Final Project!!!

Woo Hoo!!! Fina project…I am doing the happy dance. So I am speaking to the faculty members teaching our HI 5300 course which is an introduction to health informatics. This course is meant to introduce informatics to students who have no clue what informatics is.


Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey…I mean Marcos Hernandez

Web 2.0 tools are awesome…I liked them all and will use them forever and ever…amen!

In all seriousness, my job is to find new Web 2.0 tools for our school to use and this course provided an abundance of said tools. I went to SXSWedu looking for new tools and was saddened to see that all I saw were topics on trends and not actual tools. I should have saved my money for this course.

Of all the tools, nothing was more valuable than the group project. It was my first time using Google Docs and collaborating online in Skype and using Titanpad to share ideas. It was an amazing experience and gave me some insight on what it is like for SBMI’s students having to collaborate at a distance.



Tool Category: Communication Tool, Collaboration Tool, Productivity Tool

Description: Doodle is a scheduling application on the web. The way it works is that you send out a request to a group requesting availability for scheduling a meeting or activity. Say you want to get together with your friends to celebrate your recent graduation from UH, that’s when Doodle comes in handy. You select a handful of available dates and times and send to your buddies.  They receive an email asking them to select their availability from the schedule you provided. You get responses and schedule the meeting based on everyone’s availability.


Here’s what Doodle has to say:

Doodle simplifies scheduling.

  • Doodle offers a wide selection of online solutions that radically simplify the process of scheduling appointments, ranging from the group event “poll” that doesn’t require registration to the professional booking service.
  • Connect your calendar with Doodle. Start and answer meeting requests directly in the calendar interface.
  • Doodle Mobile: Enables you to use Doodle on the go. By using your mobile device, you can respond to a meeting poll, initiate a poll, and see all of your polls at a glance.

Need to Know:  It’s also available on mobile devices. It’s free, a web-based application and it requires no additional download (unless you plan on using it for mobile devices).

What You Need: All you need is a keyboard, a mouse, and an internet connection. It’s a web-based application and requires no downloads or installations. You might also need some patience b/c SOME people don’t respond!

The Steps:

  1. Go to and create an account with your Google, Facebook or email account.
  2. You will be taken to the Doodle dashboard where you will create a poll to schedule an event or a poll to make a choice.

    1. “Schedule an event” is for available dates and times.
    2. “Make a choice” is for selecting from a list of choices.
  3. Select “Schedule an event” or “Make a choice”.
    Doodle Steps

    1. Provide General information about your poll.
    2. Select the “Time proposals” for your event.
    3. Select the “Settings” for your event.
      1. Yes-No-Ifneedbe Poll: By default all options are selectable. This setting limits the choice to one option per participant.
      2. Hidden Poll: By default all options are selectable. This setting limits the choice to one option per participant.
      3. Participant can only choose one option: By default all options are selectable. This setting limits the choice to one option per participant.
      4. Limit the number of participants per option: Poll as registration form: As soon as the indicated limit has been reached, the respective option is no longer available.
    4. Enter the email addresses of the people you would like to “Invite”.
  4. An email with a Doodle link will be sent to the participants. The participants will be taken to the poll and they make their selections.
  5. When participants respond, an email notification will be sent to the creator letting them know that they have received responses.

Educational Resource: Curriculum Manager Erin Seay at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine was tasked with revising the curriculum and had to schedule meetings for 15 committees and each committee was made up of about 18 faculty members. A major hurdle she faced was that not all members shared the same calendar system so she couldn’t look up a faculty members calendar to check their availability. Erin used Doodle to help poll and schedule meetings with all the faculty members, she posted the polls on the intranet.


In the Teaching Environment: Since teachers and faculty members dictate the deadlines for courses, I imagine teaching staff using it for polling students and for setting up office hours with students.

