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Feature Slides

  • 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.

    PubMed ® for Trainers

    PubMed ® for Trainers Picture
  • 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.

    Fundamentals of Bioinformatics

    Fundamentals of Bioinformatics Picture
  • 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.

    TOXNET® and Beyond

    TOXNET® and Beyond Picture
  • 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.

    Teaching with Technology

    Teaching with Technology Picture
  • 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.

    PubMed® for Librarians

    PubMed® for Librarians Picture

Teach Like the Brain Learns

A recent post from the blog Teacher Thought wrote about using what we know about how the brain thinks to create a more productive learning environment. Here are just a few of the ideas from the post.

1) Learning doesn’t happen in a bubble.

 “Learning only occurs when the student can connect new information to old information. Teaching someone how a car works is pointless if they don’t know what a car is.”

From the NTC: This comes out in many of the PubMed core competency discussions we have during PubMed for Trainers. Trainers often include a What is PubMed section in their classes. It’s one thing to know how to use PubMed, but knowing why and when to use PubMed can help students choose the best database to start their research.

2) Create a friendly learning environment

Neuroscience: The brain feels before it thinks. The amygdala (think fight/flight) receives stimuli 40 milliseconds before the cortex (thinking).
Usable classroom translation: stress impedes learning. Try to connect with your students when they come into your class by making eye contact, greetings, and taking a moment to chat before diving into the lesson.”

From the NTC: If you teach online, there are a few things you can try to create a comfortable environment. 1) Create a discussion forum where students introduce themselves. 2) If you teach a live/synchronous online class, consider using a web cam and use people’s names when they enter the online classroom.

3) Teaching for mastery

“Neuroscience behind it: In order for information to be retained it must make its way from short-term to long-term memory.
Usable classroom translation: Use the arts as a tool to enhance and reinforce learning.”

From the NTC: One trainer recently sang a song in class to help students see the difference between two concepts. Later we overheard a student refer to the song as a way to remember the new concepts.

Read the full post at: http://ow.ly/vdK2g

Use MeSH to Build and Focus a Search in PubMed

Watch how to build and focus a PubMed search by using the MeSH database.


Icebreakers and Openers

Group with tablet computer

Should you start your classes with an icebreaker? Or an opener? And what’s the difference?

I think of icebreakers as a way to create a comfortable and safe atmosphere for the class or a way for participants to learn a bit about who is sharing the class experience with them. An icebreaker is typically not tied to the content of the course and can be especially useful if the class is going to meet several times or work in teams or small groups.

An opener, on the other hand, is relevant to the content and allows for a bit of networking. I like to start classes with openers because they send a message that there will be active participation in the class and prime the participants to start thinking about the subject of the training. As an opener, you might ask participants something such as:

  • What question do you most want answered about X today?
  • What barriers have you encountered in using X?
  • What do you most often use X to do?
  • What would you do if X happened?
  • What’s your favorite tip for X?

In eliciting responses, you might have your participants jot down their responses first and then share with a neighbor. You might have them write on a sticky note and post it in a shared space and highlight some of the answers together.

There are many ways to engage you participants with an opener, but remember that it should be connected to the content of the session.

Share your best ideas for openers with us on Facebook or Twitter (@nnlmntc)!

Build a Set of Journals to Search in PubMed

You can use the NLM Catalog to create a set of journals to develop a PubMed search. Watch the short video.


New Class Dates Announced!

LittlePMT

Have you heard? We’ve recently announced new class dates for our PubMed for Trainers and PubMed for Librarians classes!

PubMed for Trainers is designed for those who train or will train others to use PubMed. There are 3 online classes followed by an all-day in-person class. Completing the class earns you 15 MLA CE credits and it’s free!

Upcoming classes:

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – June 2014
  • Bethesdsa, Maryland – June 2014
  • Lincoln, Rhode Island – June 2014
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota – July 2014
  • Portland, Oregon – September 2014
  • Bethesda, Maryland – October 2014

For more information on PubMed for Trainers or to register, please visit our class schedule.

PubMed for Librarians is made up of five 90 minute segments. Each segment is meant to be a stand-alone module and you can determine how many and in what sequence you attend. Classes are free.

The five segments are:

  • Introduction to PubMed
  • MeSH
  • Automatic Term Mapping
  • Building and Refining Your Search
  • Customization – MyNCBI

You can find out more about each segment or register for classes on our training calendar.

Watch for more class announcements soon.

We hope you’ll join us!

 

Earth Day is Coming…April 22, 2014

The first Earth Day was in 1970, the same year that the EPA was signed into law. Of the many databases offered by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) TOXNET®  is a suite of databases that cover toxicology data, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.

What is TOXNET? A Little History.

The Toxicology Information Program (TIP) was established in 1967 at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in response to recommendations made in the 1966 report “Handling of Toxicological Information,” prepared by the President’s Science Advisory Committee.

The objectives of TIP were to: (1) create automated toxicology data banks, and (2) provide toxicology information and data services. In the mid-1990′s, the mission of TIP was expanded to include environmental health and thus the Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) evolved.

TEHIP is responsible for the Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET), an integrated system of toxicology and environmental health databases that are available free of charge on the web.

