Frequently Asked Questions
Can I do personal or co-curricular projects in the Diamond Laboratories?
Yes. However, general university business (for example teaching related activities, open days...etc) will always take priority over project work. If you have agreement from a member of the Diamond's engineering staff to use one of the laboratories for project work there are a number of tasks you must complete before starting work. For example you will need to write a plan of the work you plan to conduct and a risk assessment. Details about applying to do projects in the Diamond’s engineering labs can be found at the Diamond Wednesday’s website (see the links box on the right hand side).
I know I should have a lab session, but I can’t see one appearing on my timetable. What should I do?
There could be several reasons for this, for example the lab may have been re-scheduled, the timetabling system may be down or you may have been moved into a different group/session. There are three sources for timetabling information you can check:
- The iSheffield app on a smartphone
- myTimetable available on MUSE
- Your personal google calendar (although this must be synced)
These three systems obtain their data from the same source, however, some update more frequently than others. If you checking these three systems doesn’t resolve your problem, please contact your department (see links), who will be happy to advise.
I know that I am going to miss my lab session. What should I do?
Timetabled activities in the Diamond are compulsory. However, we appreciate that are some instances where you may have extenuating circumstances that mean you know you are unable to attend. In the first instance please contact your department (see the links box on the right hand side), as soon as you can, explaining the reasons why you need to re-arrange the lab. They will discuss with you the options and what you need to do next.
Do I need to complete the pre-experimental activity?
Yes, completion of the pre-experimental activity is compulsory. The purpose of the pre-experimental activity is to give you sufficient training before you arrive to be able to have a safe and meaningful experience. Ensure you follow all the instructions for each activity, which will be printed in your lab book and published on the associated MOLE site. Check carefully you have fulfilled the necessary requirement to be considered to have passed.
What is the deadline for completing the pre-experimental activity?
This will vary with the type of task you have been asked to do. Every activity in the diamond will have an online assessment that will require you to read, watch or listen to preparatory material, and complete a mandatory lab induction test. This test will need to be completed at least one hour before the timetabled session is due to start. This time allows staffs to be able to mark work or collate data. Please be aware that staff may not have time to discuss the results of your mandatory lab induction test and why you have been refused entry during the session, as a class will be in progress. If the pre-experimental activity also includes a task to be completed on paper (for example, in your lab book) then bring this along to the timetabled session.
What I fail to complete the pre-experimental activities by the specified deadline?
If you haven't completed the required tasks by the specified deadline, you will be refused entry to the lab. In this case, you will need to contact your department (see the links box on the right hand side) within two working days to let them know what has happened. If they feel that the reasons for missing the assessment are genuine, they may allow you a resit opportunity.
What happens if I arrive late for my lab session in the Diamond?
If you arrive after the session has started then you may not be able to take part in the activity. At the start of the session, the doors to the room will open and students waiting outside will be invited in and their attendance processed. Once all students are inside the room, the doors will be closed and no further entry will be permitted. This has been decided because of disruption caused to the class when student arrive late and the potential to miss key health and safety briefings, rendering you unsafe to conduct the work. To ensure you are not refused entry, arrive at, or before, the start time published on your timetable.
I have arrived late and been refused entry. What should I do?
You should contact your department (see the links box on the right hand side) within two working days and explain to them what has happened and why you were late. They will help you to work out the best way to proceed.
What is the expectation of conduct during practical activates in the Diamond’s engineering laboratories?
We want everybody who works in the Diamond, teaching staff, demonstrator and student, to have an enjoyable experience and learn something. We are also training you to be able to act as a professional engineer in the workplace. As such, we expect you to conduct yourself with professionalism. This involves being alert and attentive while treating those you are sharing the space with respect. For example, if you are asked to leave a room by a member of teaching staff, please comply politely. Offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
What should I do if I need to leave the lab to go to the toilet?
Of course, if you need to leave you should do so. However, it is a good idea to let the lab academic, a teaching technician or a demonstrator know you are leaving.
What if I feel ill during a session?
The most important thing to do is inform a member of teaching staff immediately, who will be able to provide support and if necessary summon first aid. Completing the task is secondary to your wellbeing during the activity.
What happens if there are extenuating circumstances that mean I need to unexpectedly leave during the session?
