Posts tagged ‘ERIC’

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


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

August 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm 5 comments

ERIC (at www.eric.ed.gov/) has Added the “Find in a Library” Feature

In the fall, I blogged here at Library Garden about Google Book Search finally including library locator information in their results when you conduct a book search. My favorite addition was when they included under the “Advanced Book Search” the limit option of “Library Catalogs,” which would help locate nearby libraries owning the item, libraries in World Cat (learn more here).

Now, my favorite education database, ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center), two days ago, added the “Find in a Library” feature because they have recently…

“partnered with OCLC to leverage the OpenURL Gateway and WorldCat to provide users with a link from ERIC records to library resources. [This] feature dramatically streamlines the process of obtaining full text” from many ERIC documents. I tried it today with an education student, and it worked great.

Individuals, however, must search ERIC at http://www.eric.ed.gov/ at this time, where the “Find in a Library” link is featured at the bottom of each result under the “Full-Text Availability Options.” Currently, this feature is not available via the EBSCO version of ERIC.

“The Find in a Library feature offers two linking paths: OpenURL and WorldCat. For users associated with one of the 1,100 libraries registered with the OCLC OpenURL Gateway, selecting Find in a Library will lead to a search of the library’s electronic holdings and seamless access to available full text. If no full text is available users may choose to link to WorldCat.”

“If the user is not affiliated with a library registered in the OpenURL Gateway, Find in a Library will connect to WorldCat to find the nearest library with a print or electronic version of the material. WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services and catalogs a billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.”

March 23, 2007 at 11:24 am 7 comments


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