Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) Provides More "What Works" Than You Probably Knew

August 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm 5 comments


Last week, Patricia Dawson (the Science Librarian at Rider University) and I (the Education Librarian) did a library research instruction session together at our Rider University Libraries for students in a math curriculum course in our the Master of Arts in Teaching program. We, of course, discussed, demonstrated, and provided hands-on time for several databases and Web sites that we subscribe to or visit regularly to keep up with various reports and research on improvements in education. Besides looking for articles by particular authors on the topic of teaching fractions, they were also looking for substantive intervention reports and proven practical information guides regarding various teaching strategies. The students were very pleasantly surprised by several database findings and sites, including our EBSCO ERIC database, and what replaced the AskERIC site–The Educators Reference Desk. Both were extremely useful in their research, and it was the reminder email I received from ERIC News earlier today about their newly redesigned Web site that reminded me that many education students, current teachers, and professors in undergraduate and graduate education programs are not familiar with particular valuable publications available via ERIC, even if they have previously used the ERIC database. I meant to blog about this earlier this week, but it is never too late to share valuable information!

Because we subscribe to the ERIC database via EBSCO now, I don’t regularly go to the free ERIC Web site, but I was reminded of its usefulness. Earlier this week, ERIC provided detailed information on its new Web site structure and design at http://www.eric.ed.gov/.

The new ERIC Web site features several enhancements that will make the experience of using the site easier and faster for individual researchers, along with improvements to aid librarians in supporting ERIC users. These enhancements include improved navigation, expanded help and training, an information area for librarians, and a lighter visual design.

More detailed information on their new look and feel is available at their site, and I must say that I did appreciate the new Information for Librarians section of their site; however, it was the full summary of and full text reports and articles from one of two of ERIC’s special featured publication sections that really impressed the students and professor, and I wish to highlight it: The What Works Clearinghouse, housed at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) site, which “brings rigorous and relevant research, evaluation and statistics to our nation’s education system” since 2002 and also features four famous research and data IES Centers, as well as funding opportunities and the other ERIC special publication: The Regional Education Laboratories–all worth exploring.

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) began in 2002, and its newly redesigned site provides exactly the type of information researchers and teachers are looking for–a central, trusted site for full text reports and articles on the scientific evidence for what really works in education. Our students loved this site, especially for its topics of Elementary School Math and Middle School Math. Check out the “Topic Report” and “List of all Intervention Reports” links under each of the topics, which in addition to math provide fantastic info on Beginning Reading, Character Education, Dropout Prevention, Early Childhood Education, and English Language Learners. Useful explanations of the difference between Topic Reports and Intervention Reports, although very related, are provided (linked above)–this question came up often in the research sessions.

Being a very practical researcher myself, I like to point out other very interesting areas of the WWS site: their Practice Guides (providing recommendations and strategies for classroom teachers on several challenging topics) and Quick Reviews (providing, well, quick reviews, of “timely and objective assessments of the quality of the research evidence from recently released research papers and reports,” K-12+).

I found myself just as enthralled with this WWS site as the students and professor, and was happy that I revisited the new ERIC site. I believe you will find this site and other related ERIC sites very practical and useful as well. If you have other different “favorites” to share with readers of the Library Garden blog, please feel free to comment and get the word out!

-Robert Lackie

Technorati Tags: Education Resources Information Center, education, Institute of Education Services, What Works Clearinghouse, Library Garden

About these ads

Entry filed under: Education, Library Garden. Tags: , , , , .

The New WebJunction is here! Email Habits of Library Workers

5 Comments

  • 1. Lisa Coats  |  August 7, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Robert,
    Thanks for the tips! Conveniently, I am updating our subject guide for Education now and this post will help tremendously.

  • 2. Robert J. Lackie  |  August 7, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Glad to hear it, Lisa, and I will do the same on our own education guides–nice hearing from you and seeing you at the conference, too!

  • 3. Tony  |  August 10, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Good Job! :)

  • 4. Robert J. Lackie  |  August 10, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Thanks, Tony–glad you liked the info in my post!

  • 5. Cynthia  |  August 12, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Excellent post Robert!

    In my public library work, I have pointed out the What Works page to parents who are looking to tutor their children over the summer. Only one parent gave me feed back, but it was 100% positive.

    It is easy to forget about the ‘free’ information when we have access to such great paid databases at the library. Something like this often gets lost. Thanks for reminding us!


Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed on this blog are those of the authors and are not intended to reflect the views of our employers.

A Note on the history of posts

Please note that all Library Garden posts dated earlier than September 13,2009 originally appeared on our Blogger site. These posts have been imported to this site as a convenience when searching the entire site for content.

If you are interested in seeing the original post, with formatting and comments in tact, please bring up the original post at our old Blogger site.

Thanks for reading Library Garden!

wordpress
visitors

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers

%d bloggers like this: