What design? Instructional?

Every time I meet new people, I’m curious when and how they’re going to ask me about my job and what reaction they are going to have when they hear my answer. When I started working in the field of instructional design and technology, my default answer to the above question was that – I’m a teacher. Eventually, as I grew more and more attached to what I was doing and felt I could actually explain it to people, I started saying the truth – I’m an Instructional Designer.

And this is when the fun started. Over the years, I’ve been collecting the different questions I got after people heard this answer. Here are just some of them:

So, what do you design?

Does that mean you are a teacher?

I know what interior design is, but what is instructional design about?

So, really, what is instructional design about and do we need it?There is a saying that if you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there. I follow it frequently when I’m visiting a new country or meditating near the lake. However, when it comes to creating meaningful and engaging learning materials, this is probably the worst approach to take. What instructional design does is it helps us figure out the right destination as well as the best road to get there. Some people refer to Instructional Design as the science of instruction, since it relies on many theories and methods. Some think it’s an art, because the end product heavily depends on the creative ability of the designer to envision the end product and artistically use the different methods to produce it. In the end, it’s probably both. The moment you have an idea of the course you want to create, instructional design will help you implement it and ensure that your students have a great learning experience.

Why should you be concerned with instructional design? We all remember those courses that we were excited to sign up for, but when we actually came to the classroom, the only thing we wanted to do was leave. Why? The class was poorly designed. Was the material too difficult or too basic? Poor instructional design. Was the instructor/material jumping from one topic to another? Poor instructional design. Was the test in the end of the course too hard or too easy? Poor instructional design. Of course, there are other reasons as well, but poor instructional design is in the root of many of them.

Our Instructional Technology team is comprised of a number of experienced instructional designers. So here are just some ways we could help you make your course more interesting, engaging, and fun.

–       Analyze the existing materials (written or not)

–       Recommend different delivery methods based on the course requirements and logistics

–       Create prototypes and develop actual course materials

–       Create test questions that will not only check students knowledge but also stimulate final sealing of it

From the Archives: The Travels of Dr. Hans Popper

The Mount Sinai Archives is at work processing the papers
of Dr. Hans Popper (1903-1988) so that they can be made available to
researchers. Totaling over 33 linear feet, this collection documents the career
of an extraordinarily accomplished doctor who was a founding father of modern
hepatology and one of the driving forces behind the creation of Mount Sinai
School of Medicine.  Read more

DSM V: It’s Here!

Cover_DSM-5_3DThe new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition is here, online and in print!

Levy Library is providing access to the DSM V online through the Psychiatry Online database, where it is linked prominently on the home page. Or, link to it by searching our E-Books page or the Catalog.

You’ll find a print copy in our Reserve collection, here in the (physical) Library. Ask for call number WM 15 D536 2013.

Read more

The Levy Library Welcomes Back Dr. Abraham Jacobi

Jacobi bust_front

After several years of being out of the public eye, the Levy Library has recently found a new home for a bust of Abraham Jacobi, MD (1830-1919), the ‘Father of American Pediatrics.’  The bust was created by Jo Davidson (1883-1952) in 1910 and was presented to The Mount Sinai Hospital by the Medical Staff at an event marking Dr. Jacobi’s 80th birthday and his 50th year on the Medical Staff of the Hospital. The creation of the Abraham Jacobi Library at Mount Sinai was also announced during this celebration.  The Jacobi Library was later merged into the Levy Library, which was established in 1973 to serve the new School of Medicine.  This bust has remained in the Mount Sinai library since that time, but often out of view. A few days ago, the sculpture was placed on the west side of the Library and now Dr. Jacobi is once again a presence at Mount Sinai.


2554Here in the Levy Library’s e-resources department, we’ve been fielding a lot of questions about the availability of the new DSM 5.  Judging from the number of requests we’ve been receiving, psychiatry faculty, housestaff, researchers, and others are anxiously awaiting access to the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition as soon as it comes out.  We have some good news and bad news on that topic.  Read more

New Icons in PubMed

Today (or very soon!) you will see two new full-text icons in PubMed, pictured above.  The icon on the left, the LinkOut button, appears next to articles that participate in PubMed’s LinkOut service and are subscribed to online by the Levy Library.  Using the LinkOut button is often the fastest way to open a copy of the article.

