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Critical evaluation of online information : the Internet for Economics Paul Ayres Economics Editor, Intute

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1 Critical evaluation of online information : the Internet for Economics Paul Ayres Economics Editor, Intute

2 The Google Generation? Students rely on the most basic search tools and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to asses the information that they find on the web Information behaviour of the researcher of the future / CIBER esourcediscovery/googlegen.aspx esourcediscovery/googlegen.aspx

3 Student Use of Online Content "The internet is used but also distrusted, many students are aware that sites such as Wikipedia are not respected by their tutors" "Students have a tendency to be reactive and passive users of research content and their use is driven by their assessment needs" Students Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning / Centre for Research-informed Teaching groups/studentsuseresearchcontent.pdf

4 Exercise 1 : Your issues What are the key issues / problems you encounter with student use of online content? –Quality of citations –Authority of sources –Lack of awareness of academic processes

5 Key trends Proliferation of online content - Web 2.0, Social Media, blogs, podcasts, etc. Academic trends - Google Scholar, open access, electronic journals, ebooks, integrated library services Information literacy gap - plagiarism, citation practices, copy and paste culture

6 Specific issues Quality of citations from students declining Search being mistaken for research Use of sources that aren't authoritative Lack of awareness of peer review process Students lack a mental map of the subject Web 2.0 makes these problems more acute Poor evaluation of sources that are cited

7 Whats needed Focus on academic Internet resources Help students understand academic research process Explain difference between academic publishing and Web 2.0 user generated content Teach search and evaluation skills Is it fair to criticise students if they haven't been taught these skills?

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9 Tutorial structure Tour - the key websites for your subject Discover - search tools and search strategies Judge - critical evaluation of results Success - how people are using the Internet for their work

10 The approach Student centred and HE focus To help with coursework and assignments Focus on academic sources online Includes Web 2.0 but in academic context

11 Exercise 2 : Spend a few minutes looking at the Internet for Economics tutorial Then discuss How could it be used in your teaching? Where is the most appropriate place for it in the curriculum?

12 Possible use / places Where in the curriculum? –Internet research methods –Information literacy –As part of subject work

13 Possible use / places Place to mention it? –In the student handbook –Linked from course webpage / VLE –Within policy on Internet resources –In advice on plagiarism

14 Possible use / places How to use it? –Handbook for reviewing websites –Assessed web review of subject –Completion of tutorial in class

15 There's more … Intute: Economics More Economics Internet resources Critical thinking and the web More teaching materials on this issue Virtual Training Suite More tutorials with over 60 titles

16 Contacts Paul Ayres Economics Editor, Intute Thanks for listening


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