Monthly Archives: May 2014

Exams vs Learning or Yin vs Yang?

Not so long ago, we were having an open exchange among the Faculty of our department on learning and evaluating how new concepts were acquired by students. In particular, we exchange on the value of frequent testing (quizzes) versus the famous “finals”. This interesting  article was pointed out to me Tests That Teach | Arts & Sciences (and of course this always interesting Sir Ken Robinson on Ted Talks, about creativity and the fear of making mistake e.g. exams!), which seems to indicate that the type of exams, and their frequencies, you used in your class is impacting learning…

Diversity in evaluation methods used in probably the key in both being able to gage the level of understanding and knowledge retention of students and, at the same time, make sure that each and everyone can also get frequent feedback in order to apply course corrections…


New academic templates for DevonThink Pro

I have been a user of DevonThink Pro Office for a number of years now and made it a central part of my digital workflow. Over time, I naturally my organization toward a project-based hierarchy, trying to self contains all key information regarding a particular project into a DTPO group and sub-group structure. So I keep what I call an Ongoing database, which have all of my ongoing projects: manuscripts and other documents being written, financed research projects and contracts as principal investigators, other research projects as co-applicants or collaborators, courses that I teach and so on. If it’s completed, it’s archived and thus pull put of the Ongoing database.

Capture d’écran 2014-05-10 à 12.43.15

I have created a few standard templates containing a main folder (group) and sub-folders structure for a few key academic activities:

  • Research Grant
  • Research Contracts
  • General Research Project (not corresponding directly to the above two; can be personal!)
  • New Student
  • New manuscript
  • Conference (Attending/Presenting)

The following file (Projects) is a zip of a folder named Projects that contains these templates. Clicking the previous link  should already produced an unzip folder on your standard download folder. Simply drop the folder into ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Templates.noindex. It will become available in the New from Template sub-menu of the Data menu.

I am quite interested in hearing if this is useful, if the structure of these templates are appropriate for your workflow and knowing about your own structure.

Google announced Classroom!

Google Classroom is a mix between Google Drive, Facebook and DropBox in one package for your classroom. Is this enough to make you want to use it?


Will Ununseptium now officially be named by the International Unions of Pure and Applied Physics and Chemistry?

Element 117 independently “created” by a group from GSI, who was able to reproduce previous results using Ca on Bk (Berkelium!). It is off course unstable and its decay time is “relatively long”, in the tens of milliseconds range 😉

180 seconds to explain your thesis work?

We have all heard of the 30 seconds elevator pitch. In  fact, if you search for those terms in Google, you will get over a hundred thousand hits. It seems that this has even been push to an art or even “engineered” systems.

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