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September 2007

An interesting scoping study called "Data Repository for Teacher Education" (Australian Council of Deans of Education) was funded by the Carrick Institute In the beginning of the year. This is probably one of the first signs of a ‘serious’ e-research in Australian education.

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Most of the projects and online methodological resources produced under the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Researcher Development Initiative (RDI) are a great asset for social scientists, particularly those who are interested in e-research.


One of recently made available resources includes self-learning materials for those UK researchers who want to use international databases “The Linking International Macro and Micro Data”. Some of these materials are accessible for everyone (not databases however).


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A summary of a collection of strategies to assist organisations overcome the challenges of integrating innovative technology into their teaching and training processes has been published. what matters – innovate and integrate reviews research findings, identifies potential obstacles to innovation and outlines steps that can ease the introduction and integration of technology into education and training organisations.

A full copy of the research "Innovate and Integrate: Embedding innovative practices" can be found at: http://flexiblelearning.net.au/innovateandintegrate

From: SixtySeconds, 6(16) September 2007. URL

The following Axel’s Bruns’s paper, originally published in First Monday and summarised this week in CreativeEconomy, caught my attention for its research tools and methodology.

  • Axel Bruns (2007) Methodologies for mapping the political blogosphere: An exploration using the IssueCrawler research tool, First Monday, 12(5). URL

This paper studies patterns of interaction in blogosphere using network mapping tool IssueCrawler. Many other similar methodologies and internet research tools are available (and usually for free). Social researchers employ them broadly and provide valuable information about virtual communities and social networks (e.g., see First Monday for other ideas).

What do we know about educational virtual communities and networks? Not many of them probably thrive, nevertheless they do exist. Research issues and tools are available. Answers are missing.

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If somebody argued that e-research is quite common practice in social and educational research, I probably would agree. Well, at least one method – online surveys – is quite common in current social research practices.

If somebody argued that social e-research is not supported and social e-research methods are not thought at universities, I probably would agree too. Well, at least I know two research-intensive universities that currently do not have a standard platform for doing online surveys for academic research (Ref1). Have you ever heard that online research methods would be covered in university research method courses?

Nevertheless, I was quite successful finding two good academic websites with self-learning materials, references and other resources dedicated to online survey method.

  • Exploring Online Research Methods Incorporating TRI-ORM: URL

  • WebSM – Web Survey Methodology: URL

More resources and links for those who want to do online survey are in the blog.

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