Critical Thinking Lectures and conferences

Notes from Sage’s 2023 Critical Thinking & Artificial Intelligence Boot Camp

Today, I’m participating in the Sage’s 2023 Critical Thinking (CT) & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Boot Camp. My notes and thoughts brought to you live. The presentation is being recorded and will be posted soon on the Boot Camp’s page on the Sage website.

Keynote Dr. Leo Lo

First up is Dr. Leo Lo – providing an engaging keynote about the roles of librarians in the conversation about AI and CT on campus, balancing enthusiasm and caution around the uncertainty as the field grows. The goal is to position librarians as the place on campus to bring faculty and students together, with an eye on employability. Focus on empowerment & try different things.

Critical skills include:

  • Analytical thinking & prompt engineering
  • AI literacy, notably around capabilities & limits of AI
  • Ethical reasoning around core values & principles
  • Continuous learning

Roles of librarians:

  • Resource curators
  • AI Advocates
  • Libraries as campus collaborative hubs (spaces, devise & promote best practices)
  • Ethics discussion leaders

Recent paper:

Lo, L. S. (2023). The CLEAR path: A framework for enhancing information literacy through prompt engineering. Journal of Academic Librarianship49(4), [102720]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2023.102720

Source: Sage 2023 Boot Camp

First Panel – Critical Thinking

J. Michael Spector highlights the importance of John Dewey’s How we think (1910, 2011) in learning by experience, especially at the onset on a student’s career – in middle school.

Madeleine Mejia offers a powerful analysis of using technology in CT, leveraging many thinkers such as Facione (1990). See her recent article:

Mejia, M., & Sargent, J. M. (2023). Leveraging Technology to Develop Students’ Critical Thinking Skills. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 51(4), 393–418. https://doi.org/10.1177/00472395231166613

Source: Sage 2023 Boot Camp

Raymond Pun proposes many concrete ideas for curating a learning experience around CT & AI. Here is a good list of ethical issues to consider with AI by Raymond Pun:

2nd Panel – mis/dis-information

Altay, S., Berriche, M., & Acerbi, A. (2023). Misinformation on Misinformation: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges. Social Media + Society9(1). https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051221150412

Source: Sage 2023 Boot Camp chat

Dan Chibnall, STEM Librarian, Drake University: fact checking is a proactive approach, not reactive. Truth, noise – ChatGPT will exacerbate the problem. Beware of offloading CT and learning to these tools. Cognitive biases and confirmation bias… and the loss of discovery (auto pilot of letting the tools doing the work).

Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, Mike Caulfield, Washington State University Vancouver, 2019, https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/454

Source: Open Textbook Library

Richard Wood, associate professor of practice at the Norton School of Human Ecology, University of Arizona. Critical thinking requires a lot of energy, your brain is mobilized in ways many find uncomfortable. The ladder of abstraction (deconstruct statements), enthymeme (Aristote), evidence to support premises: how to approach claims. Science does not “prove” it provides insight and evidence toward a consensus.

Brooklyne Gipson, assistant professor of communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Teaches race and gender issues. Alternate epistemologies, mindfulness of this space. Acknowledge that differences may be socialized from one’s past and are a key component of identity. LLMs and GPTs simply regurgitate variations of what is said, no fact checking. Engaged pedagogy. Rooted in social media space, acknowledge media literacy and bias as a shifting dimension.

Richard Rosen, retired professor of practice and chair of the Personal and Family Financial Planning program at the University of Arizona. Bill Gates: AI is probably the biggest development in computing since the personal computer. Endemic cheating. Early 1980s: calculators enter colleges. Do AI make up facts? Are AI and search engines the same? Lawyer in Texas using ChatGPT to look for case law & hallucinations. Use but verify. Facts vs opinions. Find the source.

3rd Panel – what students want from AI and what they want you to know

Sarah Morris, librarian & PhD student. Finish an assignment asap. Understanding AI: opportunities, challenges, limitations. Points of interest: AI literacy; possibilities/limitations; Policy issues; algorithmic literacy = dealing with assumptions and identifying knowledge gaps. Job prospects; lifelong learning; ways to connect to lived experiences of students.