The LinkOut button used to look like this:

Starting today it will look like this:

The FIND IT button appears next to every article in PubMed, and offers more options for obtaining the full-text including entering direct InterLibrary Loan requests.   Read more

Mobile-Formatted Site: Easier Access to Library Apps and Mobile Sites

Iphone-hardwareIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's smartphone users can now access the Levy Library's mobile apps and sites from a specially designed mobile-formatted site (http://libguides.mssm.edu/mobile).  This site is a mobile version of our current Medical Apps & Mobile Resources guide, and was designed to provide mobile users with an easier way to read about and access library mobile resources while using their handheld devices.  

Check out this guide for a list of mobile-optimized library sites including UpToDate Mobile, MDConsult Mobile, Stat!Ref Mobile and more.  

The Library's list of apps and mobile sites currently includes mobile resources related to Library resources and providers.  All of the apps and mobile sites on our list are included in our library licenses and are free to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai faculty, students, and staff.






Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics

The Wellcome Library recently opened Codebreakers: Makers
of Modern Genetics
an online collection of primary source material documenting the history of
modern genetics and the discovery of the DNA double helix. Over one million
pages have been scanned, including the personal papers of James Watson and Francis
Crick as well as the records of many other individuals
and groups.

CharlotteDr. Charlotte Friend of Mount Sinai, who
advocated for the recognition of Rosalind
Franklin's role in the discovery of DNA.

By bringing a wide range of collections together in one
place, this online research center draws attention to the previous researchers
whose work was essential to Watson and Crick's discovery. In particular, the
Rosalind Franklin papers
document the work of a researcher who some have argued was unjustly denied her
rightful honors as a co-discoverer of the double helix. Among Franklin's
champions was Mount Sinai's Dr. Charlotte Friend,
herself a pioneering microbiologist, who corresponded actively with scholars
and journalists to advocate for the recognition of Franklin's contributions to
DNA research.

The Mount Sinai School of Cardiologists

February is American Heart Health Month and is the perfect
opportunity to look at Mount Sinai's pioneering history in cardiology.  This post looks at only the first 25 years of
this remarkable work, which dates back to 1909 with the installation of Mount
Sinai's first electrocardiograph (EKG) machine by Alfred E. Cohn.  He left a few years later,  taking his machine with him, but in 1914 Bernard S. Oppenheimer
(left) acquired another one and the
Oppenheimer BS from HS 1905Electrocardiographic Laboratory officially opened
in 1915. Oppenheimer had graduated from the Mount Sinai House Staff in 1904.  In 1910, while in London working with Lewis
Thomas, Oppenheimer and his sister, Adele, co-authored a study with Thomas describing
the site of the origin of the mammalian heartbeat.  Later, Oppenheimer was one of the first to use
the EKG to study abnormalities of the wave form and in 1917 won an AMA Gold
Medal for his exhibit on EKG changes associated with myocardial


important name in early American cardiology was Mount Sinai’s Emanuel
Libman.  He was a leading authority on
subacute bacterial endocarditis and, in fact, he gave it its name. In 1924
Libman and Benjamin Sacks published a paper describing atypical verrucous
endocarditis, now known as Libman-Sacks endocarditis.  It was noted that “so numerous, original, comprehensive
and important have been the studies of the heart emanating from the wards and
laboratories of the Mount Sinai Hospital, that one may correctly speak of the
Mount Sinai School of Cardiologists.”


Marcus A. Rothschild succeeded Oppenheimer as Chief of the
Cardiology Laboratory in 1928. 
(Cardiology was not a formal Division within Medicine until 1956.)  Research was done on the cardiac effects of anoxemia, clinical
studies of rheumatic fever and electrographic studies of bundle branch
block.  In 1929, Arthur Master and Enid
Oppenheimer, B.S. Oppenheimer’s wife, published an article on the Master 2-Step
test, the first accurate and practical cardiac stress test devised.  Master made seminal contributions to the
field throughout his long career, and in 1933 – 80 years ago – became Chief of
the Cardiology Lab.  The next year,
William Hitzig devised the first clinically applicable method for measuring the
circulation time to the right heart. 
This technique was described in 1934 and was used for many years to
evaluate heart failure.


more information on these contributions and the history of cardiology at Mount
Sinai, see Arthur H. Aufses, Jr. and Barbara Niss, This House of Noble Deeds. (New York: NYU Press, 2002)