Technology and report writing

Well I am almost at the end of my second course in my first semester. I just have one project report to submit and get it over with.  Since, I am obviously writing my report, I thought why not blog about it.

You see in India, my course assessment was very different. I studied medicine so it was a very fact based learning and that meant I had to sit and write an exam ever so often. Exams were both theoretical and practical. Theory exams meant that I would sit in an exam hall with the rest of my class, look at a question paper and answer it in three long (or sometimes insufficient) hours without any books or electronic devices. This meant, I had to understand key concepts and “know” definitions and be able to cite them from memory. Practical exams on the other hand meant interviewing and examining real patients and coming up with diagnosis and treatment plans and then arguing ( they call it justifying) with a professor as to why i did what I did and assisting in real surgeries.

Now coming back to Health Informatics. Here, I attend courses, do group work,  do presentations and write reports. This means, I get to use the internet 🙂 and that I have to learn about citation and referencing and plagiarism.

This was when I learnt about Turnitin. It’s basically a website where you can submit your report and it compares your report with what I assume the entire “internet” and shows you all the matching text and you can go back and check and make changes and make sure that everything is properly cited.

This was also when I learnt to use Mendeley, a reference manager. What this does is captures the bibliographic data every time I click the icon and saves it and I can automatically use its plug-in in word, whenever I want to cite. There are several other reference managers and plagiarism checkers that one can use.

Now imagine way back in the days when these really awesome tools did not exist…..Gosh!

Thank you technology !   🙂 – For being ever so kind and resourceful and for making it easier 🙂

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