buttons for instruction

and because they are fun!

from L to R:

Eye Heart UO libraries for Human Physiology students

UO Libraries with images from our campus newspaper archive collection [5 different ones here]

Find yourself at UO Libraries with maps as a background for a Geography class [2 variations here with and without a heart shape]

UO Libraries save lives with a cholera virus for a class that worked on issues around cholera [5th from left]

Backwards design, backwards and forwards [above the cholera and I belong…]

I belong at my library, borrowed from Amanda VerMeulen, source information below.

this is nice:https://librariandesignshare.org/2016/07/22/buttons-for-the-people/

Stop using Likert scales: 3 minute version and examples

For your library instruction feedback forms, we recommend a  model that produces actionable data as an alternative to Likert scale questions. [longer article linked below]

Dominique Turnbow and I developed performance based replies for our end of class evaluations, based on work by Will Thalheimer who does this in business settings. In short, we suggest turning your likert scales into something more useful. Dominique and Amanda Roth, both at UCSD, have this lovely example in qualtrics.

Or in like this in google forms.

They continue to update how they gather this information, example at right. Click to enlarge:

I have also printed out copies and brought them to class for students to fill out. When I don’t have students working on computers, that’s a good strategy. Qualtrics is so much nicer, but anything will work. Whenever possible I use our LMS (it’s now Canvas) to make a simple survey for students to fill out. We don’t have a formal system for reporting our results, but I can use these results to see what worked and what didn’t. If you’re getting students feeling confident about everything consider making sure you are addressing the topic in more complexity too. I use these forms for my own documentation of my instruction for contract renewals and performance reviews.

If I haven’t convinced you about this, that’s ok, but please use qualtrics which lets you label each reply, and if you need to use google forms, then use radio buttons so each answer can be labeled.

Will also has this super wonderful amazing Smile Sheet Diagnostic

Please consider reading our full published article.

misconceptions in librarianship

1.Everything is on google:


2. Students all have their own computers.

3. There is a peer reviewed article(s) about your topic.

4. Libraries and librarians are quiet

boolean is dead

Long live the Boolean? In what circumstances might Boolean be beneficial for undergraduate students? While outside the scope of this paper, Boolean may be more important for upper-level students or students with more complex research needs. For example, a student conducting an extensive literature review aiming for high recall (such as locating all possible relevant articles on a topic) or a student in a specialized discipline such as business where there may be many interrelated factors to consider (for example: industry, stakeholders, NAICS codes49).”

” Overall, natural search language is at least as good as Boolean searching. With evidence that students struggle to grasp Boolean searching, and may not use it even after instruction, it could be left out of first-year instruction, freeing up valuable class time to focus on concepts such as question development and source evaluation.”

LOWE, M. Sara et al. The Boolean is Dead, Long Live the Boolean! Natural Language versus BooleanSearching in Introductory Undergraduate Instruction. College & Research Libraries, [S.l.], v. 79, n. 4, p. 517, may 2018. ISSN 2150-6701. Available at: <https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16729/18669>. Date accessed: 02 may 2018. doi:https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.79.4.517.

And this:


“Also the study tests out natural language search vs  key concepts chained with AND operators and not my proposal that nested boolean is not necessary.”

7 types of mis- and disinformation, compare and contrast ideas

Stop calling it Fake News, 7 types of mis- and disinformation:


Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policymaking


A typology for fake news:

Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Zheng Wei Lim & Richard Ling (2017): Defining “Fake News”, Digital Journalism, DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2017.1360143

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2017.1360143

Then consider the following. (Thanks Dan Rather!)

1. Understand that trusting a news outlet doesn’t mean they’re perfect — no one’s perfect. It means they tell you when they screw up.

2. Don’t rely on just one news outlet.

3. Don’t rely on just the news to understand an issue. Read books. Find the experts. Find out how the issues are discussed outside of news.*

4. If you find yourself agreeing with everything your news outlet says, you’re doing it wrong. If your news doesn’t challenge you, challenge your news.

5. Find a commentator whose politics differ from yours.… If you can’t find such a person, maybe the media is not the problem.

6. Remember that what the news tells you is far less important than what they decide to talk about in the first place.

Rather added closing words in the video.

“The true test of trustworthy journalism isn’t that they never make mistakes. It’s whether they’re willing to challenge the powers that be on behalf of those without power.”


