Virtuosity 11.11

Where words become worlds…

Archive for the category “Tutorials”

Tutorial – Tying Scholar to Your Library

Most academic libraries these days are tied to online data bases where you can quickly find the articles you need by using Google Scholar. Here’s how you set Google Scholar to your library settings:

  1. Go to Google Scholar. Hit the Settings button on the menu bar.

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2. Next, click the “Library links” in the left column.

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3. In the bar, type in your university, and hit enter. If your library is linked to Scholar, it will come up beneath the bar. Then click on the boxes with your options (you can add more than one library to Scholar).

4. Then click the “Save” button.

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5. Last, go back to the Google Scholar main page. Type in the article that you are searching for. When your search results come up, you will see a library link to them either on your right (like in the picture below), or it will show underneath the “More” selection beneath the article summary, if there are other options.

(For example, I can pull articles from both Iowa State as well as the University of Rochester. So, ISU links show on the right, and the U of R will be under the “More” link when I click it.)

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Happy Researching!

 

 

 

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Love yourself

So many things I can say about learning to love yourself, but perhaps the most important thing is making an effort to do so. Think about all the things you love about yourself. Don’t let the flaws, the “I wish this was like…” get in the way. Loving yourself could start with even a simple action that you love to do, and the ability and appreciation that you are able to do that action.

So, for today, love yourself. And if you haven’t started doing that, begin that practice. Love yourself today.

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Transcription Tips Tutorial

Transcriptions are an integral part of the research because they provide a written record of the audio from your interviews and focus groups.  However, without the right tools, they can be VERY time-consuming.  The two biggest tips I can give you are: make the cleanest recording you can and use a transcription program to help you. Here’s how:

Find a quiet space, and have multiple recorders going.  Don’t record in a coffee shop or a place that echoes.  Any place with a lot of background noise will give you the transcription from Hell because it’ll be hard to hear what your interviewee is saying.  For a typical interview or focus group session, I usually have at least two recorders going at the same time.  I’ll use my iPhone, my computer, a recorder, and when possible, a microphone.  For focus groups, I’ll put the recorders in different parts of the room.  I prefer to video record when possible as well so that I can see facial expression and body language.  However, to be able to visually record, you need to check with your interviewees and your RSRB to make sure you have permission.  Even with audio, please ask your interviewee before you record.

CLAP before you record your metadata.  If you are recording video, do this in front of the camera.  This will cause a spike in your audio files, and it will make syncing all your files together MUCH easier.

ALWAYS record metadata.  You can start with something like this:
Today is (date), we are doing a focus group interview at (location), it is (time), and with me are: (ask each person to say their name clearly, and give a brief intro that will help you identify their voice and name on the recorder)

Take fieldnotes when you can.  Although this will depend on the nature of your interview.  If I’m doing focus groups, I will have my computer up, typing notes as people respond to interview questions.  This is because when I type my notes, people actually pay less attention to me, and more attention to the others in the room – which is what I want.

However, if I’m interviewing one-on-one, it will depend on who I’m interviewing.  Sometimes, having a computer or notebook up may make the interviewee uncomfortable, and you won’t get spontaneous responses.  It will really depend on the situation.  If you’re in a situation where you can’t take notes during the interview, then make sure you jot things down as soon as you can – so that your memories are fresh.

When the recordings are finished, sync all the files using an audio editor program, such as Garageband or Camtasia.  Remember to line up your “clap spikes,” so that all your audio is synced.  These editor programs are REALLY useful for taking out background noise, too!

Import your edited file into a transcription program.  I swear by Inqscribe, which I love because everything is in one program, you can speed or slow the recording, control the start and stop with the tab button (instead of a foot pedal), and you can tag your file with timestamps (see below).  ALWAYS tag your file with timestamps.

Make time: It will take about an hour to transcribe 15 minutes of audio (from a clean recording).  I transcribe in blocks of time – because you will burn out after a few hours!

Tag your file with timestamps.
Save time on the first pass through: Depending on the purpose of your transcription, sometimes you can just paraphrase and timestamp, while relying on field notes.  Timestamps will allow you to go back into your file and quickly get to where you need.  I timestamp periodicially – especially before important things have been said.  Also, if something is inaudible, just type “inaudible” in your transcription to save time and move on.

Later, if you are doing discourse analysis, you can go back slowly over everything to include the transcription notation (transcriptions may take several passes – depending on how you will analyze these data).

Add dates to your file names
Label your files with the interview date (ie. 19Sep16 – Gidget Interview).  Also, if you can (some places allow for this), a description of the interview – ie. who was interviewed, where, and what it was about.  Keep these data files in a place that is secure.  Personally, I do not use Google for confidential data.  Instead, I use a Box account through my university which insures privacy and security.

