Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How to Set Up Spelling and Grammar Check in Word

How to Set Up Spelling and Grammar Check in Word

Many of you are not using all the tools available to you in the Word Program. One of these is the spelling and grammar check, which provides about ¾ of the corrections I make in your work in terms of spelling and grammar. To use this tool, it is very easy to set up the system so it works every time you write something in this program (it just reminded me that every time is two words, not one like I want it to be when I type). Below is a diagram that can show you how to do this. The basic steps are:
Open the drop down menu under tools on the toolbar. On this menu, you will see a choice called options.
Click on the options tab. This will open a menu box with several options. One of these is spelling and grammar. Open that.
You will see some options for spelling, check those you wish to enable. I suggest all options with the exception of “Hide Spelling Errors” and “Make Suggestions from Main Dictionary Only.”
You will also see a grammar toolbox. You will want to check the boxes that say, “Check grammar as you type” and “Check grammar with spelling.” You will then see a little box that says writing style. Enable the “Grammar and Style” choice and then click on settings. This will bring up another menu.
Check all the boxes in the new menu. In addition, on the top there are some choices for you to make on certain issues. These include “comma before last item” (always), “punctuation required with quotes” (inside), and “spaces between sentences” (1 – APA standards). (The choices you should make are those in the parentheses.)
Once you have taken all these steps click the OK button, and you are good to go with these corrections for all you work done in Word.
Spelling errors will show in red dotted underlines, and many words. The system will often automatically correct these errors. Grammar and style errors will show in green. When there is an error, you can right click on the word or words underlined and a dialogue box opens and tells you what needs fixing. It often shows you some suggestions. Use your judgment; but you will usually want to follow the suggested corrections. You can accept the fixes by left clicking on the appropriate choice.
Also see: Microsoft Help and Support

Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Microsoft Word Tutorials

Free Microsoft Word Tutorials

You can use this free online tutorial to learn Microsoft Word 2007. If you do not have a copy of Word, you can click here to download the trial version. Then click here to start the tutorial.

A wide variety of tutorials

This tutorial will help you get started with Microsoft Word and may solve some of your problems, but it is a very good idea to use the Help Files that come with Microsoft Word , or go to Microsoft's web site located at for further assistance.

If you have a question about using Word in your classroom you can send an email to Internet4Classrooms.

Microsoft Word Tutorials

Sunday, April 27, 2008

MS Works to MS Word

MS Works to MS Word

Here's how to save a file to the proper format in Microsoft Works:

1. With the document to be saved open in Works,
2. Save the file in the My Documents folder (see screen shot below)
3. Go to the File on the Works menu bar, click the word and click Save As Type.
4. Click the downward-pointing black triangle in the Save As Type window.
5. From the menu of file format choices, select either:

.rft, or
Word 6.0/95 (*.doc) or
Word 97-2002 & 6.0/95-RTF (*.doc).

Presto. The file has been saved as an MS Word-readable format.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Communication Skills for Online Learners

Communication Skills for Online Learners
The following sites explore some of the unique communication skills online learners must have to succeed in their online academic endeavors. What are some of these communication skills and techniques for developing them?

This site was developed by Grant MacEwan College. They are using WebCT (Web Course Tools) is an integrated set of tools for developing and delivering courses or course components over the World Wide Web. It was originally developed at the University of British Columbia and according to their site is presently being used by over 2700 universities and colleges all over the world (including the University of Alberta). They cover the following issues: Time Management, Motivation and Goal Setting, Reading Strategies, Review Strategies, and Online Communication.
The Grant MacEwan College site also has a link for an Index of Learning Styles developed by Richard M. Felder and Linda K. Silverman.
Here are some “Tips for Communicating Online”

And here are some “Tips for Being a Successful Online Learner” that were Adapted from theIllinois Online Network ( These are more along the lines of helping you “fit in” to the environment.
This site covers “Tips for Communicating Online” such as: Writing Effective E-mails, Netiquette (This is the proper Online Etiquette), Using “Smileys” (Sometimes referred to a Emoticons), and Understanding Computer Jargon.

This site is from the University of Wisconsin. It talks about Discussion format, Learning from others such as your peers, and writing online.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Brief History of Critical Thinking

A Brief History of Critical Thinking

The following site is an excellent preemptory to the concept of critical thinking. It provides a history of the school of critical thinking from Socrates. What are some of the cited dimensions of critical thinking?

