Using the internet effectively
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Using the Internet - Effectively! Craig L. Scanlan, EdD, RRT, FAARC Professor and Director MS and PhD Programs in Health Sciences UMDNJ-SHRP Workshop Objectives Identify the tools needed to exploit the Internet for learning Search for, evaluate and find quality online learning resources

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Using the internet effectively l.jpg

Using the Internet - Effectively!

Craig L. Scanlan, EdD, RRT, FAARC

Professor and Director

MS and PhD Programs in Health Sciences


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Workshop Objectives

  • Identify the tools needed to exploit the Internet for learning

  • Search for, evaluate and find quality online learning resources

  • Communicate and collaborate with other learners online

  • Successfully manage one’s online learning experiences

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But First - a Pretest!

(demonstration of automatically scored online self-assessment)

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Educational Uses of the Internet – A Short Tour

  • Communicating/collaborating

  • Getting and sharing information

  • Professional development

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Communicating & Collaborating

  • E-mail and attachments

  • LISTSERV (targeted group E-mail)

  • UseNet and threaded discussion

  • Collaboration software

  • “Chatrooms”

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Getting & Sharing Information

  • Getting

    • NLM Medline database

    • World Wide Web Information

  • Sharing

    • Web Publishing

    • Personal Databases

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Professional Development

  • Online Tutorials

  • Online Courses and Degrees

  • Online Continuing Education

Take a Self-Assessment for Online Learning

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What is the Internet?

  • 100,000+ computers

  • One billion+ ‘pages’

  • Linked via world-wide networks

  • Includes e-mail, WWW, Telnet, Usenet, etc

  • Accessible to all

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‘Basic’ Toolset

  • Internet Access

  • Web Account (College or ISP)

  • Web Publishing Tools

    • Word Processor (Saves HTML)

    • HTML Editor

    • FTP Client

    • Telnet Client

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Internet Access

  • Computer

  • Internet connection

  • Internet service provider

  • Browser software

  • Remote software*

*(if combined home and office work plan)

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Factors to Consider in Selecting anInternet Service Provider (ISP)

  • Connection (dial-up, DSL, cable)

  • Download/Upload Speed

  • Cost (hourly/monthly/fees/contracts)

  • Reliability

  • Software/’Extras’

  • Technical Support

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Highly Rated National ISPs*

  • @Home (cable)

  • MindSpring

  • AT&T WorldNet

  • EarthLink

  • MediaOne (cable)

*AOL, Compuserve, MSN, Prodigy, Juno rated below average

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Browser/E-Mail Client

  • NetscapeCommunicator

  • MS Internet Explorer withOutlook Express

Don’t forget plug-ins!

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  • Your facility is planning to implement a cardiac rehabilitation program

  • The director wants you to prepare a report on cardiac rehabilitation that includes a review of program models and their evaluation and any guidelines that may apply

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Example – the Wrong Way

The wrong way: Go on line, do a quickie computer search using “cardiac rehabilitation,“

bada-bang, bada-boom!

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Locating Relevant Source Documents

  • Primary Sources

    • ‘Journal Articles’

    • Conference Abstracts

    • Research Reports

    • Theses and Dissertations

  • Secondary Sources

    • Books

    • Literature Reviews

    • the ‘Popular Literature’

    • Internet/World Wide Web

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Clinical trial

Literature review

Cross-sectional study

Case report


Multicenter trial

Feasibility study

Letter to editor

Survey of practice

Case-control study

Consensus statement

Practice guideline

Review of cases

Cohort study

‘Journal Articles’

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Where to Search

  • Primary Sources

    • Computerized structured databases

    • Manual

      • Cumulative indices

      • Journal indices

  • Secondary Sources

    • Library ‘Card Catalog’

    • Books in Print

    • WWW Search

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Structured Databases(Using Controlled Vocabularies)

  • Journal Articles (use specific database’s terms index)

    • MEDLARS: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

    • CINAHL: subject heading tree/permuted index

    • Excerpta Medica (Embase): EMTREE

  • Books and Monographs:

    • library cataloging system ( Dewey, NLM, LoC)

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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

  • The MeSH Supplement to Index Medicus® (alphabetical and hierarchical listing of terms)

  • The MeSH Annotated Alphabetic List (an alphabetic listing includes notes/ historical info)

  • The MeSH Tree Structures (a hierarchical listing)

  • The Permuted MeSH (a listing of each significant word or root appearing in any MeSH heading)

  • NLM’s Online MeSH Browser

  • Key Term Mapping/Translation (e.g., OVID)

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Example: ‘Chest X-Rays’

“Chest x-rays" not a MeSH term

Using Permuted Index + MeSH Tree:

Diagnosis [E01]

Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures [E01.370]

Diagnostic Imaging [E01.370.350]

Radiography [E01.370.350.700]

Angiography [E01.370.350.700.060] +

Fluoroscopy [E01.370.350.700.225] +

Mammography [E01.370.350.700.500] +

Neuroradiography [E01.370.350.700.560] +

Radiography, Abdominal [E01.370.350.700.715] +

Radiography, Dental [E01.370.350.700.720] +

Radiography, Interventional [E01.370.350.700.725]

Radiography, Thoracic [E01.370.350.700.730]

Tomography, X-Ray [E01.370.350.700.810] +

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Boolean ‘OR’