Happy Transcribing!

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DIY Whiteboard Tutorial

I learned this little trick from my son’s 3rd grade teacher.  With just a pack of sheet protectors and paper, you can make an entire class set of “whiteboards” to use in the classroom or for your own personal use when studying (I’ll talk about that part next week).

You only need three things: paper, sheet protector and whiteboard markers.

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Really.  That’s it.  Put the paper (and this can be blank paper, lined, graph, etc) into the sheet protector.  Write on top of it with a whiteboard marker, and ta daaa!  Done.

  • To make the sheet protector last longer, I’d suggest using an old sock or rag to wipe as opposed to a piece of tissue.
  • Put a piece of hard cardboard in the back, and you can write on the surface anywhere.
  • Get a metal clipboard, clip the page protector onto it and you have a portable magnet board, too!

Do you have other variations?  Thoughts?  Ideas?  I’d love to hear from you!

Next Tuesday, I’ll show you how to use flash cards in conjunction with your white board to help you actively study.

 

 

Creating a fundraising page for Relay for Life of Second Life (Member’s page)

As a team co-captain for the Builder’s Brewery group in Second Life, I fundraise for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life.  This tutorial will help Relay for Life of Second Life team members navigate the Relay for Life of Second Life website in order to make their own dashboard.

A dashboard is a very handy way of moving your fundraising beyond the Second Life world.  You can keep two dashboards – one with your avatar, and one with your real life name.  Then, you can give people the link to either dashboard to make donations, regardless of which world you encounter them in!  Plus, on the dashboard, people can make payments more easily using either their credit card or PayPal.

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This tutorial is for Relay for Life of Second Life team members.  It will guide you through setting up your dashboard.

  • It is suggested that you make one dashboard page for your avatar (using your Second Life username), and a second, separate dashboard for your real name.  That way, you can fundraise for your team, but it keeps your virtual and physical worlds separate.
  1.  Go to the Relay for Life of Second Life website.  Click the button, “Fundraise In RL

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2. It will bring you to the page below.  Click “Join a Team

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3.  Next, find your team name from the drop down menu.  If your team is not on this list, please check with your team captain to see if they have set up the dashboard for your team’s page.  If not, you can refer them to this post, which will give your captain the instructions for how to set it up.

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4. You will now be entering information to set up your personal dashboard page.  You can fill out the boxes based on your personal choices.  You will NOT have to pay a registration fee in order to relay in SL.

  • However, if you choose to donate at this point, you will be asked to put in your RL address linked to your credit card for the billing information.
  • If you chose “No, I’ll donate later,” the setup will skip the billing information stage.

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5.  Use your SL name for one of your dashboards.  If you have a newer user name, you can use “Resident’ as the last name.  If you do not wish to use your real address, use this address:

123 Virtual Ave.
Ny, NY  12345

This is the official “SL” address that Relay has provided for teams in SL.  For username, we suggest using a familiar email, or a name that you can easily remember.  Warning: When you click “Next” you will initially get an error message. See below.

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6.  You will get an error message that looks like the picture below.  Don’t worry!  Hit “Next” again, and it will go through.

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7. Review your information on the screen.  Make sure you’ve got all the spellings, and that you are using your Captains name in SL (and not your real name).  If you made a mistake, hit “Previous” to go back.  Otherwise, hit “Next”

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8. BOOM!  You’re done!  Now, start inviting your other team members to register!  You can have them use the same SL virtual address if they are not comfortable using their real address.

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A picture of your default dashboard page:

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HAPPY FUNDRAISING!!!

Until there is a cure, we Relay!

Creating a fundraising page for Relay for Life of Second Life (Captain’s page)

As a team co-captain for the Builder’s Brewery group in Second Life, I fundraise for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life.  This tutorial is to help team captains navigate the Relay for Life of Second Life website.  For a tutorial to help your team members, refer them to here.

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Team captains, please do this after you have registered your team on the website.  To check whether you have done that, go here, and see if your team name is listed.  If it is, proceed to step 1.

  1.  Go to the Relay for Life of Second Life website.  Click the button, “Fundraise In RL

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2. It will bring you to the page below.  All captains (regardless of whether you have relayed in SL before) will need to click “Start a Team

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3.  Next, enter your team name, and your team’s fundraising goal.  Then click “Next

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4. You will now be entering information to set up your personal dashboard page – from this step down, your information has nothing to do with the overall team page.  You can fill out the boxes based on your personal choices.  You will NOT have to pay a registration fee in order to relay in SL.

  • However, if you choose to donate at this point, you will be asked to put in your RL address linked to your credit card for the billing information.
  • If you chose “No, I’ll donate later,” the setup will skip the billing information stage.

