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  • drdianehamilton 9:14 am on June 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Google Scholar, , , , , wikipedia,   

    Changing the Way Students Perform Online Research 

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    Google and other search engines have changed the way people locate information.  The problem is that online students think of Google as a proper tool to use to perform research for assignments.  Google Scholar may provide access to some scholarly research.  However, most online schools prefer that students use the school’s library search feature.  It is important that students consider the reliability of the type of content that is available on traditional websites.

    Pew reported that the majority of students are not able to recognize bias in online content.  This has become frustrating for professors because these skills should be taught in first-year college courses.  Turnitin’s white paper titled What’s Wrong with Wikipedia, reported that in over 37 million papers submitted by students, there were 156 million matches to content found from the Internet.  This means that students use sites like Google Books, May Clinic, Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, etc.  These are unacceptable sources to use for college-level courses.

    According to Turnitin’s research, the following problems exist with student’s research behavior:

    • Problem: Students value immediacy over quality – Students use sites like Wikipedia to find quick answers.  Wikipedia may offer some valuable resources at the bottom of their site to support the content. Solution:  These sources are usually available through the school’s library search feature.  Schools’ search engines are quite easy to use. They access some of the best material available for free.  Students can easily mark a box for peer-reviewed studies.  This will ensure that their research contains quality information.
    • Problem:  Students often use cheat sites – Students may find sites that offer to write their papers for a fee.  Most of these papers are captured within Turnitin’s plagiarism detecting software. Therefore when students buy the paper and submit as their own, the software will detect it as plagiarized.  Solution:  The time it takes to find and buy a paper on the Internet could have been used to simply write an original paper.  Nothing is gained from submitted plagiarized work.  Students risk getting expelled.  Most assignments are not that long or difficult.  The point of writing them is to gain knowledge.  Students who attend school just to obtain a piece of paper will not be prepared for the working world.  They will spend money on a degree that will not help them if they have not learned the information.
    • Problem:  Research is not synonymous with search – Students may put a lot of faith in the information found on the Internet.  Just because a site allows people to ask and answer questions, does not mean that the answers are correct. Searching for answers on the Internet does not mean that the answers are based on actual research.  Solution:  Using peer-reviewed sources that are available through the school’s library ensures that the information in the article has been reviewed by the author’s peers.  These studies are actual research.

    There are times when assignments allow for students to use websites like Apple.com, or other corporate or news sites.  If this is allowed by the instructor, students must be able to recognize if the site is highly regarded. An example might be The New York Times.  If students are in doubt, they should direct questions to their instructor for guidance.

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  • drdianehamilton 8:58 am on February 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Domain name, , , Twtter, Typosquatting, , , wikipedia   

    What is Typosquatting? When Misspelling is an Expensive Mistake 

    Typosquatting occurs when a website is created to prey on people who may have inadvertently typed in the wrong web address.  An example would be arifrance instead of airfrance.  Typosquatting is also referred to as URL hijacking, cybersquatting or brandjacking.

    The registration of misspelled domain names is illegal. Sites like Wikapedia and Twtter have been shut down and fined $156,000 each.  Mashable reported that sites like these “are popping up on the web to trick unsuspecting web users into clicking on fake ads that claim the user has won a prize. In the case of these two sites, to receive a prize, like an iPad, people were asked for their cellphone number. The site sent a text with a pin and more texts with survey questions. Each time a person responded to the survey questions via texts he or she was charged.”

    Alexa reported that some of the web’s most popular sites were typosquatted. Scambusters.org lists some helpful tips to identify typosquatting.  Some of the main uses for these sites include:

    • Revenue Generating
    • Transfer of Virus and/or Malware
    • Phishing Scams
    • Advertising Pay Per Click Scam

    USA Today reported that, “most typosquatting domains lead to a bot network, used to steal passwords and obtain personal information such as financial or banking records. Bot networks aren’t obvious and can involve millions of computers.”  According to TGdaily.com, it is a good idea to get into the habit of bookmarking your favorite sites to be sure that you are landing on the correct page. Sixty Four percent of the typosquatted sites are US-based.  Bendelman.org compiled a list of popular domains and their typosquatted sites to compare number of daily visitors.  Click here for that report.

