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KhanAcademy founder envisions new university -internships &self-paced learning in his book The One World School House

School uses MS Kinect videogame "Happy Action Theater" to reach autistic children who need hi sensory input tttp://

Common core standards= 70% nonfiction by teachers. “effect ... is to drive literature out of the English classroom,”

As many of you are aware, the website sponsored by the US Department of Education has suspended access to many of its user-contributed, full-text documents - those with accession numbers starting with the letters "ED." This was done to isolate and begin removing sensitive personal information found in some portion of the older documents that had previously been available on microfiche. Read more about this on the ERIC website.

Two new developments lead me to offer this update. First, that the outage has lasted months at this point, and sounds like it will go much longer before access is restored.

Secondly, is a new document request form that has been offered to permit researchers to get expedited access to specific documents that are needed. Again, the affected documents are primarily older and self-published by agencies or entities other than commercial journal publishers. But at least this way, if you need this older material you have a workaround to obtain them in a matter of weeks instead of waiting until the completion of this screening process.

The question of how to best access the Chronicle of Higher Education frequently gets asked on our Library Help instant message question service, or to me directly.  Several options exist with varying degrees of ease and number of steps. I offer you the most common options so you can choose based on your situation and preferences.

A. Most Efficient for Following Links Supplied by Faculty:
If your instructor has supplied links to articles on the native website, one of the following  preparatory steps is required to make those links work for you.
1.) Either log into Drexel's VPN (virtual private network) so the Chronicle will recognize your Drexel affiliation.
2.) Or log in through the Library's university-wide subscription so we can authenticate you as a Drexel user. Then just keep that browser tab open while you log into the article links by way of a second browser tab. This works similarly to most of our databases - that once you have logged in with your Drexel credentials through one browser window, it will hold that session authentication across other browser tabs you open.

B. Quick & dirty, One article, Text-only
Copy/ paste the TITLE of the ARTICLE into the default search box on the front page of our website Be sure to put QUOTATION MARKS around what you have pasted in, so our amazing "Summon" discovery tool can find that article on any of the six or more databases we have that carry the Chronicle. Your results will be better if the article title is somewhat unique. See the abstract in Summon and click on the link for full text. It calls up either the full text or a page with links to full-text on more than one vendor's platform.
Here's an example:

1.) Searching the article title "Cable is the New Novel" gets this result in Summon.

2.) Then clicking the option for full text retrieves links on Drexel's "Get It" page for two vendor platform options.
Choose either the native interface of the Chronicle for all the graphics, or choose the text-only version on Proquest.

C. Power-searching
You may notice that the website offers no "advanced search" feature. Searching on commonly used keywords can bring too many results, but sometimes that is all you have. One good way to limit results is by searching within specific date ranges. This can be done through our current subscription that we have by way of our  Education Research Complete database on the EBSCO platform. Try this link and observe how it offers links to "browse" by year or "search within this publication" that includes a feature for limiting by date.

BTW - I went right to the EBSCO version of the Chronicle by searching the article title from the front page of the Library website under the "E-Journals" tab that lists all the options for accessing this title on our "Get It" journal directory. And despite that statement that the EBSCO content is current, it's really a week out of date.

For Faculty: Sharing Persistent Links
Two Options.
1.) Find the article on the. Notice on the right hand side there is an option for a "Permalink" - that link will allow anyone off-campus to authenticate their Drexel affiliation and proceed directly to a specific article as in the following example:
Digitally Savvy Students...

2.) Place the following pre-fix in front of any url you find on the website. This will force the user to authenticate with their Drexel credentials prior to opening the article. [insert the chronicle link here with no spaces]

Added Value and Fun Random Features
Other great features appear on the EBSCO platform, such as automatic citations, translations and downloadable MP3 versions of the original articles.  But don't forget that some of the best writing on the native site is generated by the community of readers in the "Comments" section - and that is not included anywhere else but on the native website!


Want to jazz up a teacher education presentation? Or observe how a seasoned professional presents a difficult topic or handles an unruly classroom?

See here for a growing online collection of streaming video developed specifically for training and developing teachers. Currently contains more than 1000 video titles totaling 2000 hours of teaching demonstrations, lectures, documentaries, and primary-source footage of students and teachers in actual classrooms. New content added daily. A short descriptive record for each video will turn up directly in our catalog if you search for a keyword along with the phrase "Education in video" using quotes. Or enter the whole database by way of the main link and search by keyword or browse by category or grade level.

