The WallStreet Executive Library is a portal, providing links to a wide variety of business information sources. The site is comprehensive, with links to sites ranging from online newspapers, newswires, and magazines to dictionaries and reference information. The site could be useful in a multitude of situations.
Type of Material:
Students could be provided with the link to this site and encouraged to use it as one (but not the only) potential source for current business information. he site would best be used as a reference for students preparing projects such as marketing plans.
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Identify Major Learning Goals:
The purpose of the site is to provide a single source with access to the best business online resources (as defined by the authors).
Target Student Population:
The information presented on the site is targeted toward business people. Nevertheless, the site would be very useful for upper-level undergraduate and MBA students. Also, students dealing with "current events" in other disciplines might also find it useful.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The site presents the links in a clear manner. An initial review suggests that the resources provided are indeed useful, and could be used in a wide variety of situations. A large amount of information, if used correctly, is placed at the audience's fingertips.
Students must have the ability to judge the quality of the information linked to the site. While a large number of links are provided, each link must be accessed individually. There is no way for the user to enter key search words, and use the site to search all linked resources. If a user does not know where to start his/her search, this website could be cumbersome and time consuming. Also, while the links are somewhat organized, organization could be better. Further, the look of the website is somewhat amateurish and the collection of links runs the gamut resulting in an 'everything and the kitchen sink' effect. One student might access the New York Times while another might read a Garfield comic strip.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This has the potential to be an effective research tool. Links to a large amount of legitimate, business-focused, Internet-based websites are presented. A business educator could craft specific research assignments around this site, or it could be used as a general research resource. Efficiency is the primary strength; students could visit one site as a means to gain access to a wide variety of resources.
Because the site was designed for business people rather than students, the site has no particular learning objective. Instructors might need to provide some guidance when recommending the site. The Wall Street Executive Library requires each linked site to be individually searched. The website itself is not very focused. It seems as if the webmasters constantly add links to any site out there that might potentially be of interest to the users resulting in a hodge podge of material.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is very straightforward and easy to use. Because the site is basic in appearance, it downloads quickly.
The only concern is a minor one -- the design of the site is not particularly appealing from a visual aspect. The website is somewhat elementary in design and function. The burden falls on the users to figure out what links would be useful in their research endeavors.
Other Issues and Comments:
The usefulness of this tool is really dependent on how the educator plans to use it. The website could be very useful under the right circumstances, but it could also be of no use. Personally, I cannot envision under what circumstances I would introduce this into my class. My students have no difficulty surfing the Internet on their own. I try to steer them away from Internet research of this nature, and instead try to get them focused on search engines/data bases such as Lexis/Nexis.
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