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  • drdianehamilton 3:12 pm on September 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Block quotation, , , , Style guide, The MLA Style Manual, wikipedia,   

    Top 10 Sources for Help with APA 6th Edition 

    Students often find it challenging to write papers that meet APA guidelines.  The following table demonstrates how difficult it can be just to cite correctly.

    The following is a list of some of the most useful resources to help write a paper that meets APA requirements.

    1. Purdue Online Writing Lab APA 6th Edition – One of the most excellent resources for all things APA, writing, punctuation, grammar, mechanics, MLA, and more . . . main Purdue site index.
    2. APA Style Lite for College Papers – Free style guide that gives excellent examples of how things should look in APA 6th edition.
    3. Sample APA Paper from Owl Purdue – Excellent example of a paper with arrows and text boxes pointing out each area of the paper and how it should look.
    4. APA 6th Edition Tutorial – Video demonstration of changes in most recent APA edition.
    5. APA 6th Edition Style Headings – Examples of the different levels of headings.
    6. Meeting APA 2 Spaces After Periods Requirement – Video of how to easily change from one space to two spaces after periods to meet 6th edition guidelines.
    7. Long Quotation Requirements – How to space longer quotations in APA 6th edition.
    8. Removing that Extra Space Between Paragraphs – Video demonstration of how to use the home tab in Word to find paragraph settings to remove any spaces from in between paragraphs.
    9. Accessing Headers and Page Numbers in Word – Video demonstration of how to set up headers and page numbers.
    10. Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes – Additional APA information, first person explanation, vocabulary, grammar, anthropomorphisms, Wikipedia, and more.
     
  • drdianehamilton 3:52 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Collective intelligence, , , Group intelligence, , , , , , , , wikipedia,   

    Are Women Making Teams Smarter? 

    Harvard Business Review recently published an article about how having women on a team makes the team smarter.  Although they didn’t find a correlation between the collective intelligence of the group and the IQ of individuals within that group, they did find that if women were in the group, the collective intelligence was higher. 

    The Female Factor:  The chart plots the collective intelligence scores of the 192 teams in the study against the percentage of women those teams contained. The red bars indicate the range of scores in the group of teams at each level, and the blue circles, the average. Teams with more women tended to fall above the average; teams with more men tended to fall below it.

    Professors Anita Wooley (Carnegie Mellon) and Thomas Malone (MIT) gave “subjects aged 18 to 60 standard intelligence tests and assigned them randomly to teams. Each team was asked to complete several tasks—including brainstorming, decision making, and visual puzzles—and to solve one complex problem. Teams were given intelligence scores based on their performance. Though the teams that had members with higher IQs didn’t earn much higher scores, those that had more women did.”

    Finding the right mix of people on a team has been a consideration many organizations have dealt with in the past.  These researchers hope to see how this information can help teams perform better in the future through changing members or incentives. 

    In the past, I taught teams how to get along better through the use of the Myers Briggs MBTI personality assessment instrument.  Through understanding personalities, team members could learn about each other’s preferences for how they like to obtain information. This became more useful to the team as a whole.  In my training experience, I found that even if a team had members with high IQ’s, they needed to understand why other members of the teams did the things they did and required the information they required in the format that fit their needs.  It was important to understand the collective needs of the team in order for the team to be successful. 

    With the study by Wooley and Malone, they bring up the use of their findings in understanding collective intelligence.  According to Malone, “Families, companies, and cities all have collective intelligence. But as face-to-face groups get bigger, they’re less able to take advantage of their members. That suggests size could diminish group intelligence. But we suspect that technology may allow a group to get smarter as it goes from 10 people to 50 to 500 or even 5,000. Google’s harvesting of knowledge, Wikipedia’s high-quality product with almost no centralized control—these are just the beginning. What we’re starting to ask is, How can you increase the collective intelligence of companies, or countries, or the whole world?”