Brady Beard, reference and instruction librarian at Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Humans in the loop of the information landscape. Looking for hallucinated citations and sources. Generative AI is not absolutely novel in many ways considering recent developments. Librarians are non-evaluative contributors to the learning experience, it is easier to be truthful about one’s approaches to their work. Reframe conversations about plagiarism and academic integrity: this is not the way forward as these tools have great promise for the future. Adjust our assessments (e.g.: oral examination in a Zoom call). These systems are not magic… using the term “hallucination” places agency in algorithms that they don’t have. What are the costs of these systems and tools.

I am sorry to miss the end of this Boot Camp as I have another commitment. Apologies to Hannah Pearson, fiction writer and Anne Lester, graduate student, for missing their presentations.

Concordia University Country statistics

Looking for information on occupations and industries in Montréal

Here is a list of resources to locate information about occupations and industry:

Montréal International, the business development corporation under the City, offers many sectorial analysis reports, for free on its website.

The Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain (CCMM) offers Publications about key industries as well as under RelançonsMtl.

Emploi Quebec offers a snapshot about Trades and Occupations. For a given trade/occupation, you can get the sectors of activity by industry: it provides the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code. You will need this code for other steps!

Emploi Québec offers a monthly bulletin about employment prospects in Montréal.

The Government of Canada’s JobBank is a great place to explore occupations. Start with Trend analysis » Occupations. In addition to the wonderful information on this page, notice how each occupation is given a “code” from the National Occupational Classification or NOC. Let’s build on this with the next step. Let’s look for Computer Software Engineer (NOC 2173) near Montreal.

  • What is the average hourly wage of a software engineer in Montréal?
  • What are the prospects?

Now, you can read up on an industry through a licensed library database, called IBISWorld. This system provides a 20+ page report by industry (NAICS) for Canada, the USA and China.

You can also generate a list of companies in an Industry by using Mergent Intellect, a business directory.

Finally, you can setup an email alert to get trade news from ProQuest Business, a comprehensive business article database licensed by the library.

Concordia University Information literacy

Library services for graduate students (Fall 2020)

Fall 2020 will bring a new cohort of exceptional students to Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. I have been asked to present, very succinctly, the library services and collections afforded to them upon joining us. Please find below the outline of my presentation, with corresponding links.

  1. The library website is your portal to our services and collections
    1. https://library.concordia.ca/
    2. Sofia, our NextGen search engine, covering the print and digital collection (with partial coverage of our market & industry resources). Search for academic articles and books here.
    3. Blue “ribon” – below Sofia – provides for quick access to popular resources: Databases by subject; eJournals; Citation guides
    4. Information for graduate students (we will cover these points in further detail below)
    5. A note about Google Scholar: use the settings to display “deep links” to articles in our databases, see: https://library.concordia.ca/help/using/google-scholar.php
  2. Spectrum, copyright and open access
    1. https://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/
    2. Theses defended at Concordia University. Yours will be made available here at the end of your studies.
    3. Advance search: by department or by advisor (find out about past projects)
    4. For theses from around the world, use the database named ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full Text, PQDT: https://concordiauniversity.libguides.com/az.php?q=pqdt
    5. Pro tip: find a few theses of interest and get a sense of the scope, tone, and use their bibliography as a starting point for your literature review!
  3. Zotero
    1. https://library.concordia.ca/help/citing/index.php
    2. In Sofia and most article databases, you can upload bibliographic data directly to your own account on Zotero.
    3. Organize your readings in folders for your seminars as well as chapters to your thesis. Create your own abstracts and reading notes in special fields.
    4. You can create bibliographies automatically in hundreds of citations styles with the click of a button in your favorite. Check out our GradProSkills workshops on Zotero (or search YouTube!)
  4. RSS for “Really Simple Syndication”
    1. https://library.concordia.ca/help/using/rss/index.php
    2. Be at the forefront of your discipline by harvesting RSS feeds on a special app or website. Subscribe to the table of contents of journals (http://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/), setup an alert in article databases like ProQuest or enjoy webcomics for academics (like https://xkcd.com/)
  5. TOC: Learn how to create a Table of Contents automatically in any word processing software… you need to encode your document properly
    1. How to do this in MS Word: https://www.outfind.ca/using-word-with-style-ms-word-tm-2007-edition/
  6. Remember to ask us questions!
    1. For general information: https://library.concordia.ca/help/questions/
    2. Request an appointment with your subject librarian: https://library.concordia.ca/about/staff/business.php
  7. Take care and enjoy our collection – we allocate about 7 million dollars a year to enrich it!