Education topics include:

Classroom Management
Community and Family Issues
Content Areas: English/Language Arts
Content Areas: Fine Arts
Content Areas: Mathematics
Content Areas: Sciences
Content Areas: Social Sciences
Content Areas: Technology
Content Areas: Visual and Performing Arts
Crisis Management
Early Childhood Education
Economics and Personal Finance
Educational Research
Educational Resources
Education Law/Legal Issues
Foreign Language
Foundations of Education
Gifted and Talented Education
Higher Education
Learning Styles
Physical and Outdoor Education
Preservice Training
Professional Development
Reading in Content Areas
School and Educational Psychology
School Counseling
School Safety
Special Education
Student Assessment
Teacher Collaboration
Teacher Support Personnel
Teaching Methods
Types of Schools and Social Environment


From these publishers - and more!

Chip Taylor Communications
Corwin Press
Davidson Films, Inc.
Documentary Educational Resources
Educational Activities Inc.
Filmmakers Library
Fredric H. Jones & Associates
Guilford Publications
Learning Seed
Magna Systems
Stenhouse Publishers
Teachers Network
Teachers TV/UK Department of Education

Many graduate courses for the School of Education have research projects that are coming into focus at this point in the term. Permit me to summarize the points I have covered in recent webinars with a few links and comments below.


  • Books in the Library Catalog
  • Summon – “Articles & more” 
    search syntax
    filtering search results
    revising keywords
  • (and alternate platforms)
  • Education Research Complete on EBSCO
  • Other tips

Books in the Library catalog:
First tab on our frontpage interface. Search it using a combination of your most important keywords linked by the word AND.
Example: keyword1 AND keyword2 
Most education books are ELECTRONIC
Many are downloadable:
+ if you create an account on the platform of the ebook vendor
+ and install a plugin (for example: eBrary).
Other ebook vendors require you to maintain an active browser connection
Get hard-copy books via mail by the "Request Item" button:

(This mailing option is available to online students only!) 

Special search tip: to retrieve only ebooks, try searching keyword1 AND keyword2 AND electronic.
To retrieve one of our many specialty encyclopedias try searching: keyword1 AND encyclopedia.

Summon aka "Articles & More":
Default search box on library website front page
Not one database, but a discovery tool that includes the content of every literature database to which we subscribe.
Retrieves a high volume of results
Results can be refined using the left-hand-side check-box filters. 
Or work your way through this detailed  tutorial (total time to complete ~ 10 minutes.)

Summon Search Syntax Tips: If your topic is best expressed by an exact phrase, be sure to include those words within quotation marks.  For example: "no child left behind."

Filtering Summon Results:
Left-hand side checkbox filters helps you narrow the high results
Scholarly publications  - second and third checkboxes
"Subject Terms…more” fourth menu that gives a customized subject index to the articles your search retrieved sorted by how often these terms showed up among your articles

How to use the "Subject Terms…more”  filter:
Click checkboxes of just one or two terms to include (ignore exclude options)
“Top of the list” approach: choose one subject term from the more frequent, top of the list that closely matches the terms in your initial keyword search. Hit continue. Repeat process.
“Bottom of the list” approach: scroll down to the bottom, less frequent subject terms, looking for any angle that you find exciting.
Reboot approach: if no subtopics seem useful, try to reconfigure your initial keyword search; try a different angle, using completely different keyword terms. (see longer example here)

Managing Summon Search Results:
Review your search results – don’t read beyond the abstract yet!
Select or "like" individual articles by clicking the icon in the upper right of each citation so a white checkmark on a green circle becomes visible.
Articles will remain marked for the duration of your search session - and will vanish if you close your active browser
Selected results appear in the "My Saved Search Results" folder (lower right of the screen).
Results folder enables:
links to full text
converting citations to APA or MLA format
emailing yourself
exporting citations to RefWorks or other citation management service

Too few results? Try the checkbox option near the top left of the results screen to "Expand results beyond Drexel's collection." This will yield citations for articles we *do not* have in full text, but can most likely be obtained through Inter Library Loan.   (Educational Research Infrmation Clearinghouse) -the education repository from the U.S. Department of Education is indispensable, containing abstracts of published scholarly articles and full text of self-published reports.

The ERIC Thesaurus can provide marvelous insight into the industry-insider terminology used to describe your research area, using what ERIC calls "descriptors." Using descriptors is a POWERFUL way to search, because these terms are "official terminology" and are applied to an article only if that article is SIGNIFICANTLY about that topic.
First step: Focus on identifying the correct descriptors, and then use them in your search to avoid articles with random or insignificant mentions of your search terms. 
Example: Search the thesaurus to determine which terms are approved "educational technology" or "technology in education"
Interface tip: ERIC Thesaurus searched via same search box just with the alternate (green) tab

Tip for getting full-text: Copy/paste just the article titles you found on ERIC into the Summon searchbox back on the Drexel Libraries website

ERIC Alternate Platforms:
ERIC is also available via the Proquest vendor platform as well as the EBSCO vendor platform if you prefer these. Despite the adequate vendor interfaces, I still recommend the public for its user-friendly presentation and easily accessible thesaurus.

