Critical Thinking Questions
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Computer ERIC and other Databases, as Compared to other Search Methods
ERIC (Education Resources Information Centre) is the world’s largest educational database used by researchers, educational professionals and policy makers around the world.
Due to the automated databases they are convenient and time saving. ERIC and other databases are comprehensive in nature in the sense that they allow comprehensive information gathering in all disciplines dealing with education because it contains many viewpoints which may not be contained in a single publication or one author’s perspective. ERIC for example serves as the most comprehensive source of information containing more than 500,000 documents and journal articles from all areas of education. Ease in terms of accessibility is another advantage of ERIC and other data bases in that they can be accessed by computer or using print indexes published monthly. It provides life-long resources that can be used as access materials to term papers, bibliographies and other research assignments. Career development can also be accomplished through comprehensive information on career development. Such information may include international education opportunities, staff development programs and innovative products and techniques. Despite the many advantages of ERIC and under databases there are shortcomings associated with their use in the sense that though researchers can access academic materials online for free, some costs is incurred through the use of databases to acquire information. Research conducted using ERIC and other databases can be compromising especially in the case where the secondary sources used contain information that has been incorrectly copied from the original source. Also not all disciplines are covered by online or CD-ROM databases not forgetting the picky nature of computers when it comes to spellings whereby ones search may not match exactly what is in the database.
The Importance of Reading Original Articles or Papers as Opposed to Relying on the Information in the Abstracts
An abstract is an electronic database that indexes books, journals and other information. It is a short summary of the material indexed. Relying on abstracts as opposed to the original article or paper is of discouraged since they give little actual information. For example an abstract can have the sentence,” The relationship between academic performance and delinquency was determined” without telling what the relationship was.
The Advantages, Valuable Traits and Limitations of Secondary Sources of Information
Secondary data is information collected for various reasons, the main one being the completion of a research project. It enlightens the researcher on the research problem. Acquisition of information from secondary data sources is fast thus saves time. The secondary research process can be fast since the data can be obtained quickly by a skilful analyst. All that is required of the researcher is identification of the data source after which extracting of information is done. According (Smith, 2008) secondary data allows researchers to access data in a scale they could not hope to replicate first hand. Compared to primary research secondary research is less expensive in that it does not employ the use of highly trained and expensive personnel. The founder of the information is the one who incurs the research expenses in secondary research. Nonetheless secondary sources have their own limitations. Secondary information that is related to the topic of study is sometimes not available or if available then it is in insufficient quantities. The reliability and accuracy of secondary data may be questionable since the information can be misleading not to mention that the data can be in different in terms of formatting which may be contrary to that needed by the researcher. Much of the secondary data may be old and thus doesn’t bring out the true picture of the current market trends.
Library Holdings Constituting Primary Sources of Information
The library holds a considerable amount of unique materials consisting of primary and secondary sources of information. Primary sources that are included in library holdings include diaries, letters, journals, autobiographies, articles containing original research ,data or findings never shared ,Government and public documents and manuscripts both original and hand written.
Strategy for Assessing Large Number of Reports
There are many methods used in higher learning education for the purpose of report assessing. Choice is based on the method that best assesses the objective of the unit study. The strategy employed includes assessing and managing of information. This is achieved through researching, investigation, interpreting, organizing of information, reviewing and paraphrasing information, collecting data, searching and managing information sources and observing and interpreting of the report (Nightingale, 1996).
Importance of Statistical Knowledge and Concepts in Accurate Report Interpretation
Interpretation is inference drawing based on collected facts after an experimental or analytical study. Knowledge of statistical terms and concepts is of much help to research report interpretation since it enables the researcher to give sound explanations regarding the relations found. The researcher is able to make an interpretation of the lines of relationships based on the underlying processes and find out the sequence of uniformity that lies beneath the surface layer of the research. An understanding of the information collected is vital in interpreting the final results of the research study since it is a key factor to understanding the problem under consideration. Statistical knowledge also helps identify omissions and errors in logical documentation. This results in correct interpretation of research reports and ensures accuracy (Kothari, 2005).
- C R Kothari, D. (2005). Research methodology : methods & techniques. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd.Print.
- Nightingale, P. T. (1996). Assessing Learning in Universities Professional Development Centre. University of New South Wales, Australia.Print.
- Smith, E. (2008). Using secondary data in educational and social research. Maidenhead ; New York, NY: Open University Press.Print.