Information literacy Videos

Quick and easy video production for Librarians and Instructors

This video showcases my method or protocol to prepare quick & easy videos for my learners. I am a librarian working in a University in Canada and I use free software, namely Quicktime, to produce these instructional support materials. This video is hosted here: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

Here is the outline of the video:

1. Before you begin: Create a new user account; Fix accessibility settings; Lights, camera, outline

2. During the video capture: Be yourself, pretend a friend is with you; 10 minutes max; Don’t edit, throw away & start over

3. Post production and uploading: This outline is your description on YouTube; Use YouTube’s tools for post production

DON’T PANIC! Be playful! Practice…

Source: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

I have prepared a 10 minute video about how I produce my instructional videos. It has taken me about a decade to arrive at this workflow, I’ve transformed my practice long ago to harness the potential of new technologies, tools and platforms. My goal is to share with you my playful and underwhelming method to make simple but useful videos.

Please don’t feel like you should put yourself “out there” as I have. As a middle-aged, overqualified and, well, tenured, white male, I am well aware that I can leverage many factors in my favour to curate an Internet persona. Please focus on the production method (QuickTime hack & inexpensive computer equipment), not the dissemination strategy (YouTube & posting on a blog available on the Internet).

I simply use QuickTime, my old computer with an onboard mic and camera and zero editing (ok, I have a nice external microphone which is 10 years old, but you really don’t need it).  It is available on my YouTube channel and embedded in my work blog, at this address: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

Of course, this is the workflow I’ve implemented for my own practice in supporting my community: hundreds of faculty and thousands of students from the Marketing & Management departments of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. These diverse and energetic colleagues and learners require a special kind of library service, which goes well beyond the canonical book-article paradigm of librarianship. (Actually, most of my colleagues go well beyond the book-article paradigm, but I need to speak to what people perceive librarians to be).

I say this because there are passionate and smart people working on various “video production workflows” at my institution, Concordia University, and elsewhere. Please consider this video as “a” possible method, the one I’ve crafted that I am now sharing with you. It works for me and maybe you’ll feel empowered or inspired to try your hand at creating your own videos… Please remember to consult with your institutional experts about best practices that are meaningful for your local community.

Stay safe and well. See you around the Internet!

Concordia University Digital media & ecommerce Food

MARK 305 Consumer Behavior (Fall 2019 edition)

Here are some starting points for succeeding the final project at JMSB’s (Concordia University) MARK 305 Consumer Behavior course. Remember to think about who produces what kind of information and in which format:

1. Consumer behavior trend analysis: Where do we find information about emerging trends in CB?

2. Industry/company analysis: size, key players, strategies

  • For this part, your librarian (me!) recommends the following databases listed on the Library’s Business Research Portal
    • Passport from Euromomnitor: this time, use the “industry reports” section to learn more about your industries
    • IBISWORLD reports: this system is in the “industry analysis” section of the Business Research Portal
    • ProQuest Business Databases: find articles by searching for the name of the trade associations, major players, industry name or consumer trend concept. Focus on articles from trade journals and academic/peer-reviewed/scholarly journals
  • Do you really think Google can help you with this one?

3. Consumer analysis: demographics, size of the target market and their consumption process (pre-during-post)

REMEMBER: Cite your sources! Use the citing business databases in APA format

Blended Learning Videos

How to get closed captions on YouTube

Closed captions or transcribed video is a great idea for your YouTube videos. It allows watchers to follow along is a loud environment (like public transport) as well as offering the hearing impaired an opportunity to partake. Of course, learners of a new language can also use the transcription service to read the words as people speak.

Here are some simple steps to follow to add captions to any YouTube video. Take this example:

To add closed captions, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the settings tool on the YouTube video interface (looks like a gearwheel) ** within ** the video pane
  2. Select subtitles: automatic
  3. Let Google’s AI do all of the heavy linguistic lifting.