This site links the beginnings of critical thinking to Socrates.
The following site by James T. Streib believes that the critical thinking we use today began with John Dewey

Here is an excellent site with resources for Critical Thinking

Consider several definitions from:
Critical thinkers: distinguish between fact and opinion; ask questions; make detailed observations; uncover assumptions and define their terms; and make assertions based on sound logic and solid evidence.
Ellis, D. Becoming a Master Student, 1997

Critical thinking is best understood as the ability of thinkers to take charge of their own thinking. This requires that they develop sound criteria and standards for analyzing and assessing their own thinking and routinely use those criteria and standards to improve its quality.
Elder , L. and Paul, R. "Critical thinking: why we must transform our teaching." Journal of Developmental Education, Fall 1994.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills
General resources for the lower elementary grades K-12 as well as college:

Could critical thinking be an outcome of social growth? Is it dependent on biology?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is Action Learning?

Action Learning Bookmarks
When we are talking about tacit knowledge when we are using “action learning:” There are four modes of learning: socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization. Socialization involves sharing tacit knowledge by sharing experiences. Knowledge is shared and learning occurs through observation, imitation, and practice. Externalization involves translating tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. This takes the forms of metaphors, models, concepts, and equations. Combination involves systematizing explicit concepts into a knowledge system by analyzing, categorizing, and using information in a new way. Formal courses and seminars convert knowledge in this way. Internalization refers to converting explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge. Training methods such as simulations, action learning, and on-the-job experiences are used to create tacit knowledge from explicit knowledge. Experiential Learning will come into play and the interplay between the management team or supervisors should if facilitated properly, build on the learning experience of those involved.

This links and comments below were put together by Richard Griffiths and they do not necessarily reflect the official position of the University of Brighton where he teaches.
Downloadable Papers on:
Action Learning
Related Topics
Web Resources for:
Action Learning
Related Topics
Books on:
Action Learning
Related Topics
The Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management Association
ALARPM was formed in 1991 following the First World Congress on Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management in Brisbane. World Congresses are held every two years. One key intention is to encourage development that crosses the boundaries of traditional disciplines and recognizes the common elements of Action Learning and Action Research.

The Canadian School of Management
The CSM is an action learning-based business school supported by our unique and comprehensive Internet site, linked to a full "virtual library" of materials, and resourced by a network of faculty subject matter experts and facilitators.

The International Management Centres
IMC - a private, multinational business school which has provided programmes in over 40 countries - provides management development and qualification programmes on an open, in-company and consortium basis. IMC is a global market-leader for in-company MBA programmes and in the use of the Internet. Programmes are based on the principles of Action Learning, where participants use both their theoretical knowledge and practical experience to learn how to ask the questions that will help solve the real problems, and tackle the real issues in their own organizations.

The Revans Centre for Action Learning & Research
The University of Salford, UK in 1995 established, within Continuing Education, a new Centre with the specific task of contributing to the development of action learning. Because Professor Reg Revans had given his wholehearted support, including his personal library, to this initiative, the Centre was appropriately named the Revans Centre for Action Learning & Research. It forms part of the University's Research & Graduate College.
Papers on Action Learning
Action Learning and Action Research
Bob Dick. Action learning and action research are closely related processes. This brief document sets out one way of using the terms, and also relates them to experiential learning and change.
Net-Learning: Strategies for On-Campus and Off-Campus Network-enabled Learning
This paper examines the field of Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN), also known as Net-learning or anywhere-anytime learning. Commencing with definitions, examples of current practice and an accounting of types of schools and faculty that are engaged in ALN, the essay then examines the role of faculty in an ALN-world and considers which strategies are suitable for different types of institutions. By John R. Bourne of Vanderbilt University.
Teaching and Learning Methods in Higher Education: A Glimpse of the Future
Tom Bourner and Steve Flowers The aim of this article is to look at the future of teaching and learning methods (TLM) in higher education (HE) over the next decade. The purpose of the article is to develop a viable new vision of the future teaching and learning methods (TLM) that is preferable to the destination towards which we are currently headed.
The Role of the Set Adviser
If and when you become a Set Adviser for IMC, you are required to take on a dual role. You take on the traditional role of Set Adviser in an Action Learning programme, that of facilitator to the Set; while, for IMC, you take on the additional responsibility of managing and leading the Faculty team working with that Set, as well as some aspects of administration of the programme. You can find out more about your relationship with IMC and Faculty in the Appendices hereto. Here we concentrate on your role, working with the Set on its Action Learning programme.
Using Lotus Notes to Facilitate Action Learning
For over ten years, we have used an action learning pedagogy as the central learning platform in the Ohio University MBA Program. Much of the project-based learning makes use of collaborative learning groups. Although trained in group processes, we have found that learning teams tend over time to become less efficient and less effective in group functioning. In addition, geographic spread made the use of collaborative learning groups difficult in our part-time distance learning programs. This paper reports on our use of Lotus Notes to manage these two problems. It does not report empirical research, but rather is presented as a case study which may be of use to others facing challenges similar to those we faced.
Papers on Related Topics
A Learning Guide to Design Patterns
A paper on using study groups to learn about software design patterns, by Joshua Kerievsky of Industrial Logic, Inc. An excellent introduction to the idea of a study group. The specific topic he addresses, pattern language, has some relevance also in examining architectural settings for these groups!
Web Resources for Action Learning
Action Learning International
This site is the gateway sponsored by the International Management Centres on behalf of Action Learners and Researchers globally into the wealth of information and resources available throughout the Internet.

