From Week 1

Notes from the f2f session.

The Prezi for the session is here.

We discussed some preliminary considerations to thinking about educational research.

Put notes about the following in your 1st notebook.

What do you think of when you see the term educational research?

When it comes to noticing, what gets noticed very much depends upon what we bring to the task, i.e. who we are, our background, previous experience1.

There was some brief discussion of the assessment components of the course. Read the course profile on L@G for all of the detail.

In order to complete both of these tasks, you will need to know how to read the products of educational research. The products typically include books, book chapters, journal articles, reports and working papers. In addition, increasing numbers of social science researchers are using blogs, twitter and academic social media to share and promote their work.

Any kind of claim in social science can be made in one of three ways: drawing on or citing the literature to support the claim; drawing on research data2; or using a logical argument.

So being able to cite the sources of an argument or claim you want to make is important.

There is a problem, however, in that some of the ideas that may pop into your head may arise from your unconscious3 and, sadly, your unconscious does not keep a record of where its ideas come from and it certainly does not run bibliographic software.

The key habit you need to develop throughout your postgraduate work is to maintain notebooks. How you organise them is up to you but I suggest that thee will cover most contingencies.

We then opened up the theme that runs through this course, the development/augmentation of your digital habits. We touched on three purposes which make use of various digital resources: searching or finding stuff, storing the stuff you find, and then making use of what you have found.

All of which leads up to making good use of this Wiki and the Research Kitchen Wiki.

Some hands on/demonstration work followed.

We looked at, had a play with the following:

  • a demo of using EndNote with Word and how simple it was to produce near perfect in text referencing and list of references at the end of a document.
  • using the GU connection file which allows you to search in EndNote the GU library and dump any finds directly into your EndNote library.
  • using the GU library to locate papers of interest and collect the bibliographic data as you go and at the end dump a file suitable for importing directly into EndNote.
  • looked at Google alerts to set up automatic searching for key phrases associated with your topic of interest.
  • looked at Twitter for doing the same thing.
  • looked at Academia as a site where you can find fellow postgraduate students as well as academics with interests similar to yours.
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