PubMed ® for Trainers
Do you train others to use PubMed? If so, join us for PubMed for Trainers, a hybrid class with 3 online sessions and 1 in-person session (eligible for 15 MLA CE credits). The class is an in-depth look at PubMed and a chance to share training ideas with your fellow participants.
Fundamentals of Bioinformatics
The "Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching" course provides basic knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons use online molecular databases and tools from the NCBI.
TOXNET® and Beyond
This course is designed to convey the basics of searching the NLM's TOXNET®, a Web-based system of databases in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and related fields.
Teaching with Technology
Learn how to take advantage of online tools to offer distance education classes and enhance face to face classes! Join us for this "asynchronous" (on your own time) class. The class is taught over 5 weeks and is eligible for 8 MLA CE credits.
PubMed® for Librarians
PubMed for Librarians is made up of five one-hour segments. These five segments will be presented via Adobe Connect and recorded for archival access. Each segment is meant to be a stand-alone module designed for each user to determine how many and in what sequence they attend.
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The NTC blog focuses on PubMed, training and presentation tips, adult learning principles and more. This blog entry is going to tell you to forget all about that…for just a little while. I recently received an email with the heading: HATE HAPPINESS? THEN KEEP EATING LUNCH AT YOUR DESK. Well, that caught my eye. A recent article in Fast Company talks about the personal and work benefits of not only breaking for lunch, but moving away from your desk (completely away, not just away from your computer screen).
Sometimes I think we take more care in recharging our phones than ourselves. It’s a fact of life. We must eat to charge our body. Chris Cunningham an organizational psychologist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview that where, how, and who we eat with is as important as what you eat.
The gist is…our work can drain us emotionally and drain us of our energy. Unplugging during lunch (a walk, lunch with a friend, a personal phone call) can help recharge us and keep us productive for the rest of the day. We may not be able to take a full hour, but every little bit helps!
Recently the NTC has been trying out a new tool for creating tutorials, called Guide on the Side.
Guide on the Side was developed at the University of Arizona, and it received the ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award and an award from the American Library Association for cutting-edge technology. Guide on the Side is free tool that allows you to create tutorials with an interactive instruction panel on the left side and a live website on the right side. In the instruction panel you can give directions for interacting with the website, embed quiz questions, and link to additional resources. The content can be divided into chapters to make it easy to return to a particular point in the tutorial. The two panel tutorial makes it easy try out what you’re learning right away and avoids the inconvenience of flipping between instructions and a website. Creating the tutorials is simple — it uses a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.
Those who have tested the NTC Guide on the Side tutorials have indicated that it’s a fun and easy way to learn about a database.
For more information on how to install Guide on the Side or the technical requirements, visit the Guide on the Side site.
OMG! I sat down to write this post, but first I did a search of the NTC blog to see when I had last written about mind mapping tools. OMG again! The date was October 20, 2011. Almost exactly 2 years ago today.
Mind mapping tools help you visually organize a topic using boxes and circles and connecting arrows…oh my! Click here to see some very elaborate examples. With mind mapping tools you can include content (text, files and links) so you can build the topic as you go along. Mapping tools often save your work in a proprietary format which may not retain formatting when you export into Word, for example.
Fast forward 2 years and now let’s talk about outliners (not as pretty as mind mappers). As of last week, I had never heard of this type of program. Outliners are similar to mind mappers, but with outliners there is more emphasis on the text or content you are developing. From the Outliners of Giants site: “Outliners combine the functionality of a word processor with the ability to give a tangible structure to interrelated blocks of information.” The outlining tool is almost like a puzzle waiting to be assembled.
I read the article linked below and I tried the free version of The Outliner of Giants. I was preparing for a meeting and I thought the tool would be a good way to capture some of my thoughts and then use the outline as a collaboration tool during the meeting. You don’t need to create an account, Outliner of Giants connects to your Google Drive account (Use your regular Google login). You can export to Google Drive and continue to edit the document or you can export to Word from Google Drive and continue working on the document.
Follow this link to read about 5 outliner tools:
Recently, the Shift eLearning Blog had a post entitled “Understanding People is the Most Important Thing in eLearning Design.”
I think that many of their tips can be applied to both online and face-to-face environments. Below are a few of my take-aways, but the full post is linked above if you’d like to click over to it.