The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) offers online training about the TOXNET databases called Discovering TOXNET. One of the databases included in TOXNET is the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). TRI data is collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What is TRI?

TRI tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. TRI includes data about chemical releases, waste transfers, recycling and pollution prevention. TRI includes information that can help you learn about toxic chemical releases from certain facilities in your neighborhood.

Why was TRI created?

In December of 1984 there was a massive toxic gas release in Bhopal, India from a U.S. owned company. Thousands of people died on that day and thousands of deaths (approximately 8000) have been attributed to that accident. Later that same year, in West Virginia, there was another chemical release. While the W.V. release was on a much smaller scale than the release in India, people across the U.S. began to ask questions about preparedness and information about toxic releases from facilities in their towns.

How can TRI Help Communities?

  • TRI can identify which chemicals are released by TRI facilities
  • TRI can track increases and reductions of toxic chemical releases

What is a TRI Facility?

TRI facilities include manufacturing, coal/oil electricity generation, mining facilities, hazardous waste management and federal facilities. Companies in these industries must report their use of a TRI chemical if they manufacture, process or use more than a certain amount of a TRI chemical per year.

What is a TRI Chemical?

In general chemicals covered by the TRI Program are those that cause one or more of the following:

  • Cancer or other chronic human health effects
  • Significant adverse acute human health effects
  • Significant adverse environmental effects

The TRI Program currently covers 682 chemicals and chemical categories.

Read more about TRI at: http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program

4 Ways to Add Interactivity

Man interacting with a large touchscreen.

In January, I attended a presentation called Making Interactivity Count by Cammy Bean, Vice President of Learning Design at Kineo. You can find her slide deck on Slideshare and I recommend looking at her other presentations as well. Here are a few of my takeaways from her talk. Though her points were geared to the elearning environment, they are highly applicable to the face-to-face classroom as well.

When designing instruction, we try to incorporate interactivity. But what is interactivity? Interactivity occurs on a spectrum and can be human-to-human, or human-to-thing. Even thinking meaningfully can be interactive. Her four strategies for incorporating interactivity are:

1. Get them reflecting! Have your students practice integrating the content into their own mental schema. Ask a question to get them to stop, think, and apply what they have just learned. For example, what are you going to start doing, stop doing, or continue doing with this new knowledge?

2. Get them feeling! Make your stories or examples about real people or put the learner in the story. Ask them questions about the story or why it matters.

3. Get them acting! Build in worksheets or have students assess what’s going right or wrong with a scenario. For example, if you demonstrate a search that returns zero results, have your students determine why and how to fix it. Ask students what they would do in a given situation.

4. Get them connecting! Have your students talk to each other. Use a survey and share the results.

A few other words of caution from Cammy Bean:

  • Don’t add interactivity just for the sake of interactivity (or as Cammy put it, Beware the clicky clicky, bling bling!)
  • Be sure that the interactive elements have context
  • Don’t allow the interactivity to overwhelm the content

What are some new ways you might add interactivity to your classes?

 

Like a Sherpa; Only Different

Information overload. When presented with lots of new information in a short period of time (during a webinar or in-person training session), how are we to know what’s most important in the presentation?

A Sherpa is a person of Nepalese descent and is known for serving as a guide to mountain climbers, notably for Mount Everest. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Sherpa (a guide) to help us focus on the most important components of a presentation? Enter guided note taking.

Guided notes (as opposed to complete notes provided to students) are a teacher-prepared handout used to help students focus on the key elements of a presentation. If you want to help students understand a new concept, include the description in a prepared handout, but leave a blank so the students have to fill in a missing piece of information. This approach engages students and helps them focus on the key points. The National Library of Medicine Training Center uses this approach in some of their classes.

While a 2006 article published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis didn’t find “consistent differences between the two note formats on students’ mean quiz scores.” The researchers did see more correct answers on quizzes where students had used guided notes.

My suggestion…try it, you might like it.

Click here to read the freely available full-text article at PubMed Central.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sort by Relevance in PubMed

In October 2013, PubMed added a new Display Settings option to sort your search results by relevance. Learn more about this feature in this 2-minute video.

You can read about this change in the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Human Factors

Technology; most of us have a love/hate relationship with it.  But wouldn’t it be great if we had a love/love relationship with technology? Specifically, love for an online course we might take or even develop. Karla Gutierrez of SHIFT’s eLearning Blog recently posted an article titled: Bridging the Gap Between Human Learners and eLearning Technology. Gutierrez pointed to 4 “human factors” to consider when designing an online class. Also, as students, we intrinsically want these factors to be present.

I’ve pulled some excerpts from Gutierrez’s article. Just reading about human centered design made me feel more at ease.

1) The human brain prefers to recognize, not recall. Learners should not have to spend more time trying to remember how to navigate from one page to another, than they do engaging in learning the material.

2) The human brain likes chunking by seven. Requiring learners to grasp too many concepts at one time can cause them to “drop” that information.

3) The human brain likes to organize information.The proper placement of information can help learners recall knowledge when they need it.

4) The human brain likes patterns.  Use consistent screen design.

The U.S. government has a website about user experience design principles called: http://www.usability.gov

Here is a link to a section called User Experience Basics:  http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-experience.html 

Read the entire article herehttp://goo.gl/MVvsLt