*This echos this fascinating summary of a great experiment. The whole post is awesome, but this is from #2.

“The fact checkers were easily able to  avoid all the traps and narrow down on reliable data, while the historians and undergraduates struggled.
Why? Again I’m not going to summarise the whole paper and I urge you to read the full paper because it goes in fascinating detail on how fact checkers think and search as compared to the other groups but the upshot is the fact checkers were very quick to do cross-checking of information on other sites.
The article calls this “Taking bearings”. While the historians and students spent a lot of time studying the webpages they were presented with,  the fact checkers quickly started searching other websites to learn more about the webpages they were studying.”
Which pointed me to this terrific infographic from IFLA:
Finally this:
“We will talk about bias later, but to him** list based methods like CRAAP have too many questions and doesn’t guide the user on what are the most critical questions to ask and the order to ask them in.
He draws an analogy with doctors trying to diagnose patents. Doctors now don’t ask questions in a random order or ask patients to just list all the symptoms. Instead they are trained to use decision trees to ask questions in a specific order to narrow down possibilities.
As such, he gives the following specific targeted advice when checking for fake news.
  • Check for previous work
  • Go upstream to the source
  • Read laterally
  • Circle back
Notice, he doesn’t just give you a bunch of evaluation points, but tells you the order to do them. In particular, he follows the strategy of the fact checkers in the Stanford study and prioritizes cross-checking and validation.”

Engaging students watching student/group presentations

Have students watching the presentation use the same rubric you do and grade the presentations. (We do this, and I don’t think it offers much after the first few times. I like that it makes students think about what will go into their own presentations, but they tend to be generous graders.)

Have all students write down something they liked and something they thought could be improved on.

“Randomly* call on two students after each presentation – one to give a constructive criticism, and one to give a compliment. The potential of being put on the spot should keep most students paying attention.”

Students write one thoughtful question they would like to ask. Then, the presenting student(s) chooses one classmate to ask their question and then the presenter responds to it.

“A TAG sheet has three rows: Tell them something you liked. Ask them something that was unclear. Give advice for next time. These seem to work well IF I say that they must offer three pieces of advice, not necessarily one T one A and one G.”

Finally, this article had some interesting ideas: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Doubling-Down-on-Student/234622

This in particular:  Have students do a longer presentation – then write down what they thought went well, what didn’t and what they’d want to change. Students can turn that reflection of their own work in for credit.

One site suggests having them present to just 1 other person (or if working in groups, have 1 group present to another group), and have 3 or 4 presentations happening at a time.

You could even have them do this on consecutive sessions, so it’s a shorter time for any 1 class. Then swap groups presenting next class.

And then have students do a shorter presentation implementing those changes later in the term. (Shorter, because they have to sharpen their message, hone their skills, etc.)

In one bigger class, students also get to vote for their favorite presentation in their smaller discussion sections. The element of competition is an fun incentive for some. The professor had mugs made up, but a trophy from Goodwill with WINNER in sharpie would be tempting.

*random is hard (have a system – you can use an app, or put all student names in a hat/on index cards/on popsicle sticks to help.) Give them points for asking.

Women, POC, Others in STEM or Not all scientists are old white guys

For a project I’m working on:

In response to a student request for more representation of Women and People of Color in the sciences, we propose to use some of the available surfaces in the PSC to show visual images of under-represented people who have had an impact on the sciences along with enough text to explain who they are. Students would be asked to help create the visual displays. The final images/words would fit on 11×17 sized paper, so they can be printed on site. We would like to mount the work on foam core and plan to attach them to pillars and other surfaces with removable double sided tape (i.e. command strips). The creation of the posters would happen after approval and they would not be posted until after Dean Walton’s exhibit of International Prize winners was in place.

Also this: “Findings support the hypotheses that exposing undergraduate women interested in medicine to information about successful female physicians (role models) sets in motion a positive process involving the mechanisms of perceived identity compatibility and sense of belonging, leading to increases in or sustainment of women’s interest in medicine, despite continued gender-specific challenges.”


Examples from here are particularly inspiring:


also these:

Dr. Marian Diamond – documentary










Dr. Susan Smith McKinney-Steward – https://blackpast.org/aah/steward-susan-smith-mckinney-1847-1918

Seven Beautiful Illustrations of Women Scientists You Should Know




Amazing Research Race online

How to get started with your own Amazing Research Race, link to document includes instructions, FAQ and a question bank.

