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Information: Transforming the World through Better Communications. i Conference 2008 i Futures: Systems, Selves, Society February 29, 2008. What We’ll Do. Top Ten Tips One-on-One Counseling. Experts Panel. Ron Dietel, UCLA Kelly Shaffer, University of Pittsburgh

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Information transforming the world through better communications


Transforming the World through Better Communications

iConference 2008

iFutures: Systems, Selves, Society

February 29, 2008

What we ll do
What We’ll Do

  • Top Ten Tips

  • One-on-One Counseling

Experts panel
Experts Panel

  • Ron Dietel, UCLA

  • Kelly Shaffer, University of Pittsburgh

  • Marlo Welshons, University of Illinois

Information transforming the world through better communications

  • Effectiveness

  • Clarity

  • Impact

Where we are
Where We Are

  • Identity Development

  • Communications Plan

We make a difference
We Make a Difference

  •  i-Field

  •   i-Professionals

Information transforming the world through better communications

Presentation Tips

Ronald Dietel

National Center for Research on

Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)

UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies


  • Design

  • Delivery

  • Environment

Design content
Design - Content

  • Research Questions

    • Are the district’s formative assessments aligned to state and school district content standards?

    • Do the district formative assessments improve learning in mathematics?

    • What is the correlation between performance on the district assessments and performance on the state test?

  • Formative assessments that are not aligned to standards are not useful in guiding and informing instruction, Harker and James, 1998

  • Analysis of mathematics content standards that had been used to design third-grade assessments, was then used to design instruction--with learning experts

  • Random selection of 400 students who received different types of math instruction (ten lessons each) before taking the district mathematics assessment:

    • Data on mathematics alignment

    • Evidence collected in mathematics formative assessment using different mathematics curricula and instruction

    • Learning experts analysis of data

    • Triangulation of data

    • Study Results

Focused content
Focused Content

Our research question examined:

  • Formative assessments relationship to learning

Focused key point
Focused Key Point

Our study found that…

  • District formative assessments had little influence on learning

Design visuals
Design - Visuals

  • Cover too much content

  • Too much content on one slide

  • Difficult to read

Better visuals
Better Visuals

Follow the 666 rule…

  • 6 or less bullets per slide

  • 6 or less words per bullet

  • 6 or < information points on graphics


  • Reading paper or slides

  • Nervousness

  • Poor eye contact

  • Difficult to understand

  • Lack of self-confidence

Improving delivery
Improving Delivery

  • No excuses

  • Learn from others

  • Eye contact; gestures

  • Time-keeping

  • Hold the handouts

  • Carnegie Hall


Arrive early

  • Sound

  • Lighting

  • Temperature

10 tips for great presentations
10 Tips for Great Presentations

  • Practice

  • Reduce content

  • Own the room

  • Learn from others

  • Eye contact

10 tips for great presentations1
10 Tips for Great Presentations

  • Arrive early

  • Avoid being last

  • 666 rule

  • Hold handouts

  • Practice some more

Information transforming the world through better communications

Writing Tips for Academics

Kelly Shaffer

Director of External Relations

University of Pittsburgh

School of Information Sciences

Thanks to Ron Dietel, Marlo Welshons, and Charles DuBois for their help in producing this presentation.

General guidelines
General Guidelines

  • Carefully define your question/argument first

  • Consider your audience – journal, grant, conference

  • Assess the knowledge level of your audience

  • Draft an outline -- and write to it!

  • Proofread your work 24 hours later!

  • Use a professional – if there’s time.

What is the question or problem
What is the question or problem?

  • Identify – what is it?

  • Justify – why is it important?

  • Develop a thesis statement that outlines your approach

Who is the audience what is their knowledge level
Who is the Audience?What is Their Knowledge Level?

  • Journal – very knowledgeable about field

  • Conference – less familiar with your field

  • Grant – initial reviewer might have passing familiarity with field

  • Media – assume no knowledge of the field

Your audience determines your tone and your language.

Draft an outline
Draft an Outline

  • Start with thesis statement or statement of problem

  • Carefully note critical points to make

  • Write your conclusion statement

  • Track your references as you write (you won’t be able to find them later)

Proofread your work
Proofread Your Work

Did you…

  • Clearly define a problem or statement?

  • Follow your outline?

  • Maintain a style in terms of verb tense and language usage?

  • Cite appropriately?

Use a professional
Use a Professional

  • If you need it, hire a proof reader or editor to review your work

  • Often, your university or iSchool has such a resource for you!

Tips from an academic editor
Tips from an Academic Editor

  • Don’t cut and paste without careful review.

  • Don’t wait to start.

  • Save copies of reference materials.

  • Talk to your iSchool communications liaison to see what resources are available.

  • Let your audience dictate your style.

Information transforming the world through better communications

Media Relations for Academics

Marlo Welshons

Assistant Dean for Publications & Communications

University of Illinois

Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Thanks to the University of Illinois Office of Public Affairs and Ron Dietel for their help in producing this presentation.

General guidelines1
General Guidelines

  • Identify your communications liaison.

  • Identify your areas of expertise.

  • Keep your liaison informed—as early as possible.

  • Identify specialized publications in your field.

  • Prepare to justify newsworthiness of your story.

Preparing for an interview
Preparing for an Interview

  • Respond promptly to media requests

  • Ask about:

    • the type of story the reporter is pursuing

    • the context in which you might be quoted

    • the reporter’s and publication’s background

Preparing for an interview1
Preparing for an Interview

  • Consider these questions:

    • Why is your work important?

    • What makes your contribution unusual?

    • Who will benefit and how?

    • What is the most important point to make?

  • Write out answers in advance.

During the interview
During the Interview

  • Assume everything you say will be quoted.

  • Avoid “no comment.”

  • Don’t speak beyond your expertise.

  • Provide support where possible; offer to promptly send background material.

During the interview1
During the Interview

  • Listen carefully to questions, ask for clarification.

  • Don't just respond to questions; emphasize important points.

  • Remember audience: use plain-language interpretations and metaphors.

After the interview
After the Interview

  • Don’t ask to review or approve the article.

  • Do ask when the article will appear.

  • Follow up with additional information/clarification.

  • Notify your communications liaison.

  • Know that not every interview will result in a quote.

Next steps
Next Steps

  • Pick Up Ten Tips

  • Develop a Self-Communications Plan at Roundtables

  • Final Q&A