Struggle to convey technical information simply?

Many people who have a depth of knowledge in their area of expertise can struggle to convey information to those outside their field.

Come along to the Create Fit-For-Purpose Technical Materials workshop to learn the tips and tricks of communicating information clearly and simply!

This workshop has a hands on approach, with practical exercises using your own 170720-hand holding penworkplace technical writing. There will be a focus on content, purpose and writing to target the specific audience of your document.

Here is what a participant from last year’s workshop thought…

“I really enjoyed this course and feel that it has refreshed and updated my skills to enable me to write documents to target the audience that they are aimed at and to understand better how to write documents for
maximum impact.”

Find out more about Create Fit-For-Purpose Technical Materials and enrol now so you don’t miss out!

When: Thursday 3 August
Time: 9.00am – 2.00pm.

Registrations are closing soon so please let us know of your interest so we can hold a place for you.

Not the course that you are looking for? Please visit our Learning and Development intranet page to view our courses/workshops and programmes or if you have any questions contact Learning & Development.

Why I’m not scared of using the term ‘Aspies’ anymore

Dean Sutherland gave a very insightful talk about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) as part of UC Diversity Fest. Here is a short re-cap and some helpful tips to make campus ‘a place where people with Autism can flourish’.

Rosie King declares, “normal isn’t a complement…why does society want to make people normal?” Aspies is a term coined by people with Asperger’s as a way to identify and celebrate their uniqueness. People with ASDs have a variety of strengths: attention to detail, special interests, consistency of performance, loyalty, and seeing things from a different perspective just to name a few.

Some interesting facts:

  • 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with an ASD
  • Not all autistic people are like Rain Man, or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory…

What you can do to help:

  • Be mindful of metaphors, sarcasm, figures of speech and slang. English is rife with them. If you tell an Aspie you are ‘dying from the heat’ they might take you literally.
  • Make your learning environment comfortable and conducive to Aspies’ learning. Consider the temperature, noise, light, and smells. All these things can lead to sensory overload for someone with an ASD, making it difficult for them to learn.
  • Communicate changes to Aspies’ routine thoughtfully. If you have a guest speaker or class is held in a different place than usual, provide plenty of notice.
  • Group work can be very challenging for Apsies. Be thoughtful and intentional when creating working groups and provide clear guidelines.
  • Social interactions can be tricky for Aspies. Be explicit about what you need them to do. It’s better to say, ‘please use this pencil’ as opposed to ‘don’t use a pen’.
  • All Aspie’s are unique individuals – get to know them!

There are plenty of resources and support:

To find out about upcoming events and seminars during Diversity Festival check out the programme on Facebook.

UC Landscape Master Plan

Campus Landscape Master plan released

The Landscape Master Plan has been signed off by Council and can now be accessed on our website.

The ongoing development of UC’s built infrastructure has created landscaping challenges for the campus, and as the new buildings are completed, they need to be integrated in with the existing landscape and also contribute to the wider campus environment.

The Landscape Master Plan is a bridging document between the Campus Master Plan and University of Canterbury landscape management strategies. It provides campus-wide principles for planting and hardscape and includes both immediate and long-term strategies for implementation.

You can access the plan here.

Start of works on von Haast building

On 24 July the University will hand the von Haast building over to Dominion Constructors Ltd for demolition, and erection of hoardings around the site will begin.

There has been a change to the programme that was advised late last year. Demolition will now proceed from the southern to the northern end. This is to enable the contractors to gain access to the foundations at the south end of the building as soon as possible to enable early installation of the timber frame.

There will inevitably be noisy works during the demolition phase that may impact in different ways upon staff and students in the vicinity, however we are working with the contractors to ensure these impacts cause as little disruption and inconvenience as possible. We have produced a timeline of demolition and construction activities to indicate what can be expected, and when. During exam periods, we will work closely with the exam teams and the main contractor to ensure noise is reduced.

As demolition proceeds, dust will be managed on site with water as required, however it is unavoidable that some noise and vibration will be felt by those in the immediate area. If you find yourself adversely affected by noise, please consult the Health and Safety options for managing ‘Noise at Work.

As we move through the demolition phase into construction of the new building, there will be changes to pedestrian routes around the site in three stages. These can be viewed on-line here, but rest assured that north-south access will be maintained at all times throughout the project.

This represents an exciting milestone for the University as we begin work on the central building that will draw together all the elements of our magnificent new Science precinct. A process that began with construction of the new Biological Sciences building pre-earthquake, followed by refurbishment of the old Zoology building and culminating most recently, with construction of the soon-to-be completed RRSIC building at the centre of campus.

When this new Stage 2 building is completed, more than $300 million will have been invested in the precinct from University funds, Crown Capital contribution and insurance settlements, and we look forward to producing many future scientists of the same calibre as those UC has produced in the past.

You can find more details of the new building here>

Professional Development Opportunity at Diversity Fest!

Come along and find out how YOU can make a difference in creating a safe space for our diverse students and staff. The goal of this workshop is to deepen our understanding of ways to support Rainbow Communities in the tertiary setting.


Anne Nicholson is the Education Coordinator with Q-topia Youth, now teaching the national InsideOut programme.

InsideOUT works to make Aotearoa a safer place for young people of minority genders and sexualities.

Anne identifies as gender diverse and will be presenting on creating campuses better equipped to support our diverse students and staff.

When: Thursday 10 August, 9am-12pm

Where: Undercroft 101

Cost: FREE

Register here>

Keeping UC staff informed