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Personal Collection Detail View

Cross-Discipline Collection: BASIC SKILLS

by Lorena Bidinger
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This is an interdisciplinary collection of Learning Objects (LOs) that is specifically designed to address BASIC SKILLS that students commonly lack in undergraduate studies. The MERLOT@Michigan community composed this collection with the goal of providing fundamental pedagogical support to University of Michigan students that would benefit from supplementary learning material. The collection includes only the best LOs that have been selected through the Peer Review process performed by professionally trained U of M Graduate Student Instructors. The following LOs are listed by the title and further labeled by the arenas of academia they best apply to. However, there are also many unlisted areas that the included LOs could be used for as well. The overall focus of this collection is on teaching basic skills that students commonly lack across many undergraduate fields of study at the University of Michigan. For more information or to contact MERLOT@Michigan please visit their website:

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Study Guides and Strategies

Added 08/15/2009
This site focuses on study skills across many disciplines that can be presented in various languages too! Overall this is an excellent starting point for any study question or issue. The site has lots of supportive learning materials and study tips to offer. *Stats*: Take a look at “Math Tests” and “Math bibliography” sections under Math for great on-line resources *Chem*: Specifically check out the “Writing lab reports and scientific papers” section under “Science and Technology" *Psych*: A helpful psychology focused resource here is the “Emergency Test Prep” section under “Preparing for Tests”

Statistics Every Writer Should Know

Added 08/15/2009
This is a simple outline of what statistical terms mean and how/when it is appropriate to use them in formal writing. *Stats*: Very basic focus on integrating numbers into writing or taking numbers from writing to better understand their meaning. *Chem*: Helpful for understanding research papers usage of statistics and a good starting point to better understand the purpose of statistics. *Psych*: Helpful for learning the usage of numbers in psychology articles and what they mean. Very supportive for forming a basic understanding.

Graphing the line y = mx + b

Added 08/15/2009
This applet is a simple and effective tool for teaching the graphing of a line. It could easily be incorporated into a course assignment that would be very beneficial for many students.This site provides an applet that is a simple and effective tool for graphing a line. Very basic and straightforward math learning material supports are also provided. *Stats*: Helpful for understanding graphs and line equations *Chem*: Supportive basic learning material for calculating and graphing *Psych*: Helpful in understanding and analyzing data in psychology research

Unit Conversions

Added 08/15/2009
This is a simple learning tool that displays the cancellation of unit terms when performing unit conversions. This tool provides straight forward instructions and emphasizes how students should "show their work" while calculating unit conversions. *Stats*: Supportive in learning unit conversions and the process of completing this task *Chem*: Helpful in measuring and revising units in different units *Psych*: Solid tool for learning simple unit conversions that occur in the social sciences

ThatQuiz - Math Test Activities

Added 08/15/2009
This is a great tool for learning or getting a refresher on general math concepts across the board (including time, money, measure, and other calculations). Overall it is very simple and effective as a learning tool. *Stats*: Focus placed on measures and other basic math calculations *Chem*: Supportive in various ways including the measures section *Psych*: Helpful as a tool for measurement calculation in social sciences

Internet Detective

Added 08/15/2009
This tutorial teaches students to find quality resources by teaching how to assess the validity of websites that may appear legitimate. It is a simple tutorial with great examples presented in an exciting and enticing manner. *Stats*: Helpful in learning to use the internet for the field of stats *Chem*: Provides materials for assessing writing resource on the web that are applicable to chemistry *Psych*: Helpful as a tool for resource validation in the field of social sciences

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab

Added 08/15/2009
This is a great tool for anyone with writing questions from reference formatting to writing style support. *Stats*: Helpful for composing or reading research papers *Chem*: Provides supports to increase writing ability *Psych*: Specifically check out the “Writing in the Social Sciences” section for material on improving writing skills in psychology.

