Lab Orientation


We're so glad to have you on board. Follow the steps below to get started in the lab.

1 Lab Handbook

Read the lab handbook for an overview of what we do and what is important to us

2 Twist

We use Twist instead of email in the lab to communicate with each other. It's like Slack, but prioritizes long form messages called "threads". Follow these steps to learn to use it:
  • #Lab Announcements is for work-related announcements. Learn to create a thread in Twist by creating a New Thread in #Lab Announcements. Use the title [YourFirstName] joins the lab! and use the body of the thread to introduce yourself!
  • #Lab Social is for non-work things! Practice using it by creating a thread to share something fun, like a picture of your dog, your favorite meme, a poem you like, or other fun stuff!
  • #Lab Bugs is for programming questions or other technical difficulties. You are usually not the first (or last) person to encounter an issue, so asking here helps everyone in the lab! Practice using it by creating a New Thread with the title [YourFirstName] is missing from the lab website. In the body of the thread, attach the photo you'd like us to use to represent you, and let us know what name you'd like to appear under your photo on the Who we are page of the lab website.
  • #Lab Help is for other questions or to request support from an RA or the lab manager on your research project.
  • You can also send private chats to any member the lab via the Messages tab on Twist (though please ask for help on the bugs or help channels!). Practice sending private messages by clicking New message and sending one to Katie and the lab manager.

3 Todoist

We use Todoist to manage projects and assign tasks to research support staff in our lab. The lab has just one project in Todoist: ChildLangLab. You'll be invited to this project via email. If it does not appear when you login, click the bell icon in the upper right corner to accept the invitations.
Where to find project invitations in Todoist
  • First, practice creating tasks directly in Todoist by adding a task to the Lab Inbox column called "Read lab handbook". Assign it to yourself and drag it to your name column
  • Next, practice creating tasks from a thread in Twist. Remember the "add to website" thread you added to the #Lab Help channel? Selecting "Add to Todoist" from the drop down menu in twist and add it to ChildLangLab > Lab Inbox (not the regular Todoist Inbox)! Assign the task to Lab Manager.

4 Lab Calendar

We use a Teamup calendar as our lab's calendar. There are five color-coded calendars:
  1. 1.
    Birthdays & Holidays (green) - for lab member birthdays and upcoming holidays
  2. 2.
    Toto (purple) - to schedule time on the coding computer
  3. 3.
    Lab Events (orange) - for lab events like lab meetings, conferences, abstract deadlines, etc.
  4. 4.
    Hours (light blue) - The number of hours an RA plans to work each week. This lets the rest of the lab know what support is available in a given week.
  5. 5.
    Time Off (pink) - RAs unavailable that week or with TBD availability. Also includes other notes about when someone is not expected in the lab (vacations, leave, etc).
Practice using the calendar
  • add your birthday (or another special holiday) to the green "Birthdays and Holidays" calendar.
  • add any time off you have planned this semester to the Time off calendar
  • add the number of hours you plan to work next week to the schedule calendar

5 Lab Wiki

We use GitBook to create our lab wiki (this website)! You can find an access link to GitBook on our Lab Passwords list, shared with you via LastPass (ask Katie if you haven't received this!)
First, read the how to guide:
Then, edit this page by adding your name to the list below:
  • Joan Martin, 2021-05-10
  • Aja Altenhof, 2021-05-25
  • Amy Krimm, 2021-06-08
  • Tula Childs, 2021-6-14
  • Katarina Siggelkow, 2021-06-16
  • Cynthia Gu, 2021-06-21
  • Lauren Kim, 2021-08-03
  • Gwen Hildebrandt, 2021-09-15
  • Yiran Chen, 2022-09-23
  • Abby Ray, 2022-10-25
  • Alessandra Pintado-Urbanc, 2023-01-05
  • Nina Wang, 2023-01-23
  • Milana Korobko, 2023-01-11

6 Lab Email

Everyone in the lab is responsible for making sure we check the lab's shared email account and send friendly, prompt responses to our participants. Read our how-to guide for working with our lab's shared email account and getting the tone right in your responses to participants.
We want you to practice using the lab's email and responding to sticky situations. To prepare, send three emails from you (your own email) to [email protected].
  1. 1.
    Scenario #1, study not working: put (Yourname Training) Study not working in the subject line. Write a short note in the body of the email pretending you are a parent and the study link didn't work for you.
  2. 2.
    Scenario #2, participant not paid: put (Yourname Training) Not paid in the subject line. Write a short note in the body of the email pretending you are a participant who did not receive payment.
  3. 3.
    Scenario #3, expired service: put (Yourname Training) Something expired in the subject line. Write a short note in the body of the email pretending a service we use will expire soon.
When you've finished, complete the following steps:
  • Log in to the lab's email and follow the email how-to-guide to handle each of the 3 emails you sent above.
  • For the two emails that require a response, write a real response to practice getting the tone right. We'll give you feedback if we think your tone was overly formal or overly casual.

7 Collecting papers

Read the Collecting papers section of the How to do a lit review instructions, linked below:
Practice adding papers to a collection by adding to our Lila collection.
  • First, use Google Scholar to search for a paper by Lila Gleitman from the year you were born (or another year you like, if you don't want to reveal your age).
  • Then, paste the APA citation and abstract into the Lila Gleitman Collection (Training) thread in the into the #Lab Papers channel. Make the citation in bold and the abstract in plain text. You can get the citation from the quotes button under a paper on Google Scholar. Use the APA version of the citation.
  • Finally, add the citation to the lab's bibliography manager (Zotero). Login to Zotero and go to the Web Library: Click on the group library childlanglab in the sidebar and then click the magic wand to enter a URL to add to the library.

8 Preregistration

When working on a lab project, you may be asked to preregister an experiment, or to view or work with an existing preregistration. We use for preregistration in our lab. Create an account and practice using AsPredicted by following these steps:
  • Click the Create button
  • Click the I am just trying things out checkbox
  • Add Katie (Kathryn Schuler) and the lab manager as Participating Authors
  • Fill out the nine questions — just insert any text into the boxes, it's just for practice.
  • Make sure the name (#9) is informative (e.g. "Joanie's test prereg")
  • Click Preview
  • Preview your submission and click Submit
  • Approve the submission
Preregistration will look like this!

9 Protecting participants

Before you can participate in research with human subjects in our lab, you need to be trained to take special care to protect their rights as participants.
Hooray! You've finished the Lab Orientation! Proud of you!