1-1 sessions, which were always focussed around their own courses – often mind mapping the structure of their course, their reading notes or planning an assignment. We also offered training for staff, who often came along initially expecting to find something their students may use and then recognising how useful it would be for their own PhD, paper or general planning! Staff from across the University attended – some professional, some academic and they all went away wowed by the potential for managing their own work. The big ‘lights on’ moment was always when a Mind Map was transformed to another format, usually Microsoft Word, but occasionally Excel or PowerPoint. Those involved in Project work were delighted to see the GANTT chart view.

I would have to say that I wouldn’t call MindView ‘assistive software’ – whilst it is essential for some students, it is also incredibly useful for many other students and staff. It really is a ‘cornerstone’ piece of software for managing work effectively.

The work of HudStudy was recently recognised with an award for 2nd place in ‘Learning Technologist of the Year’.

Some examples:

HudStudy Training Course

MindView Booklet (download- creative commons with attribution)

This is a downloadable booklet that you can use alongside the videos below to help you with MindView.

The videos below are either for selfv-study or to refresh your knowledge if you have been on a course, but need a reminder. Click on the title of the video to launch it.