Education Research Complete - on EBSCO
Most full-text found in Summon will link back to the "Education Research Complete" database on the EBSCO platform.
Cross-searchable with ERIC found on same platform
Least favorite interface from a user experience perspective.
Good to use when conducting a search on a platform that holds only education content
Faculty may specifically assign you to use this database

How to find the "Education Research Complete" database on the Drexel Libraries website:
1. Choose Databases tab, and either:

  • alphabetic lookup for "E"  or
  • "View all subjects” - see the category for Education, then pick from that list

2. The other way to find the Education Research Complete database title is using the "Research Guides" tab, and picking it from the lineup of recommended resources.

3. Or type full name into book catalog (quickest)

And here is the EBSCO search interface, once in the database.
Put quotes around key phrases
Use thesaurus for verifying jargon
Use the advanced search option and place keywords in different boxes

And here's what the search results looks like on the EBSCO search interface. Click on the "view results" link that shows how many articles have been retrieved:

Other tips:
For hard to find books, consider Worldcat - Consolidated searching of all North American library book catalogs. Set up a personal account that will save your zip code and show holdings for books you want in nearby libraries. The worldcat website interacts with and
To use Google efficiently, follow the “gear” icon to adjust your settings on and have them point at full-text on Drexel. Alse adjust other setting to have results download to RefWorks - but be forewarned that the downloaded citation may not include the abstract as it would from Summon.

That's the bulk of what we covered!      Email with questions on any of this: siftar at drexel dot edu



You have completed your PhD/EdD or a masters degree at Drexel University. Assuming that you completed all the steps to take the degree, then you probably found your way here to the Library to drop off  hard and soft copies for binding , unless you opted out as described on this FAQ.

Now you want to direct all of your friends and colleagues to the eternal link where they can read the full text story to which you have devoted your last few years of effort. Where should you point your fans? Three possible places.

1.) The all-electrons version can typically be found first in our institutional repository searching by keyword or browsing by subject
This is our open archive, called iDEA, with a permanent link for each individual item. Its contents also get indexed by so within a week or two of your document arriving in iDEA, it will be retrievable by a typical Google search.

2.) Hard copy lovers can find your tome  searching by your last name or the title in our local library catalog. They will be directed to request the dead-tree item from remote storage.

3.) Eventually, the e-copy will also end up with the commercial vendor Proquest, where members of the Drexel community can find full-text e-copy of all Drexel dissertations. This vendor also offers 25 page previews of non-Drexel theses and dissertations that can be purchased for about $20 apiece from this separate link. This purchase option also works for the public.

Just to recap - this applies to PhD/EdD dissertations *and* Masters theses!  Questions? Comments? Please email - siftar @



Got a Smart Phone, iPad, Kindle or Nook?

Drexel leases over 32,000 scholarly books from the vendor eBrary that includes titles from a wide variety of disciplines. To read these books previously required an active internet connection. But all that has changed. Drexel patrons may now download these e-books to use offline by creating a PDF of a single chapter, or installing the free Adobe Digital Editions to download an entire book.  That means you can take them on the plane, overseas, anywhere!  You can find eBrary books in our catalog using a keyword search (example), or browse the full-text of their entire collection by logging onto the eBrary platform itself.  Those curious about technical details can see the faq. Try it out and let us know how you like it!   best, Tim

Authoritative and useful descriptions of research methods can be hard to find. SAGE has a deep shelf of social science publications that they draw upon for this new and easy-to-browse tool. SRMO integrates content from over 500 of their book titles, including the entire QASS (aka Little Green Book) series, plus several of their dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Sage Research Methods Online visual tree navigation screenshotSage Research Methods Online visual tree navigation screenshot

SRMO features an innovative navigational feature they call the "Methods Map" for visualization of relationships between methods. Use it to discover new methods and content related to them. Underpinning the Methods Map is a taxonomy of social science research methods, developed by SAGE, and containing over 1,400 unique terms.

We had to trial this a few times before we reached the right audience for it. But happily, it seems to be making inroads with the PhD student community and the instructors who teach "Research Methods" courses in the various social sciences disciplines.

Because this resource is built upon the contents of hundreds of stand-alone volumes of social science research methods literature, we are also taking steps so each individual book will have its own record in the library catalog as another way users can discover this great info - I will post an update when this has been accomplished.

(updated 4/16/2012)

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