Example: “asthma OR exercise” yields pages that include either word; e.g., aerobic exercise and atopic asthma

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Boolean ‘AND’




Example: “asthma AND exercise” yields pages that include both words

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Boolean ‘NOT’


Example: “asthma NOT exercise” yields pages that include asthma but not exercise

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Demonstration UsingFree NLM MedlinePubMed

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The Web as an Information Source

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The Problem



“The Web is the ultimate expression of too much data and not enough information” David Seuss, CEO, Northern Light


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Finding Your Way Around

  • Random surfing

  • Link Pages

  • Directories

  • Search engines

  • Metasearch tools

UC Berkeley Tutorial : Finding Information on the Internet

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Random Surfing

  • No Road Maps

  • Low ‘Hit Rate’

  • Time-Consuming

  • Easy to Get Off Track

  • But…Fun

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Link Pages (PT Examples)

  • Andrews University

  • Cal State – Long Beach

  • Univ Kansas Medical Center


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Internet Directories

  • Provide categorized lists of Web sites, constructed by humans (professional and/or volunteer editors)

  • Tend to be selective rather than all-inclusive (most aim for quality over quantity)

  • Usually include searchable database containing descriptions of the directory’s Web sites

  • Require some knowledge of subject matter

  • Some categories can quickly become outdated

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Internet Directories

  • General Directories, e.g.Yahoo!

  • Medical Directories (Examples)

    • Medscout

    • Galaxy Medical List

    • Achoo

    • MedWeb

    • Hardin MD

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Search Engines

  • A computer-generated index of all the infor-mation found on all searched Web pages

  • Aims to include all Web pages that contain the information, but without assessing quality

  • Takes you to the exact page on which the words you are looking for appear

  • Regularly updated by automated processes

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Top 7 Search Engines (By Coverage)

  • Google

  • WebTop

  • Alta Vista

  • Fast (‘All theWeb’)

  • Northern Light

  • Excite

  • Inktomi (HotBot, MSN, Snap)

  • Go (Infoseek)

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Search Engine Coverage

KEY: GG=Google, WT=WebTop, AV=AltaVista, FAST=FAST, NL=Northern Light, EX=Excite, INK=Inktomi, Go=Go (Infoseek)

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Improving Search Results

  • Boolean Operators

    • AND

    • OR

    • NOT

  • Search Engine ‘Math’

  • Proximity

    • Near

    • With

  • Wildcards

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Proximity Searching

“Asthma NEAR exercise”

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Wildcard (Truncation) Searching


* substitutes for any characters

Yields asthma, asthmatic, asthmatics, asthmaticus, but also asthenia

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Other Search Engine Tricks*

  • Search by domain (e.g., “edu”, “gov”)

  • Search by URL (e.g, “”)

  • Search by document title

  • Search by popularity/hits (DirectHit)

*For more tips/tricks:

Powersearching for Anyone (SearchEngineWatch)

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Metasearch Tools

  • Metasearch tools search the search engines

  • Best tools rank findings + eliminate dups

  • Best results with customization

  • No medical-specific metaseach tool

  • Example: Savvy Search

  • Guide to Metasearcher Tools

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What’s Out There?

  • the Good...

  • the Bad...

  • and the Ugly

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Evaluating Web Resources

  • Authority

  • Accuracy

  • Objectivity

  • Currency

  • Coverage

Widener University Tutorial:

Evaluating Web Resources

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Web ‘Treasure Hunt’

Find the AHCPR (NIH) Guidelines on Cardiac Rehabilitation (Full-Text!)

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Now that I’ve Got all this Info, What am I Suppose to Do with It?

  • Bibliographic Management Software

    • Provides mechanism to search for, download, store and retrieve citations

    • ‘Automatically’ creates reference lists and bibliographies

    • Examples: End Notes, Procite

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On the Internet… with It?

Content is King!

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Example with It?

Nontechnical Issues Related to Computers

and Information Technology

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Tools for Web Publishing with It?

  • Word Processor (saves HTML)

    • Word 97 (avoid Word 2000!)

    • Wordperfect 8.0

  • HTML Editor (examples)

    • Simple/free – Netscape Composer

    • Mid-level ($)– Adobe Pagemill

    • High-End Site Managers ($$) – Frontpage or Fusion

  • FTP Client

    • May be included in HTML editor (above)

    • WS-FTP – free for academic use

  • Telnet Client (comes with Windows)

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Create/Test/Edit (Web Authoring)* with It?

  • Goal: Develop a Simple Web Page Using NetScape Composer

  • Objectives:

    • Create Page

    • Add a Table and Some Graphics

    • Add Content with Headings

    • Add Interactivity (Links + E-Mail Response)

*Handout Provided by Workshop Instructor*

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Web Page Contents with It?

  • Formatted Text

  • Tables

  • Input Forms

  • Graphics

  • Sound/Video (usually via ‘Plugins’)

  • ‘Invisibles’ - scripts, applets

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Design Tips with It?

  • Create for Lowest Common Denominator

    • VGA Screen Resolution (800x600)

    • Use Default/Basic Fonts

    • Minimize Bells/Whistles (plug-ins, etc)

  • Provide Clear Navigation Tools

  • Embed URLs

    • IDST3510 instead of


  • Always Test in both Netscape and IE

  • Experiment and Be Creative!!!

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Goal: with It?

Have Fun!