I see the students taking better advantage of Doodle. For our VoiceThread project, I sent our group members a scheduling poll to see when we could meet over Skype to discuss our project. Students an use it to coordinate available times to collaborate.

Advantages: Since it is web-based, it is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. No need to communicate with assistants or individual calendars to coordinate an event. All it takes is the click of a link, check the dates your available and click the “Save” button.

Disadvantages: Their is a paid premium account and you will see some ads for the free version.

Recommend: Yes. It is an easy tool to organize a meeting or to poll a group’s choices.




Tool Category: Problem Solving Tool, Feedback Tool, Networking/Social Tool

Description: “Google it!” How many times have you heard that expression? Got a question, “Google it!” Need a recipe, “Google it!” Who wrote that novel, “Google it!” Well Quora is a website created specifically to answer any questions you might have.

Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge.

  • Quora is your best source of knowledge.
  • Ask any question, get real answers from people with first hand experience, and blog about what you know.
  • Choose from over 400,000 topics to create a feed of information tuned to your interests.
  • Ask any question and get answers from real people with first-hand experience.
  • Create a blog to share knowledge by writing posts about any topic.

Quora serves as a blog, a social network for answering questions, and a place where users can go and engage with other users with similar interest.

Need to Know:  It has a similar feel to Facebook and Twitter but revolves around asking and answering questions.

What You Need: All you need is a keyboard, a mouse, and an internet connection. It’s a web-based application and requires no downloads or installations.

The Steps:

  1. Go to and create an account with your Google+, Facebook or Twitter account. You can also create an account using your email account, click on the link labeled “Sign Up With Email”.
  2. Follow the step-by-step instructions to set up your account and preferences. QuoraStart
    1. Select topics you are interested in.
    2. Find friends to make your feed more social (Quora will ask permission to access your Facebook friends).
  3. Once you are done with the setup, you will be taken to your feed (which displays your friends and topics of interest). You can select to have “Top Stories”, “Questions & Answers” or “Blog Posts” displayed in your feed. QuoraFeed
  4. In the feed, you can answer questions posed by Quora users.
  5. The menu bar to navigate Quora is at the top of the page. QuoraNav
    1. Home – your feed
    2. Open Questions – questions from other Quora users waiting to be answered.
    3. Notifications – notifications when users interact with your activity.
    4. Name – your name affects your settings and preferences including “Profile”, “Blogs”, “Messages”, “Stats”, “Your Content”, “Credits” & “Settings.”
    5. Add Question – allows you to ask a question to have answered by Quora users.
  6. To pose a questions, click on the blue button labeled “Add Question”.
  7. Type your question and click Next. QuoraQuestion
  8. You will be prompted with a box to “Check For Existing Questions” similar to your question. If your question, or similar, appears, click on the link. If your question, or similar, is not listed, click on the blue button labeled “My Question is New”.
  9. You will then be prompted to categorize your question into a topic.
  10. When someone answers your question, you will receive an email notification and see a number right over “Notifications” in the menu bar.

Educational Resource: Quora has a whole topic devoted to education with the tagline “The art and science of improving thinking, knowledge, skills, and values.”

Users are encouraged to create a profile in Quora to build a reputation in their field of expertise.

In the Teaching Environment: This would be a semester long project for the SBMI introduction to health informatics course. This course is meant to teach our grad students about informatics so I feel that if students engaged in Q&A’s in Quora, they would learn more about informatics outside of the classroom.

Rather than engaging in discussion, each week, in our learning management system (Moodle) the student will be required to ask and answer a question in the Quora informatics topic.

Advantages: Whenever I have a question that needs answered I simply Google it and, more than likely, will continue to do so. Where Quora comes in handy is that you see questions you would never have thought to ask and you see answers by people in your position/situation. It’s a great tool for exploring and learning new things.

No ads and no charges, it’s like a search engine for questions.

Disadvantages: None

Recommend: Yes. It is a great tool to see answers to questions your never thought to ask.

Audio Review