Action Learning Resources at Southern Cross University
This is the “front page” of a substantial action research site. Links to action research, action learning and related resources at Southern Cross University and elsewhere.

The Global Accumulative Bibliography of Action Learning
The Global Accumulative Bibliography of Action Learning ( GABAL ) is the fast route to significant published ideas and practice for all action learners world-wide. Whether your need is to keep abreast of new papers as they are published, or to carry out archival research from time-to-time, or both, GABAL is the mechanism to stay informed and to be effective.
Web Resources for Related Topics
The Foundation for Community Encouragement
An organization founded by M. Scott Peck to promote his ideas on community development. He has written extensively on the use of community building groups, and the processes that these undergo.
Books on Action Learning
McGill, Ian & Beaty, Liz, Action learning : a practitioner's guide London : Kogan Page, 1992.
Pedler, Mike (Ed.), Action learning in practice - 2nd ed. Aldershot : Gower, 1991.
Books on Related Topics
Peck, M. Scott , The Different Drum Arrow, 1990.
A book on community building, written from a (liberal) Christian perspective by a psychiatrist. He advocates the use of 'community building' groups, and gives a particular perspective on the dynamics of groups which is applicable to action learning sets.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

An Analogy for the difference between Soundness and Validity

An Analogy for the difference between Soundness and Validity

You can look at it like a map and a compass if that helps. A sound argument is like a compass. A valid argument is like a map. The map if you do not have it held correctly will not take you where you want to go. It takes soundness or the compass to make it so that you orient your map correctly. The map is still good, still valid when it is not held or oriented properly as is an argument that the premise for it is wrong.

Does this help?

APA Formatting and Plagiarism Resources

Here are some supplemental sites regarding APA formatting that you may find useful.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA)
Purdue OWL Writing Lab
Avoiding Plagiarism (The Writing Place, Northwestern University)
Avoiding Plagiarism by Sharon Williams
Avoiding Plagiarism: Mastering the Art of Scholarship (UC Davis)
Avoiding Plagiarism (Oregon State)
Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism (USC)
Plagiarism (Earl Babbie)
Plagiarism (Missouri)
Plagiarism Q&A
Plagiarism: What it is and how to avoid it (UBC Biology)
Plagiarism: What Is It and How to Recognize and Avoid It (Indiana)

This one is especially helpful

The Citation Machine (Helps to put those references into the right format)

Use this site to Check your paper for Plagiarism

Friday, April 18, 2008

How to Copy and Paste a URL with your Mouse

How to Copy and Paste a URL with your Mouse

You should not have to type everything out. You can copy and paste it.

You will be copying this URL and pasting it.

Step 1. Highlighting
Place the cursor of your mouse to the left of the URL.
Hold down your left mouse button and drag your cursor over the URL.
Release the button.
The text will appear "Highlighted"

Step 2. Make certain the cursor of the mouse is over the highlighted area and then right click on your mouse.
In the dialog box that appears click on the word "Copy"
You have now copied the URL
Your text has been "copied to the clipboard"

Step 3. Place your cursor where ever you want to paste this URL.
Right click where you want to paste the URL.
On the dialog box, choose the command "Paste"
Left click on the command "Paste"

Congratulations! You have now Copied and Pasted a URL