We are offering our readers a unique opportunity to get as sneak peek into the survey on online social sciences resources– we are halfway through so do help us to get past the 100 responses mark (and if helping out the social sciences community is not enough in terms of motivation, you could get an Amazon voucher in the process, just saying!)
So what does the survey tell us so far about people’s behaviour when it comes to using teaching resources online? To start with, an overwhelming majority of respondents do search for teaching resources online even though their motivations and immediate needs might vary. However, an even more predictable headline story probably should be “Google rules!” When asked about the websites they use most often to find teaching resources, 80% of people pointed to Google and Google Scholar (it was possible to choose more than one option). The extensive reliance on these two search engines underlines the need to analyse and understand why they seem to be the first ports of call – is it familiarity? Ease of use? A sense of trust? Another interesting finding is that Twitter and Facebook come up repeatedly among strategies to find relevant teaching resources. That might indicate that the personal recommendation factor holds premium value when it comes to finding resources and in particular deciding whether to use them. Indeed, a significant majority admit that knowing who the creator of the resource is of high importance when choosing which learning resource to pick from the search results.
And it is the social networking factor that came across really strongly in the responses to our question about what the ideal social research methods collection should look like (after all, this is what we are trying to achieve within the project – and a little bit of blue skies thinking never hurts!). Looks like a mashup of Amazon, Twitter/Facebook and Diigo would fit the bill, where the users could have access to a highly personalised, high quality research methods collection, have the opportunity to receive recommendations based on their existing collection as well as regular updates about relevant new resources. You can read more about these fascinating ideas on C-SAP slideshare account where we put up a longer version of the document outlining some preliminary survey results. And if you haven’t filled in the survey yet, here’s your chance to do your bit for the community! If you are feeling really generous and happen to teach qualitative research methods, could you help the REQUALLO [Reusable Qualitative Learning Objects] project (think of it as two surveys for the price of one…?