Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nursing QSEN Assignment

The nursing students are working on an assignment related to QSEN competencies and seem to have a very poor understanding of what QSEN competencies are. There are 6 competencies outlined in the article "Quality and Safety Education for Nurses," along with the "Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes" required for each competency. The competencies are:

patient-centered care
teamwork and collaboration
evidence-based practice
quality improvement

My understanding of the assignment is that they are being asked to consider a situation they encounter in their clinical and then evaluate it in terms of one or more of the competencies and find related research. The first students that approached me about this said, "We want to do diabetes." You can imagine how successful that reference interaction was. If you get students at the desk asking about this assignment, I would suggest making sure they have the assignment sheet out and understand what they are being asked to do, and also that they understand what QSEN means. If they haven't gotten that far yet, they aren't ready to start on the assignment.

The article that serves as the basis for the assignment, which apparently they were not assigned to read (at least not yet) is in Science Direct . The competency charts are available at http://www.qsen.org/ksas_prelicensure.php#evidence-based_practice.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nursing Case Studies Part 2

Thanks to Alyssa for the screenshots on how to limit searches to a case study in Proquest and Ebsco databases! Case Study can be selected under the Document Type limiters in both, as you can see towards the bottom of each image.

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Nursing Case Studies Assignment

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We get this question so frequently that I decided to come up with a resource I can print for the students who seem to need more clarification.  Please add any search terms you have used to identify case studies (with success, that is.)

Questions for evaluating case studies/ clinical research:

What is the purpose and/or rationale for the study?
Are the aims of the study clearly stated?
How significant is the need for research?
Does the research look at data gathered previously?

Where was the article published?
Who funded the study?
Who conducted the study?
Is credibility of the researchers established?

How was the study conducted?
Were participants in the study randomly assigned?
What were the characteristics of the people who participated in the study?
How many people were tested?
Is the study's sampling strategy appropriate to address the aims?
Was there a control group?

How long was the study?
Did the research follow a group over time?
How many completed the study?
Do the researchers consider the effects on the study of the relationship between themselves and the informants?

How was the data collected?
Are the study's data collection strategies appropriate?
Was the data gathered descriptive or quantitative?

Was the data analyzed? How?
Does the article analyze one study or multiple studies?
If the article discusses multiple studies, what types of studies were included?
Is there a rigorous process of data analysis evident?

Have the results of the study been repeated by other investigators?
Are the findings confirmable?
Are the findings analyzed based on the purpose and research question?
Are the findings of the study logically transferable to other groups of patients?

Are the findings clear and easy to understand?
Do the researchers justify the data interpretation used in the analysis?
How relevant and useful is the article to a patient/clinical problem/clinical scenario or a practitioner?
How important are the findings?
Do they directly suggest specific further research?

Appraisal questions were derived from:

KT Clearinghouse, KT. Completed Qualitative Research Worksheet for Evidence-Based Nursing. 2011. http://ktclearinghouse.ca/cebm/syllabi/nursing/samples/qualitative/worksheet (accessed September 13, 2012).

Family Caregiver Alliance . Evaluating Medical Research Findings and Clinical Trials. n.d. http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=402 (accessed September 13, 2012).


Essentials of nursing research: methods, appraisals, and utilization
Polit, Denise F.
Philadelphia : Lippincott, c2001
RT81.5 .P63 2001

Studying a study and testing a test: how to read the medical evidence
Richard K. Riegelman.
Philadelphia, Pa. : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.
R118.6 .R537 2000


Design and analysis of clinical nursing research studies [electronic resource]
Colin R. Martin and David R. Thompson.
London ; New York : Routledge, 2000.
RVCC only - Read this book online

 How to read a paper [electronic resource] : the basics of evidence based medicine
Trisha Greenhalgh.
London : BMJ, 2000.
RVCC only - Read this book online


University of South Australia Critical Appraisal Tools

This resource provides questions based on type of studies (randomized controlled, non-randomized controlled, case studies, qualitative research, mixed method, etc.) aimed at identifying "methodological flaws" in the literature and the quality of the research evidence.  



Case studies
Research – Methodology
Qualitative  research

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My IT Lab - use in West Bldg

Students who need to use the MyITLab program will need to use the West Building computer lab, W212. Our computers do not support the program.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More on MyLabsPlus and MyMathLab

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I am attaching a copy of the email and the supporting documents that each student receives when they register.  They need to enter the Access Code from their purchase the first time they go online. Click here...MyLabsPlus

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wikipedia Analogy

I was reading all of my library blogs this morning and came across this really great analogy for comparing Wikipedia to McDonalds. It's from the blog "Bring Your Noise
"Speaking of Wikipedia, if I worked in an academic library and was required to conduct library instruction classes, I would tell students that Wikipedia is exactly like McDonald’s, because it is. McDonald’s is a perfectly respectable restaurant. There’s a lot of junk on the menu, but there are some legitimately good, nutritional items, too. It’s quick, easy, and convenient–good to turn to in a pinch. However, if your favorite aunt was coming in from out of town, and you were going to take her to dinner or recommend a restaurant, you would lose a lot of credibility with your favorite aunt if you recommended McDonald’s. You would probably want to take her to a restaurant with a stellar reputation and with food of a bit more substance on the menu. So, therefore, students should never take their professors to Wikipedia (or McDonald’s) as in you can like Wikipedia, you can use Wikipedia (use the references posted at the end of articles as a starting point!) just don’t cite it. Case closed. And who doesn’t love a McFlurry?"