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5.  Use your SL name.  If you have a newer user name, you can use “Resident’ as the last name.  If you do not wish to use your real address, use the address provided in the picture below.  This is the official “SL” address that Relay has provided for teams in SL.  For username, we suggest using a familiar email, or a name that you can easily remember.  Warning: When you click “Next” you will initially get an error message. See below.

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6.  You will get an error message that looks like the picture below.  Don’t worry!  Hit “Next” again, and it will go through.

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7. Review your information on the screen.  Make sure you’ve got all the spellings, and that you are using your Captains name in SL (and not your real name).  If you made a mistake, hit “Previous” to go back.  Otherwise, hit “Next”

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8. BOOM!  You’re done!  Now, start inviting your other team members to register!  Refer them to the tutorial I created here (it will be slightly different than the one for team captains).  You can have them use the same SL virtual address if they are not comfortable using their real address.

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This is a picture of your default dashboard page.  Click “Take a tour” to learn about it.

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HAPPY FUNDRAISING!!!

Until there is a cure, we Relay!

Tuesday Tutorial – Evernote for Lectures, Snapshots, and Scans

Hi Everyone!

I have been doing small talks at the Non-Profit Commons in Second Life, where I have had the pleasure of connecting with a lot of passionate people.  This Friday, I’ll be interviewed by blog radio host, Marie, on her Talk! with Marie show about my work.  In the spirit of this upcoming show, I wanted to highlight an excellent suggestion that she gave me – that people would be interested in tutorials that show what I use in my grad school work!

Evernote is one of my first tools, because it is not only an electronic journal that keeps everything for me, but the paid subscription means that it makes everything SEARCHABLE!  Even my hand-written notes!

Below, I present a quick tutorial on how to get those  hand-written notes, and the notes instructors put on the board, into your Evernote in a fast and easy way.  Look on, and prepare to be amazed!  (Well, at least I was, when I first tried this trick!)

Using my nifty Camtasia program, if you view this on Youtube, you can actually click to the marked chapters – which might make viewing more pleasurable to you, if you have a short amount of time.

Enjoy, and let me know if there are other sorts of tutorials that you might be interested in seeing!

Tuesday’s Tutorial – Pomodoro Technique

Hi everyone!

I love making tutorials for people to learn.  This tutorial is about the Pomodoro method – an easy time management technique that can really boost your productivity – especially when you are working at home and have your own schedule.

Essentially, you break up your day into 25-minute productive chunks, called “Pomodoros,” with either a 5 to 10 minute break in break in between each one.  Aubrey and I have turned Pomodoros into a science, and we squeeze out every single productive minute that we can out of them!  Here’s what we do:

  1. Start by making a plan for your day in 25 minute Pomodoro blocks.
    • Sometimes (like you will see in my videos below), a task may take a lot more than one Pomodoro to do (sometimes mine take a LOT of Pomodoros), so estimate how long it may take you.
    • For tasks that are less than 25 minutes (like answering emails, or Twittering…), group them all into one Pomodoro.
  2. After you plan your day, get rid of ALL distractions!
    • Use a web blocker to Strict Workflow, Stayfocusd and others to keep you off the web for that period.
    • Move your cell phone to a different room.
    • Get that glass of water, use the restroom, let out the cat, etc etc….
  3. Set your timer for 25 minutes and WORK.
    • Some people like the ticking with a timer – there’s actually a science to metronome training (you may hear the clock ticking in the background of my video)
    • You may prefer to hear music, or when it’s loud and hard to concentrate, I listen to white noise.  There’s lots of things you can find on Spotify and YouTube for this.
    • Find a study buddy – We call these “sprints,” where we work for a designated block of time.  I work with some classmates and Aubrey to do a sprint.  Incidentally, if you need a study buddy, and can’t find one?  It’s why I made the second video!!!!  You can study/work with me!
  4. At the end of your work period, when the time dings, quickly reflect on what you’ve done.  Think about the next Pomodoro, then… TAKE A BREAK!
    • Break for about 5-10 minutes.  Get a drink of water, restroom, or get up and stretch.  Take a brain break!  It’s good for you!
  5. Start another Pomodoro!!!
  6. Need more info?  Go to the official Pomodoro page.  I have some helpful apps listed below, after the video.

Helpful Apps and things:

Alinof TimerPro – is the timer you see in my video.  I really like this timer!

Pomodoro Time – This app has a task list where you can mark off your Pomodoros.  After it counts down a Pomodoro, it’ll even time your breaks for you.

Strict Workflow – Is a viewer browser plug-in that blocks off your websites for 25 minutes.  Very nifty!

Happy Productivity!!!

~Yen

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