The image below shows you hot to do this. Notice that my computer is configured in French, but that doesn’t matter, you get the idea:

Then, you can copy-paste the transcript by using the interface. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the “more options” icon – the three grey dots next to the “save” option ** below ** the video
  2. Select “open transcription pane”
  3. Read along !

Comments or questions are welcome !


Rebooting the licensing games for libraries initiative

Following the Microtalk I gave last Wednesday at TAG, I wanted to thank everyone for their interest and comments. As I reported, I learned the day before the Microtalks that we did not secure  funding to relaunch the licensing project through the Story Bikes idea. Arguably, I was really interested in looking at the legal issues of that project… which bring me to the reason I’m writing this post. Did anyone say PIVOT? 😉 

As a librarian and doctor-of-laws*, the problem(s) I seek out in my research involve(s) complex institutional arrangements within the realm of information, arts and culture. Games (and anything in the general area of new-ish complex-ish copyrightable works, mostly digital but not exclusively) are my preferred object of study and my preferred subjects are libraries and the environments they subsist in (Cities, Universities, School Boards, Prisons, and yeah, mostly any state-like institution you can think of). The vector linking my object(s) and subject(s) are legal arrangements fostered through institutions like markets, firms (old school Coasian classics, but also newer ones – from the perspective of Western thought – and their correlating mirror image, namely) commons or algorithms (full disclosure: I am a cyberneticist dabbling in socioeconomic theories in the post-modern sense, but I can easily “code switch” as I routinely have to interact with people working on positive or natural theories of law, e.g.: mostly lawyers – I am also a librarian, so I have to be conversant on a wide array of theoretical, conceptual, methodological and analytical approaches in any scientific field – any and all ideas welcome in my Thought Bazar).

Many existing digital platforms ward off libraries from acquiring content (think Steam, iTunes, Google Play and their ilk). Québec and other jurisdictions also have some stringent regulations applied to how certain libraries can acquire content. My working hypothesis (fear!) is that this platform & regulatory “double punch” will render Libraries KO in the digital world. Remember, without libraries (and archives and museums – collectively referred to as LAMs), society does not have many alternatives for us to consume content beyond buying it on a market… unless you consider piracy or the creation of original content as alternatives, but do they really allow for the participation in an open democratic society? I position libraries as an alternate institutional arrangements “feeding off” markets but eliminating market failures (citizens too poor to buy a game) or negative externalities (not knowing about the existence of a great game) as well as power asymmetries (incapacity to join/participate a social group because one lacks knowledge/agency). Certain types of works and many digital markets exclude libraries, which, in turn, excludes so many more… (sigh) 

As far as I’m concerned, indie games represent the PERFECT STORM for my research… I feel that if I can get indie games in libraries, I will have made my humble contribution in minding these gaps…

Despite the very temporary setback of not getting the grant for the Story Bike idea, I remain unshaken in my resolve to get more indie games (and, more broadly, informational, cultural and artistic copyrighted works) in libraries, as my personal social hack of existing institutional networks for the betterment of a plurality of voices and expressions in our crazy world. 

I know TAG has always been active with libraries through the amazing Arcade 11 initiative – this ongoing event is what sent me on this research path so I must recognize the essential work undertaken to keep the relationship with Libraries active! I am hoping to go deeper in the games in libraries thread. Please contact me if this interests you !

Concordia University Industries and Markets

Sources for Consumer Behaviour (MARK 305)

Here are some starting points for succeeding the final project at JMSB’s (Concordia University) MARK 305 Consumer Behavior course.

List of industries for the Fall 2018 semester:

  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Apparel and Footwear
  • Beauty and Personal Care
  • Consumer Health
  • Fresh Food
  • Hot Drinks
  • Luxury Goods
  • Packaged Food
  • Pet Care
  • Soft Drinks
  • Consumer Foodservice
  • Travel

1. Consumer behavior trend analysis: Where do we find information about emerging trends in CB?

2. Industry/company analysis: size, key players, strategies

  • For this part, your librarian (me!) recommends the following databases listed on the Library’s Business Research Portal
    • Passport from Euromomnitor: this time, use the “industry reports” section to learn more about your industries
    • IBISWORLD reports: this system is in the “industry analysis” section of the Business Research Portal
    • ProQuest Business Databases: find articles by searching for the name of the trade associations, major players, industry name or consumer trend concept. Focus on articles from trade journals and academic/peer-reviewed/scholarly journals
  • Do you really think Google can help you with this one?