Friday, June 15, 2012

National Archives Digital Vault

The National Archives has created the Digital Vault website, which is conceptually fun but not entirely function in my opinion. They've taken they're digital content and tried to create what sort of look like mind maps linking related content together, but the keywords associated with the documents are not terribly accurate, it's a memory intensive site that loads kind of slowly, and the search mechanism isn't so great for getting to something you really need. Still, it's fun to play with and might be a tool to use for students who are looking for 19th century and later primary souces. http://www.digitalvaults.org/ 

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Google Search Education

This is very interesting! Google has a whole page dedicated to search education tools - i.e. lesson plans geared towards teaching people how to use Google. While it's necessarily a bit Google-promoting, some of it could be pretty useful. It's primarily geared towards k-12, but some of the lessons could certainly be used with our lower level students who haven't had as much exposure to web-searching. The video "How Google Works" is also pretty good, except for the second half which is a bit propoganda-ish. But the beginning information about how Google indexes the web is a nice explanation.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Computer Literacy class software

We have the Go! with Microsoft Office 2010 software available as a course reserve.  It includes the Student Resource CDs that they need to complete their homework.  The call # is  HF5548.4.M525 G6254 2013 -- (there are three spiral bound volumes behind circ.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

To find NCTM Journal articles

This post is for students looking for articles from the journals of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. NCTM publishes five different journals. The library has electronic access to four of them.

Click the title of a journal below to access that journal in a library database. Use the instructions under each link to find full-text articles from that journal.

Teaching Children Mathematics
Instructions: The library only has full-text articles from October, 2003 and earlier. Scroll down the page and click the plus sign next to 2000-2009. Click the plus sign next to 2003 or an earlier year. Click the link for an issue from that year. A list of the articles published in that issue will appear. Click the full-text link for the article you would like to use.

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
Instructions: The library only has full-text articles from October, 2003 and earlier. Scroll down the page and click the plus sign next to 2000-2009. Click the plus sign next to 2003 or an earlier year. Click the link for an issue from that year. A list of the articles published in that issue will appear. Click the full-text link for the article you would like to use.

Mathematics Teacher
Instructions: The library only has full-text articles from October, 2003 and earlier. Scroll down the page and click the plus sign next to 2000-2009. Click the plus sign next to 2003 or an earlier year. Click the link for an issue from that year. A list of the articles published in that issue will appear. Click the full-text link for the article you would like to use.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Instructions: The library only has full-text articles from October, 2003 and earlier. Scroll down the page and click the plus sign next to 2000-2009. Click the plus sign next to 2003 or an earlier year. Click the link for an issue from that year. A list of the articles published in that issue will appear. Click the full-text link for the article you would like to use.

If you have questions, contact a reference librarian at reference@raritanval.edu or 908-218-8865.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Environmental Studies Assignment - LiveBinder

Here is the link for the LiveBinder I made for this class: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=349882
Please gather feedback as to the usefulness of the webites and documents included. At this point, I made an educated guess as to which resources to include. I would really like to refine this a little more.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The first ten minutes

Someone recently reminded me in the context of another conversation how crucial the first ten minutes of a class are in getting students' attention and setting up expectations for the class. I think this applies particularly to what we do; because the students don't know us they have no idea what our expectations are or what they should expect from the session. So I decided to revamp my lessons this week and get them immediately into groups and actively working on an assignment at the beginning of class, before I do anything other than introduce myself. What I found is that nearly every student was actively engaged in what I asked them to do and the discussions we had as a group were lively and interesting. And that level of engagement kept up throughout the rest of the session, even when I went into the drier/lecture aspects of searching the databases. None of the students in these classes had their own topics picked out and yet they were actively doing searches when I asked them to. It was truly eye-opening. I made sure to include another activity at some point to keep their energy up, but I'm convinced that having them do something on their own, instead of just listening to me for the first 20 minutes, made an enormous difference in their interest and learning. AND it made it more enjoyable for me!

Here are the activities I used:

1. Compare journal & magazine - I asked them to pair up with someone and gave each pair a magazine and a journal and scrap paper. I didn't tell them anything about them, except to define a "periodical" as something that is published periodically. I told them to find as many differences as they can between the two. As their conversations started winding down (and they did this for a lot longer than I expected them to!), I wrote the titles of the two periodicals on the board and then asked them to share the differences they found, and listed them under each title. This led to a discussion of scholarly vs. popular and they were able to point out really precise details that would have been so boring if I tried to just talk about it.

