Tuesday, 23rd November 2010
DocuTicker editors contribute brief articles
to FUMSI on conducting research with grey literature - reports from government
agencies, think tanks, research institutes and public interest organisations.
In my work as a contributing editor for DocuTicker,
I research publicly available reports on a number of global topics.
Here are some of my favourite resources for Higher Education:
the UK, Government plans to raise student fees are proving extremely
controversial, due to the projected vast increase in long-term debt
which, many feel, will deter potential students from poorer
backgrounds. At the same time, other regions of the world are unable
to afford anything like the kind of higher education structure
typical of the USA and Europe. The common issue here is access;
although the Internet cannot solve this problem, increasingly it is
being used by universities, colleges and publishers to make academic
resources, in many disciplines, more widely available. This is
beneficial not only to paid-up (and paying) members of academia, but
also to those who are seeking more
learning, or who perhaps need greater theoretical understanding of
the field in which they earn their living, or the simply curious.
Many of these resources are free to anyone with Internet access,
although some require registration.
basis of academic achievement is necessarily study skills. The
Blended Learning Centre (BLC) at London's South Bank University
gives a comprehensive set of guides through its Academic
Assistant, embracing the areas of Management (i.e. of oneself
and one's time); Study Skills (e.g. taking
notes; Communication; Writing; and Assessment. Although the BLC
is part of the Faculty of Business, the guidance is broad and varied
enough for students of any subject to find it useful.
UK's Open University (OU) has been a pioneer in open and distance
learning since the 1960s, allowing its students to carry on in
employment while studying at home. This tradition is now carried on
by the website Open
Learn. This provides text and video resources in such subject
areas as History
and the Arts and Science,
Maths and Technology . Whichever area you go into, you will
notice that many items have the Learning
Space symbol alongside. These are OU course materials for
which registering for a free account is needed in order to gain
access. A flavour is given by such titles from the Business
and Management category as 'Finding information in business and
management' and 'Planning a project'.
valuable (and requiring no registration) is MIT
Opencourseware. While the OU site appears to be kept fresher
- all the MIT material is a few years old - this is not a serious
defect in the latter's extensive offering, which has a useful set
of symbols to show at a glance whether what is offered from a course
is lecture notes, video lectures, an online textbook, etc.
than a specific institution, there are sites which pull together
academic-standard material from a range of sources. One example is
Infomine, created by
librarians from various American universities and colleges. As
with the examples already cited, the subjects covered range
throughout the arts and sciences. Searches produce a concise
description of a resource, with a particular feature of Advanced
Search being the ability to search both free and fee-based items, or
one type alone.
(Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching),
comes even more directly from academia, being the collective effort
of named academics who submit both their own material and recommend
that of others. This approach also enables the development of
networks in many disciplines. Each resource is briefly outlined, with
the name of the submitter being hyperlinked so that their
affiliations can be viewed. Although much on the site can help
students, its emphasis appears to be the help academics can give
subject categories include Arts; Business; Education; Humanities;
Mathematics and Statistics; Science and Technology; Social Sciences.
In each case, the category is broken down into aspects of the subject
(thus Business, for example, includes Accounting, E-Commerce and
Information Systems) and Material Types (such as tutorials, videos
and presentations), befitting the site's name.
all of these sites present resources relevant to many subjects, none
of them has exactly the same subject coverage as another. So it is
worth bookmarking a number of such sites in order to have a range of
options either for your own searching or to offer an enquirer.
Indeed, such is the richness and variety of online academic material
that I will explore the topic with further examples in a follow-up
Posts from Docuticker
UK submission to the 2010 Spending Reviewhttp://web.docuticker.com/go/docubase/61113
Financial Literacy in America: A Role for State Colleges and
Higher Education World University Rankingshttp://web.docuticker.com/go/docubase/60663
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom
for the Academic Year 2008/09http://web.docuticker.com/go/docubase/35187
Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learninghttp://web.docuticker.com/go/docubase/21681
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