Run an Amazing Research Race online, using google forms or a survey/quiz in Canvas (any LMS would work).

Run a Race in person, here is a student handout example

Bibliography on some of the topics covered here.

quizzing software late 2017

subject to revisions:

kahoot! = best use of game based pedagogical design that I know of, and it’s free

polleverywhere = free for up to 40 players, so it won’t work for large classes unless you have teams. Just added screen names as an option

plickers = really nice interface for the questions. With printing out and distributing the answer cards and getting an app up an running on your phone, this one may takes a little more set up to get started. I haven’t used it yet, but hope to do so soon.

quizizz = this one could be better, but it has frustrating limitations with the answer options at this time

LibWizard = not free and generally only for libraries using Springshare software, it that’s you, this could

ones embedded in your LMA (we have Canvas, and I know Blackboard and Moodle have options)

padlet = creates a board for students/users to write on

Google forms can be used a quizzing tool, but slightly different.

Remember that varying your questions will help with quizzing fatigue!

Cite a clinical trial in APA format

  • from APA:  Do use the full URL of the work though to make things easier for retrieval.

VA Office of Research and Development. (2016). Cooperative Studies Program #563 – Prazosin and combat trauma PTSD (PACT) (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT00532493). Retrieved fromhttps://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00532493


  • …[T]he most important thing to keep in mind when citing a work is this: Can the reader use your citation to find the source material?

She also said that APA is a modular citation style, so it’s possible to cobble together a citation for anything as long as the basic elements are there; those elements being:

Author(s). (Year). Title. Source.

With this in mind, I think the first example you linked to is the one I would tweak to my own satisfaction:

Patient Centered Cloud-based Electronic System: Ambient Warning and Response Evaluation (ProCCESs AWARE). (2014). Retrieved from http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2 (Identification No. NCT02039297)

It sort of follows my old prof’s rule-of-thumb; what’s missing are the names of the authors. (And the URL is no longer correct, but that’s the Internet for you.)  😉

Looking at the Clinical Trials website, here’s what I’d write:

Pickering, B. W. (2014). Patient Centered Cloud-based Electronic System: Ambient Warning and Response Evaluation (ProCCESs AWARE). Identification No. NCT02039297. Retrieved fromhttps://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02039297

  • To be honest, I’ve only seen trials cited in-text but not in the reference list, like the following example. (Of course, if it’s a published trial then the article reference is in fact in the reference list.)
From “Sepsis and Acute Kidney Injury” http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/22/6/999.long
“These and other findings have led to ongoing clinical trials that are examining the beneficial effects of carbon monoxide in AKI in the setting of delayed graft function in kidney transplantation (clinicaltrials.gov, NCT 00531856) and bilirubin in endotoxemia (clinicaltrials.gov, NCT 00916448).”
  • I’ve also seen clinical trial data referenced as unpublished raw data like in this example, but I think the two examples you shared are the best format to follow.
Bentler, R., Palmer, C., & Dittberner, A. (2003). [Clinical trial of the Siemens Triano hearing aid]. Unpublished raw data.
Bentler, R., Tubbs, J., Egge, J., Flamme, G., & Dittberner, A. (2004). Evaluation of an adaptive directional system in a DSP hearing aid. American Journal of Audiology, 13(1), 73-79.

will be helpful to some extent, but I find that Purdue’s OWL site is magically simple to interpret.https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/05/

Use the basic format of any online reference in APA format

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article.Title of Journal, volume number, page range. Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/

And this example of an Internet report: Internet Report Posted Online

Montreal Region Task Force On Crime, Interim Report Number Two. (2006, November).Statistics and trends in      crime. Retrieved February 12, 2007, from http://montrealislandcrime.qc.ca

So my approach to this example from your WHO page would be….

ClinicalTrials.gov. National Library of Medicine (U.S.). (2000, February 29 – ). Sleep disorders and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Identifier NCT00287391. Retrieved February 22, 2007 from: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00287391?order=1

The key to any use of a style manual is consistency. If you can massage your reference to fit the general format of a basic reference, it will be accepted as correct.

Displaying Your Findings: A Practical Guide for Creating Figures, Posters, and Presentations (ISBN: 1433807076X)

It’s probably wrong of me that I really enjoy these kinds of questions. Even when I get the details messed up. I love the illusion of perfection and order.