     
  • drdianehamilton 1:07 pm on March 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , INFP, , , , , , Psychological Types, , wikipedia   

    Can’t Afford to Take the Myers Briggs MBTI? A Free Way to Determine Your Personality Type and Job Preferences 

     

    Myers Briggs MBTI personality assessment is one of the most reliable and valid instruments on the market.  Employers and job-seekers alike have found the results to be useful to explain personality preferences and match job applicants to appropriate positions. However, in a tough economy, not everyone has the financial resources to take the actual MBTI.  While, there are a lot of free MBTI-like tests on the Internet, most of them are set up to obtain your email address for future promotions.  Although I highly recommend taking the actual MBTI, there are other ways to get an idea of your individual personality preferences.   The following is not nearly as reliable or valid as taking the actual MBTI, but it can give you some insight as to where you fall within the personality types described by Myers Briggs. 

    Wikipedia does a nice job of explaining the MBTI model and Myers Briggs work.  The site explains that  “individuals are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. The MBTI sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or dichotomies, with a resulting 16 possible psychological types. None of these types are better or worse; however, Briggs and Myers theorized that individuals naturally prefer one overall combination of type differences. In the same way that writing with the left hand is hard work for a right-hander, so people tend to find using their opposite psychological preferences more difficult, even if they can become more proficient (and therefore behaviorally flexible) with practice and development. The 16 types are typically referred to by an abbreviation of four letters—the initial letters of each of their four type preferences (except in the case of intuition, which uses the abbreviation N to distinguish it from Introversion). For instance:

    • ESTJ: extraversion (E), sensing (S), thinking (T), judgment (J)
    • INFP: introversion (I), intuition (N), feeling (F), perception (P)

    And so on for all 16 possible type combinations.”   In order to discover your 4 letter type, you must consider how you prefer to obtain information, what energizes you, how you make decisions and how you approach life.  The chart below lists some words and phrases that may best describe your personality. 

    Using the chart listed above, look at the qualities listed under each of the headings and pick the letter that best represents you.  You will pick either either an E or I for extroversion or introversion; an S or N for sensing or intution; a T or F for thinking or feeling; and a J or P for judgement or perception as the personality type that you feel best represents you based on the words listed below each heading.  In the end you will have a 4 letter type.   Once you know that 4 letter type, you can look at the chart below to look at jobs that match well with your personality preferences. 

    There is no shortage of information on the Internet regarding jobs that match MBTI results.  Once you are able to obtain your 4 letter “type”, you can search for more information about that type online.  For more information about personalities and type, check out:  It’s Not You It’s Your Personality

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:19 pm on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asynchronous, , collegefinder.org, discussion boards, , , , , , Internet forum, , , pbworks.com, , , social media in the classroom, , synchronous, , , , , , wikipedia   

    Online Schools Using Skype, Tinychat, Video Conferencing, Wiki and Other Technologies 

    Recently one of the universities where I work sent me an email stating that they require that I have a Skype account.  I was curious to see if other schools were using Skype and did a little research.  I found an article which I found interesting from informationtechnologyschools.com.  In the article, they mention 10 ways to use Skype in the online classroom:

    1. Videoconferencing
    2. Tutoring
    3. Live Lectures
    4. Guest Lectures
    5. Global Projects
    6. Student Presentations
    7. Classroom Discussions
    8. Announcements
    9. Oral Examinations
    10. Virtual Field Trips

    For the complete article, click here.

    I can see that Skype would be extremely useful in synchronous classrooms.  Click here for another article about online learning using Skype from collegefinder.org.  I like that they are finding new and unusual technology uses for the classroom. Click here for an excellent article on 100 inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom from onlineuniversities.com.

    I’ve seen that some schools are using TinychatPBworks.com claims, “Tinychat delivers dead simple video conferences without the extraneous ad-ons and inconvenience, making video conferencing an accessible, uncomplicated experience. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux; with Firefox, IE, Safari, and Chrome; and there is a version available for iPhones. You can have up to twelve people in a room with HQ video, protected by passwords and moderators, share your desktop with them, and your conferences can be recorded and embedded on your website.”  – Check out this tutorial on how to use Tinychat by clicking here.

    When it comes to video conferencing, though, one of the advantages I see for online learning is that it can be completed in asynchronous format.  In other words, users can log on at any time of the day and not at a specific time.  As an instructor, I find this to be extremely helpful to me.  I do my best thinking at around 5:00 am and I doubt my students would want to log on for a lecture at that time.