2. Compare sources and select the best one - Each student took a book from my cart or a printed out article as they came into class. Before class, I had posted around the room signs with keywords on them, like "body image and media" or "technology and society". After introducing myself, I told them to look at the book/article they had and figure out which topic it was (I made this pretty easy) and go to that sign. This put them in groups of 3 or 4 with several different types of sources, and I handed out to the groups the extra books that hadn't been taken. I gave each group a sample research topic, like "How does the media affect women's body image?" and asked them to review all of their sources then decide which one would be best for researching their sample topic. When we came back as a group, they talked about why they picked a particular source. The best part was that almost every group picked a book as the best, so we were able to discuss why books make good sources, instead of me just trying to convince them of that fact.

3. In English II, I read aloud a micro-fiction story, then asked them to pair up and think of as many topics/issues that the reading raised that could be researched. They did awesome at this, because it mirrored what they've been doing in class during the semester. We listed them all on the board, then I told them to pick one of the topics and search the catalog for a book about it. This was a good review because I didn't need to walk them through the search, they were working independently, and I could help people who got stuck or weren't familiar with the catalog. They got really into this because we had such a great discussion about the story to start the class.

I want to challenge everyone to try letting the students do something active IN GROUPS at the very beginning of the class, because it gets them talking to each other and to you. If they are working silently, it sets a very somber mood. When they are discussing, it gets them energized. I'm telling you, this really works!!

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Legal Citation 488 US 899

A student had to find this case with the citation 488 US 899 (Zamboni vs. Stammler), which looks like it should be in our Lawyer's Edition copies of the Supreme Court Reporters, but is not, and I'm not sure why. It can be found on LexisNexis Academic though.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I don't know why I've never thought of this before, so I thought I'd share! A student just asked if she could save her work to a folder that she would then be able to access from anywhere on campus, and I instinctively told her no. Then I realized that I use dropbox.com for just that thing all the time, so I asked if she would be interested in that. The student must be willing to set up a username and password, but it's a free service. The website makes it appear that you need to download the program onto the computer, but that is not necessary. Here's a video for setting up dropbox.com without the download.

Once they've set up a dropbox, they can go to dropbox.com from any computer, log in, and access whatever documents they've uploaded.
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Printing PPT from Kean Blackboard

Kean students trying to print PowerPoints that they've downloaded from Blackboard are encountering problems printing the documents. We were able to get them to print by following this process:

  1. Select the PPT in Blackboard.
  2. In the dialog box that appears asking to Open or Save, click Save.
  3. Save the document to the desktop.
  4. Once it has saved, the dialog box will reappear. Click Open.
  5. At the top of PowerPoint will be a yellow bar with an "Enable Editing" button. Click this button.
  6. Once you've enabled editing, you should be able to go to File, Print as normal.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Students changing passwords

It seems like everyone's password is expiring lately and many are vexed trying to set up a new one. This may not be sound privacy policy, but I advise the frustrated ones to use their first initial capitalized, their last initial lowercase, and a 6 digit date they will remember (but not their birthday). They seem to be able to change it on the first try after those instructions.

As a reminder, the parameters for the password are
  • 8 digits long
  • at least 1 capital letter
  • at least 1 number
  • cannot have their name in it
  • cannot be their previous two passwords
Personally, I keep a rotation of 3 passwords that I just keep going through...

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another fun analogy

Another round of analogies came up in a recent listserv discussion. I really liked this idea to visually demonstrate the differences among databases.

"This is not an analogy for the entire process, but I use the "M&M" analogy to explain to undergraduates why they need to use multiple databases.  I have three containers (glass jar, plastic container, and a ziplock bag). They all have brown M&Ms, but each also has another color. I explain that all our business (or whatever) disciplines have some of the same articles (eg: brown M&Ms), and you'll see those same results in each database. But! Each database also has unique results that aren't in other databases, so you have to check each one.   Also, notice that each container is different? This one is easier to open, this one to store, etc. Likewise, you'll notice that each database has different tool and features that you might like better than the others. Then, we all eat the candy. -Nom. :)"  -Tammy Ivins, Francis Marion University

I think I might use this with English II's to start talking about subject specific databases. Especially since brown is a great color to symbolize all the disciplines smooshed together (like if you smoosh all the colors together, it usually makes brown...too deep??).

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ezproxyguest Password Reset

To reset the ezproxyguest password and resend the email to reference, use this link:


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Monday, January 23, 2012

Computer Literacy Placement Test

Students often come in looking for a study guide for the computer literacy placement test (the test that can be passed to be exempt from the Computer Literacy course). The test used is CSP - Computer Skills Placement. As far as I know, there is no study guide available in the library or through any of the other divisions. I did find this website which has PDF documents listing the objectives for each part of the test. These documents could be used as study guides, because they do tell the student what he will be expected to know/do for each section. From what I saw, students are only given a sheet of paper that lists the sections of the test with no information about how to go about learning the concepts.


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Credo reference adds McFarland content

Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States
Encyclopedia of Philosophers on Religion
Encyclopedia of Cuban-United States Relations
Encyclopedia of Chinese-American Relations
Encyclopedia of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution
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