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Tools and Widgets

Contact

Web Tools and
Discoverability Group

UL-WEB-TOOLS@lists.psu.edu


For questions about the Research Project Calculator please contact the Web Tools Working Group at: ul-web-tools@lists.psu.edu

Research Project Calculator logo

 

About the Research Project Calculator

The Research Project Calculator offers students a simple and comprehensive step-by-step model for navigating the research process. The RPC allows students to enter a due date for a research assignment and in return it “chunks” the project into steps, providing sources for help and information along the way. Students have the option to have the steps emailed to them as reminders throughout the process and make notes. Our RPC is an instantiation of the University of Minnesota’s Assignment Calculator which UM has made open source.

 

Research Project Calculator Instructions

 

Set Up Account

 

Creating a student or teacher account

  • Go the Research Calculator at: https://ac.libraries.psu.edu/rpc/index.php
  • Log in with your PSU Access account (if you don’t have one, see the instructions for Friends of Penn State accounts below)
  • Go to “My Settings”
  • Add your Name and preferred email address.
  • Choose either “Student” or “Teacher/Instructor”.

Note: Teacher/Instructor accounts will display the same steps that students see, plus additional information for instructors (lesson planning, learning outcomes, links to additional resource documents).

Click “Save settings.”

 

Creating an account using a Friends of Penn State (FoPS) login

  • If you do not have a FoPS account, go to https://fps.psu.edu/ to create a free Friends of Penn State account.
  • When prompted at the Researcg Calculator website, type in your Friends of Penn State account and password, then log-in.
  • Go to “My Settings” (in the upper right hand of the webpage).
  • Add your Name and preferred email address.
    • You must enter a valid email if you want to receive updates from the Research Calculator.
    • Your Friends of Penn State account is NOT a valid email address.
  • Choose either “Student” or “Teacher/Instructor.”
  • Click “Save settings.”

 

Assignments, Reminders, Notes

 

Create a New Assignment

  • Type in an “Assignment Title” in the box provided. This can be anything you would like, just make sure you know which assignment it refers to in case you use the calculator for more than one assignment.
  • Put in the due date of the assignment.
  • Choose an assignment template from the list provided.
  • Click “Create Assignment.”
      
  • Once you add an assignment to your account, you will see tasks listed in your “assignment to-do list” and the assignment will appear in the “My Active Assignments” list.
 

Set up Email Reminders

Click on “Edit” next to the assignment in the “My Active Assignments” list.

  • Then click “Send me email reminders for each step milestone.”
  • Then click “ok” in the pop-up box.
 

Add Notes to Your Assignment

To add notes to your assignment:

  • Click on “Edit” next to the assignment in the “My Active Assignments” list.
  • Click the “edit” button in the “My notes” box next to the step you would like to add notes to.
  • Type your notes in the box that opens.
  • Click “Save changes” when you are finished adding notes.
  • Repeat on any section to which you would like to add notes.
     
  • When you are completely finished adding notes, scroll to the very bottom of the page and click “done editing.”
 

Share Your Calculator

To share your calculator for a specific assignment with others (helpful if you’re working on a group project):

  • Click on “Edit” next to the assignment in the “My Active Assignments” list.
  • Then click “Others may view this assignment except for my notes”.
  • Then click “ok” in the pop-up box.
  • A URL for that assignment calculator information will be provided on that page. Others can use that URL to view the calculator for that assignment.