    Asynchronous video is still an excellent option for online courses. It may not have the interactive abilities that programs like Skype have, but it may also avoid some of the confusion and problems that come with understanding the technology as well.  There is also the blended learning option that some schools embrace.  Some schools have parts of the classes offered synchronously and parts asynchronously. 

    There are tools for both types of learning.  There are advantages and disadvantages with both.  Chronical.com stated the following about synchronous online tools, “If using the “same time, different place” model of communication, some common barriers to implementation of synchronous tools are cost and bandwidth—not only cost and bandwidth on your end, as the individual teacher or the institution, but also to the students. This is especially true with conferencing systems; video/web conferencing requires equipment to deliver but also to receive. Although the benefits of real-time video conferencing are clear—it’s as near to a physical classroom environment as you can get—the software, hardware, and bandwidth necessary on both sides can be more cost-prohibitive than actually physically attending a class.”

    That same article addressed asynchronous online tools, giving the following examples of technology that can be used in this asynchronous online setting:

    • Discussion boards: whether integrated into your online learning environment or not (such as Google Groups), well-managed discussion boards can produce incredibly rich conversations about topics at hand.
    • Blogs: my personal favorite, as not only are the students discussing with one another (and the instructor), but they’re learning something about writing for a wider audience whomay or may not be listening in.  The open nature of blogs also allows for communication between students in other classes at other institutions who are studying the same topics.  You might have to make “comments on blogs” count for a grade in order for some students to do it, but such is the nature of  the beast—those students probably wouldn’t talk in class, either.
    • Social Networking Site:  Facebook and Twitter can play important roles in your asynchronous communications strategy.  Facebook pages for a class can be the destination for up-to-date information about the course, without your students having to friend you (or even one another).  Twitter, and Twitter lists, can be useful sites of asynchronous discussion, although not in the threaded format that one is used to seeing in a discussion board setting.
    • E-mail/Listservs:  Some people consider mailing lists to be quaint relics of a previous technological age, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that they still work: an e-mail based discussion list does afford one the ability to carry on threaded discussions in a private environment, yet outside the confines of a managed system (for discussion boards).  In fact Google Groups (referenced above) is a threaded discussion board that can also take place via e-mail, putting a different twist on the typical concept of the listserv.

    I personally often use my blog in my online classrooms.  I teach many courses where students are researching specific topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, etc.  By adding links to my blog where I have written about many of these topics, it helps add content to the discussions.  I have not had students create their own blog as the above author mentions, although I like the idea, but I have taught classes using a wiki.

    For those of you not familiar with what a wiki is, think of Wikipedia.  That is the ultimate wiki where information can be added to a site by multiple sources.  When classes are taught on a wiki, it is a bit more complicated as students need to write some code-like information.  It worked out well in the school where I taught it, because it was a technology-based school where students had more technology training.  One advantage of a wiki is for group-based projects.  In the course I taught, students were able to work together on one big project where they could all enter information onto the wiki.  The problem with any group project, wiki-based or not, is that you still have those students who do not participate as much as others.   

    As with any technology, there will always be some obstacles to overcome.  However, I embrace technology and look forward to the next new product that helps increase student involvement and retention. For more information about online learning, check out my book:  The Online Student User’s Manual.

     
  • drdianehamilton 3:56 pm on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , millennial marketing, , , , , , , , , wikipedia,   

    In our book It’s Not You It’s Your Per… 

    In our book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the needs and preferences unique that the millennial generation.  I recently found a millennial marketing site.  It includes an interesting compilation of articles based on that group’s attitudes and values.  Anyone looking for some good information about how to target this unique group, should check it out.  This site is set up as a Wiki.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Wiki’s, click here to find out more.  I have taught some courses on a Wiki and see some great uses for such a platform.  To see specific information about millennials and their special needs in the workplace, click here. To add information to the discussion of NewGens, the term coined by my Toni Rothpletz and me to refer to post boomer generations, please click here.

