Friday, December 21, 2007

Google Quick Tip #4

Admittedly, I have never been very good about remembering how to convert measurements, be it for weights, distances, temperatures, or any other item that would need converting every now and again.


Google has a great conversion feature that makes converting measurements a cinch.

How many degrees Celsius is 104.1 degrees Fahrenheit? 104.1 f in c

How much is 550.75 miles in kilometers? 550.75 mi in km

How many tablespoons are in 4.25 cups? 4.25 cups in tbsp

How much is $250 US dollars worth in Thailand?

250 USD in Thai currency

The "operator" term that makes these conversions possible is the word in , connecting the two units that you are trying to convert.

The system is pretty clever, so be bold and see what other things you can convert. A good way to pass some time when you're on Google!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Constructing Better Multiple-Choice Test Questions

Do you lie awake at night because your students' exam scores have gone down and you worry that, maybe, just maybe, your test questions were not up to par? Or is it just time to polish up some of those tried and true exam questions that you've been using for the past 10 semesters?

The hero to the rescue for building strong multiple-choice test questions is the Contructing Written Test Questions For the Basic and Clinical Sciences manual produced by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

There are four sections that cover:

1) Issues regarding format and structure of test questions
2) Writing one-best-answer questions for the basic and clinical sciences
3) Extended-matching items
4) Additional issues (with appendices)

There is a PDF of the entire manual available. If you prefer not to print all 180 pages out at once, you can also view each section individually.

Faculty at the Univ of Pennsylvania School of Medicine also put together a 38-slide powerpoint presentation based on this manual and used it as part of a faculty development series.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Super Searching Website

I've put together a website called Super Searching that summarizes not only the basics of literature searching, but also covers advanced literature searching skills.

Features to explore:
  • PubMed searching
  • Citation tracking
  • Tidbits - currently a collection of suggested PubMed search terms that relate to medical education research

There are links to video demonstrations of what is being described, so be sure to check those out.

Soon to be added will be tips on how to search specific education databases for more literature that you can find about teaching and learning in the broader scope of education that is outside of medical education.