Collection of resources on numerous social science topics. Their website states, “It has been designed from a global point of view — it gives access to the world wide scene of social sciences. The intention is to provide a comprehensive listing of all sociology resources on the internet.”
Type of Material:
Reference Material, collection.
Could be used to do research whether in class, in small groups or on your own. Assignments could be in the form of a written assignment or as a stimulant for class discussion. It lends itself nicely to online teaching. Note that there is a section on the site about cyber learning methods.
Internet access with any standard browser such as Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Since this is a composite of resources, the overall goal is to learn how to use cyber technology to efficiently do research for course assignments or background for original research. After using the site, the user should be able to:
(1) use a cyber resource for in depth study,
(2) limit oneself to a defined amount of research in spite of the vast array of potential areas available for web browsing, and
(3) obtain a variety of perspectives from scholars all over the world and critically demonstrate these perspectives in an unbiased manner.
Target Student Population:
This can be used for any level of study from high school through graduate studies. The instructor would need to guide the students as to the scope of the study.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The user needs some computer skills in order to navigate the website.
Includes a vast amount of information and links to other sites. The content includes brief summaries and biographies on various topics that can be used to get students started on their research. The website has many resources for sociologists and other social scientists. It is easy to use and navigate.
Much, if not most of the content is links to other sites around the web. The topics are very broad. In other words, when you click on a topic if takes you links to other sites where you would then likely have to do additional searching. A few of these links are broken.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The site uses technology which is comfortable for today's students and scholars. It brings forth in an organized manner, a world of relevant topics and resources as well as contacts with various international perspectives. For this reason, the instructor can assign specific categories to be explored by the student and at the same time allow the student to be flexible in how they want to approach the topic, given the wide range of resources.
The site is certainly not a standalone teaching tool. It could be treated as a go to source to get started with basic research and links to additional sources. There are always going to be occasional links that do not work. The student must understand that the vast majority of links work and to persevere. The visual appeal of the website is low.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
It is simple in its display, very intuitive, well maintained, and reduces research time and effort on the part of the student.
Very text based; has no use of pictures or videos to make it more visually appealing.
Other Issues and Comments:
It is clear to me that this is updated consistently. There will be the occasional link that does not work. It was unclear to me how this could be reported. I especially liked the section which described the cyber learning possibilities and how they can be used for distance education.
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