In Pictures: Online Computer Tutorials

Added 08/15/2009
This site focuses on easy to use technology support tutorials with pictures and simple directions (Includes MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, MS Word, HTML & CSS,, and others). Very helpful for faculty or students who are learning to use the most common applications in academia. *Stats*: Beginner use of MS Excel is very helpful for stat analysis *Chem*: Picture based tutorial for MS Powerpoint helpful for group projects in composing slide shows *Psych*: MS Word tutorial is very helpful in learning to write papers using the most common writing application.

Building Blocks for Teams

Added 08/15/2009
This site focuses on how to effectively incorporate teamwork into student learning and avoid common pitfalls in the group experience. *Stats*: Helpful for understanding group dynamics for a group project. *Chem*: Supports learning about expectations for lab or other group situations *Psych*: Helpful for providing material to assess group functioning and skills to increase group cohesion.

The Science of Studying Effectively

Added 08/15/2009
This flip-through presentation covers several learning and memory tips for studying supported by psychological research. The slide presentation illustrates how these techniques can be applied to the acquisition of skills as well as storing and recalling information. *Stats*: Helpful in focusing on increasing memory skills *Chem*: Supports improving basic skills for cognition *Psych*: Rooted in evidence in cognitive psychology, this material can be applied to anyone interested in increasing their learning skills.

Purplemath - Your Algebra Resource

Added 08/15/2009
This site contains math lessons, links, and homework tips, all designed to help the high school or college student. The "how to" lessons include tips and hints, point out common errors, and contain cross-links to related materials. The tone of the lessons is informal, and is directed toward students rather than instructors. *Stats*: Helpful in algebra topics from foundation information to advanced topics. *Chem*: Supports simple to complex math learning *Psych*: Helpful for basic math skills

The Writer's Complex

Added 08/15/2009
This will aid students in navigating through the many complexities of writing. *Stats*: Learn basic factors of writing style and grammar. Check out the "Punctuation Notation" on "Numbers" for support with writing with stats. *Chem*: Helpful for writing papers in chemistry with useful grammar tips *Psych*: Learn appropriate grammar and thesis writing techniques and tips

Linear Regression Calculator

Added 08/15/2009
This more advanced learning object is a virtual linear regression calculator. It allows students to enter data points, experiment with where the line of best fit might be, and then lets them see the correct line of best fit as well as the outliers. You can click through the introduction to learn a lot about the calculation that takes place. *Stats*: Helpful in learning about linear regression *Chem*: Supportive for the learning experience with a walk through introduction to linear regressions *Psych*: Helpful for composing data analysis in social sciences

Research Methods

Added 08/15/2009
This material is a great resource for introducing the concepts of research methods across multiple disciplines. It is simple yet informative. It also covers a fair amount of detail in a short time using appropriate examples for various disciplines. This material's potential effectiveness as a teaching tool is very high especially in introductory courses. *Stats*: Helpful for understanding simple scientific research study foundations *Chem*: Helpful introductions to research methods *Psych*: Very helpful for understanding research in psychology and it provides several psychology specific examples too.

Presentation Skills

Added 08/15/2009
This site presents presentation skills for with a focus on oral and multimedia presentations in a business format. Helpful for anyone giving presentations.

Index of Learning Styles

Added 08/15/2009
This tool can be used as an assessment for student learning styles. It has wide applicability and is easy to use. After taking the on-line survey (ILS questionnaire), students receive instant results in the form of a profile of their dominant learning styles. The results page also has additional information on learning styles. This tool could be used by instructors at the start of their course, especially if they are employing teams or student-learning groups. *Stats* *Chem* & *Psych*: Helpful for students across these disciplines and others in understanding learning styles.

Virtual Presentation Assistant

Added 08/15/2009
This tutorial is a simple yet effective tool for learning how to give presentations. While it is very plain and consists of mainly text describing what makes a good presentation, the material also provides great example presentations and further links. As a great resource for both teachers and learners, this site outlines the most important aspects of public presentations.
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