Their first principle is: people like people. They suggest that in designing e-learning, you should incorporate images or videos of people to make the lesson more engaging. I think whenever possible, we should go further and try to provide opportunities for people to interact with each other. When I think about the last class or conference I attended, one of my favorites aspects is talking with others about new techniques or ways to solve problems. You might add discussion or polls to your classes to take advantage of this principle.
Secondly, people like stories. This is probably not a surprise if you reflect on presenters you’ve seen – it always seems more memorable if they’ve used a story to illustrate an important idea. Can you create a realistic scenario or recall a story to make the message stick in your classes? Maybe you have a story about a time research changed a diagnosis or treatment decision? Consider adding stories like these to your classes to make the content of the class easier to understand or recall.
Shift also states that people like both organization and surprises. At first, this might seem a bit contradictory. The overall course should have a clear and logical flow, but an occasional surprise can be fun and really help information to stick. Like a plot twist in a great novel, a surprise can re-engage the learner and show a novel way to look at the information, especially if it’s something they may have encountered previously. Thinking about something you often teach, how can you incorporate something unexpected?
So, you’re about to give a presentation or lead a training session and like a good instructional designer you have a list of learning objectives that you want to cover. However, reading the list of objectives from a PowerPoint slide can be a dry way to start off. While you have everyone’s attention, make the most of it. I recently read an article called: 10 Ways to Yawn Proof Your eLearning. While many of us do not do eLearning per se, these 2 suggestions can work in a face-to-face setting as well.
Two ways to make learning objectives sound less boring and even possibly fun:
1) Frame your objectives as questions, eg., How can I find citations in PubMed that have been indexed as Review articles? Can’t you hear the crowd now? Woohoo!! We’re going to learn how to find Review articles. I can’t wait!
2) Sell the objective as a benefit and turn it into a one sentence promotion, eg., You’ll learn how to find evidence-based literature for all the requests from year-one medical students.
Read all 10 suggestions at:
My name is Jessi Van Der Volgen and I am the newest member of the National Library of Medicine Training Center. I joined the NTC in September 2013 after working with the NTC as part of the second year of my National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship at the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. In the first year of the fellowship at NLM, I had the opportunity to work on projects for MedlinePlus, LocatorPlus, the Disaster Information Management Research Center, and participate in a natural language processing project. What can I say? My interests are highly varied!
As a trainer for the NTC, I help develop and teach online and in-person classes on PubMed, TOXNET, and other NLM resources. I’ll also be contributing to our blog and social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter), so take a minute to follow us, if you’re not already doing so!
While in library school (University of Wisconsin – Madison), I worked at a very busy undergraduate library answering all kinds of interesting questions. I also had a project assistantship at the Limnology Library. I had to look up limnology before applying to the job — it’s the study of inland waters. With just two library school students running the library, I had a chance to do a great variety of work – organize and weed government documents, copy catalogue new books, develop a class on copyright for faculty and graduate students, and even dust the shelves.
Before becoming a librarian, I was a high school biology teacher at a small school just outside of Portland, Oregon. I loved teaching freshman through seniors, and it was wonderfully rewarding to see them be excited by new concepts. If you teach or train, you know how great it is to witness those “a-ha!” moments.
I am enjoying getting to know Utah, which is a great place to be if you love the outdoors. In my off time, I like hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, trying new restaurants, playing with my rascally dog, Ruby (a corgi), and watching the Packers!
I look forward to meeting you – either virtually or in-person!
Last month I attended an online training from The Bob Pike Group, called No More Boring Technical Training. In just an hour, the instructor led an interactive session with several ideas for enlivening training that could be highly technical. Here are few examples of techniques you could try.
- If you’re using scenario-based training, make the scenarios realistic and offer multiple choices of scenarios. Presenting the learner with a choice, gives them control and leads to better engagement.
- If what you’re teaching is abstract or complex, use metaphors, analogies, or images to aid in your explanation.
- Use a find-and-fix. Show students an example in which something (or several things) is incorrect. Ask them to identify the problems and suggest solutions.
- In computer-based training, try guided exploration. If they can’t break it, what neat shortcuts or functions can they find? (For an example, type “tilt” or “do a barrel roll” into the Google search box).
Have you tried any of these techniques? Which one would best fit in to the classes you are currently teaching?