3. Consumer analysis: demographics, size of the target market and their consumption process (pre-during-post)

REMEMBER: Cite your sources! Use the citing business databases in APA format

Concordia University Lectures and conferences

Researching business plans and projects – District 3 & eMBA version

When researching or launching a new business, information about industries, markets or competitors can be invaluable. In this session, we will cover resources from the Internet as well as licensed market and industry intelligence databases available from Concordia University Library. This is a workshop adapted from the “Entrepreneurship”  course at the John Molson School of Business.

Learning objectiveS

  • Locate industry and market reports from the Internet and the Library
  • Understand how to use datasets from Statistics Canada (Census & Cansim) and other national agencies
  • Develop a healthy information diet

Course Outline

1. Know your industry: reports from IBIS Wrold; SME Benchmarking; Mergent Intellect
2. Using Google for business research: trade associations & governments
3. Statistics Canada for entrepreneurs: Census & CANSIM
4. Reading up on your idea & staying up to date with articles

Course content

0. Where does information come from?

1. Know your industry – look up industry codes (NAICS)
2. Using Google for business research (governments & trade associations)
  • Find trade associations with Google
    • They post a lot of industry/market information on their websites
    • Trade shows, reports, analysis, press releases, lawsuits, white papers, directories, interviews, newsletters… is there a bias?
    • Watch the video for this step
  • Find government information with Google’s advanced search
    • Most government websites follow a standardized format for their addresses
    • Governments study and regulate many topics relevant for new business
    • Example: 2017 Communications Monitoring Report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Government Level Example of “Site/domain” Tip
Municipal .ville.montreal.qc.ca Look for “Montréal en statistiques” page for information for boroughs
Provincial .gouv.qc.ca The province deals with mainly: health, education, welfare, culture, agriculture/food…
“Federal” .gc.ca



Always check for reports from Industry Canada at site:.ic.gc.ca
International un.org

or other agency

Agencies affiliated with the United Nations have their own website
3. Statistics Canada for entrepreneurs
4. Reading up on your idea & staying up to date with articles

Concordia University Library’s Business Research Portal:
Bibliographies Research

Readings on issues facing university research in Canada

Here is a bibliography on the topic of research in Canadian universities. In no particular order, I’ve tried to incorporate some sub-themes, namely graduate students; research support; international; innovation. I’ve grouped results based on the type of source, such as trade associations, government reports and academic articles.


Trade Associations​ & Think Tanks

(Criteria: reports in English from the last 5 years issued by Canadian organisations. Method: Google with a focus on PDF files and keywords such as research, innovation, university)


(Using Google and Publications Canada’s search engine. Because universities are governed by provinces in Canada, I also looked to Québec. I included here reports provided by Concordia University, my employer, to government agencies. OECD also had some interesting reports, but not UNESCO.)

Academic articles

(Using Concordia University Library‘s Discovery layer, I searched for canad* AND universit* AND (research* or innovat*) and filtered for peer-reviewed articles from the last 5 years. I reviewed the first 50 hits and selected articles based on perceived relevance.)

Books and ebooks

(Using CLUES, the library catalogue, for books with a Canadian focus from the last 5 years).

  • Brownlee, Jamie,author. Academia, Inc : How Corporatization is Transforming Canadian Universities. Black Point, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing. Retrieved from: http://clues.concordia.ca/record=b3271762
  • (ebook) Lacroix, Robert, Louis Maheu, and Paul Klassen translator, eds. Leading Research Universities : Autonomous Institutions in a Competitive Academic World. Montreal Quebec ;aKingston Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario: McGill-Queen’s University Press; Canadian Electronic Library. Retrieved from: http://clues.concordia.ca/record=b3231050
    • (ebook, original edition) Lacroix, Robert, and Louis Maheu, Les Grandes universités De Recherche : Institutions Autonomes Dans Un Environnement Concurrentiel. Montréal, Québec: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal. Retrieved from: http://clues.concordia.ca/record=b3293016