     
  • drdianehamilton 12:07 pm on September 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , India, , mobile, , , , , wikipedia   

    Interesting and Surprising Social Media Statistics 

    The press release for the upcoming social media summit  in October included some interesting media statistics:

       * Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175m users every 24 hours.
       * Twitter now has 75m user accounts, but only around 15m are active users on a regular basis.
       * LinkedIn has over 50m members worldwide..
       * Facebook currently has in excess of 350 million active users on global basis.Six months ago, this was 250m…This means over 40% growth in less than 6 months.
       * Flickr now hosts more than 4 billion images.
       * More than 35m Facebook users update their status each day.
       * Wikipedia currently has in excess of 14m articles, meaning that it’s 85,000 contributors have written nearly a million new posts in six months.
       * Photo uploads to Facebook have increased by more than 100%. Currently, there are around 2.5bn uploads to the site each month.
       * Back in 2009, the average user had 120 friends within Facebook. This is now around 130.
       * Mobile is even bigger than before for Facebook, with more than 65m users accessing the site through mobile-based devices. In six months, this is over 100% increase.
       * There are more than 3.5bn pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) shared each week on Facebook.
       * There are now 11m LinkedIn users across Europe.
       * Towards the end of last year, the average number of tweets per day was over 27.3 million.
       * The average number of tweets per hour was around 1.3m.
       * 15% of bloggers spend 10 or more hours each week blogging, according to Technorati’s new State of the Blogosphere.
       * At the current rate, Twitter will process almost 10 billion tweets in a single year.
       * About 70% of Facebook users are outside the USA.
       * India is currently the fastest-growing country to use LinkedIn, with around 3m total users.
       * More than 250 Facebook applications have over a million combined users each month.
       * 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog.
       * 38% of bloggers post brand or product reviews.
       * More than 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect since December 2008 and more than 60m Facebook users engage with it across these external sites each month.

     
    • poddys 9:06 am on September 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The statistics are just amazing aren’t they. It’s incredible just how fast social networking has grown, as well as the ways that social networks can be used.

      Combining this with the continued steady growth of internet users worldwide, and the rapid growth in the use of mobile devices to access the internet, I don’t think we could have predicted 5 years ago how sites like Facebook and Twitter could have changed our lives.

    • Social Media Guru 12:24 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      What a writeup!! Very informative and easy to understand. Looking for more such blog posts!! Do you have a twitter or a facebook?
      I recommended it on stumbleupon. The only thing that it’s missing is a bit of color. Anyway thank you for this blog.

      • drdianehamilton 12:58 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you – I can be followed on Facebook and Twitter . . . see my icon links at the right side of the page.

  • drdianehamilton 12:24 pm on July 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dan Woods, , , dummies.com, For Dummies, Is Wikipedia reliable, Peter Thoeny, Use of Wiki, Who writes wikipedia, , Wiki is Classroom, wikipedia   

    Is Wikipedia Reliable? – For Dummies 

    The creators of Wikipedia are the first to admit that not every entry is accurate and that it might not be the best source of material for research papers. Here are some points to consider:

    • Look for a slant. Some articles are fair and balanced, but others look more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. If an article has only one source, beware.
    • Consider the source. Even if an article cites external sources, check out those sources to see whether they are being cited fairly and accurately — and do, in fact, reinforce the article’s points.
    • Look who’s talking. If you research the contributors themselves and find that they are experts in their fields, you can be more confident in the entry.
    • Start here, but keep going. Wikipedia should be a starting point for research but not your primary source for research material.

    In this article by Dummies.com the authors discuss the accuracy of Wikipedia. Why would Wikipedia not be reliable? The reason is that the site is written on a wiki. A wiki is software that allows users to modify its content. I never realized how interactive this software was until I taught courses where students used a wiki in our online classroom. There have been studies to show that Wikipedia is as reliable as Britannica. However, even the creator of the site doesn’t recommend using it as a source for citing in studies. When you look up “Who Writes Wikipedia” on their site, the first answer they give is: You do! Because so many people are able to access the site and make changes, there can be errors. My personal experience has been good with Wikipedia. However, I always double-check to be sure they have listed reliable sources below to back up their information. I agree with Dan Woods and Peter Thoeny in the above article . . . you can start there to get an idea of a topic but look for information to back up what is stated. It should not be your only source of information.

     
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