The most important thing to do is discuss this with the teaching staff on the day before leaving the room. It will be noted that you have had to leave and were unable to complete the activity. You should contact your department (see the links box on the right hand side) within two working days and explain why you had to leave.
What happens if I arrived at a laboratory and I'm not on the register?
If you are not on the register, we will not be able to undertake the activity and asked to leave the room. The labs are planned in advance to accommodate a certain number of students. It would be unsafe and unfair to other students to allow unexpected people into the room. Please be aware that teaching staff in the laboratory do not administer the timetabling system and so will not be able to answer questions about how the registers were constructed. If you feel an error has been made, please contact your department (see the links box on the right hand side) within two working days.
What happens if the sessions runs over the timetabled end time?
In the event that a session isn’t long enough to complete the required tasks, due to, for example, interruption by a fire alarm or equipment failure, then you will not be obliged to remaining beyond the timetabled session times. If you need to leave, you must inform a member of teaching staff and efforts will be made to arrange another session to complete the activity. If teaching staff and the room are available, and you are free to continue, it may be more convenient for you to complete the task than to return at a later date.
What should I do if I have missed my lab session in the Diamond?
If you have missed any of your sessions in one of the Diamond’s engineering laboratories you must inform your department (see the links box on the right hand side)within two working days, explaining the reasons for your absence. They will discuss with you the options and what you need to do next.
What should I do if need to get some help from a member of staff about the work I did in the Diamond?
On each lab sheet there should be the name of an academic who is an expert for that subject. Please e-mail this member of staff including the following details:
- Your name, student ID and the course you are studying.
- The name of the room you conducted the work in.
- The time and date of the session.
- The name of the activity you were doing.
It may be that this person is very busy, so don’t expect a reply straight away. If you haven’t got a reply 2 working days after sending the e-mail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org (see the links box on the right hand side) and someone will be assigned to deal with the issue. When contacting email@example.com, please include the original e-mail you sent.
I have to submit some work using Turnitin. What file formats can I upload?
Turnitin has certain restrictions on what it will and will not accept. For example, it will only allow certain file types (such as word .doc or .docx, excel .xls or .xlsx and .pdf). There are additional limitations on file size (a maximum of 40 MB) and the file’s content. In order to perform plagiarism detection body text should be machine readable, i.e. the text should be typed and not a scanned image of the words. Further information can be found at http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cics/turnitin/studentsubmitscrncast (see the links box on the right hand side).
Can I resubmit my work on Turnitin?
Yes, up to the deadline you can submit an alternative version of work uploaded at an earlier time.
I’m having trouble uploading my work to Turnitin. What should I do?
There could be a number of reasons why the upload to Turnitin isn’t working. Firstly, check that Turnitin will accept the file (see the FAQ “What file formats can I upload?”). The issue may be associated with the equipment you are using. While Turnitin will allow submission for various devices, it is impossible to know if a particular operating system, security setting, browser, internet provider...etc is blocking the upload. If you plan to submit from your own device, ensure there is enough time before the deadline to be able to access a University managed PC should you need to. If you are trying to submit an acceptable file from a University managed PC and are still having problems, record as much information as possible for CiCS to diagnose the problem. This information should include the time and date you are logged on, the computer you using and the file you are trying to submit.
I have to submit work through Turnitin and there is a major network outage. What should I do?
Occasionally there may be a significant, widespread problem with submission to Turnitin. For example, Turnitin servers or the University network may not be available. If this is the case, you will be informed as soon as the problem is detected and the deadline will be extended. You will not be penalised for events that are outside of your control.
I have submitted some work late, what are the penalties?
If you submit work after the deadline that mark you would have received for the work will be reduced in line with University policy, which can be found in the links box on the right hand side. If there is a genuine reason outside of your control that prevented you from submitting the work, you will need to apply for ECs (extenuating circumstances) from your department (see the links box on the right hand side). Further information about ECs can be also found in the links box to the right.
How do I get my marks and feedback?
For more information about accessing your feedback though Turnitin, please visit http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cics/turnitin/feedbackstudents (see the links box on the right hand side)
I have a history of fainting if I stand for too long, and I know this could be dangerous in a laboratory environment. What should I do?
Inform the academic lead or a technician before your session starts, and they can discuss the best way to help you avoid fainting. We advise everyone to make sure they are rested, fed and hydrated before starting a long lab session, as they can be hard work.