Library

25 January 2017

Matheson and Caulfield libraries set to re-open on 20 February

Both the Sir Louis Matheson and Caulfield libraries will reopen on Monday 20 February 2017 in time for Orientation Week. The summer closure of the two libraries has been extended to finish major building works.

Temporary borrowing arrangements are in place until the re-openings so that Monash staff and students can continue to borrow from both libraries.

Matheson Library

Caulfield Library 
  • Request items for pick-up at Room T103, Ground Floor, Building T from Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm or at any of our other libraries.
  • Return items at Room T103 from 7am - 7pm during the week or anytime if you have swipe card access. You may also return items at any of our other libraries during library hours or the after-hours returns at Law Library at Clayton.
Critical functions such as the preparation of reading lists for Semester 1 units continue unimpeded. 

If you need advice from Library staff or have any questions, go to an Information point at any other library, through ask.monash.edu, or by telephone (03 9905 5054).

We apologise for the delays and ask for your patience through the final stages of these projects.


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24 January 2017

Incorporating collaborative learning techniques into classes

Learning Skills Adviser Roslyn Halliday lets us in on some of her teaching techniques.



Photo courtesy Monash Image Library
Within the Research and Learning team at Monash Library, we’ve been employing a variety of teaching strategies to create classes that are inspiring, engaging and encourage deep learning. One key focus has been the use of ‘active learning’, that is, the incorporation of interactive, collaborative and student-centred learning activities.

Below I outline some tried and tested strategies that I have drawn upon in my classes to help promote interactive and collaborative learning within the classroom - techniques which can be applied to a variety of educational settings.

1. Online polling sites

Polling sites generally involve students engaging with lecture or tutorial content by posting questions via SMS. Responses are automatically collated and visible to everyone in the room, either on a data projector or by logging onto the site on individual devices.

Some sites enable students to vote for questions they feel are most pertinent to the class (thereby helping to create a student-centred session when the most popular questions are addressed during the session).

Try: 


2. Think-pair-share

Students are presented with a problem, question or issue and are asked to firstly think about their response on their own (and perhaps write it down or draw it). Providing thinking time for students has shown to increase the quality of their responses. Students then share their responses in pairs. This encourages quieter students to participate and provides another opportunity to refine or add depth to ideas. Each pair then shares with the whole group, which subsequently forms the basis of a whole group discussion.

3. Think-pair-square-share

As above, but before sharing with the whole group, each pair of students shares with another pair (ie. a square). Provides further opportunity to refine ideas.

4. Think-pair-tweet-share

Like above, but students generate a Tweet (or 140 characters), to articulate their idea. Or you might ask students to communicate an idea via Snapchat instead – a more widely used app than Twitter amongst younger folk. 

5. Jigsaw

A technique developed by Elliot Aronson in the 1970s, students work in small groups (ideally between 4 and 6 students). The topic/problem/task under consideration is broken down into small segments, and each group is allocated one segment to focus on. They then become ‘experts’ in that particular area. The groups are then rearranged so that each person reports to a new group as an ‘expert’ on their area of focus. This strategy encourages every student to be actively involved in the learning process.


Conclusion

Each of these strategies can be adapted to suit different educational contexts, and they help get students thinking, discussing, and working in groups. This in turn fosters a more interactive learning environment and promotes deeper engagement.






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23 January 2017

Statista – a new source of data

Subject Librarian David Horne tells us in this article about an online statistics portal that can provide very useful information for many areas of research.  



Statista is a portal for data relevant to business, economics, media and social topics, with international coverage. Its content, ease of use and range of output options make it a key Library resource to consult when seeking data for written assignments, presentations and lectures.

The data encompasses statistics, forecasts, industry reports, dossiers (topic overviews), studies, and infographics. Statista’s intuitive search interface provides easy sorting and filtering of results, and links to the information providers for a given search result.  An example of the kind of clear information Statista provides is given in the graph below showing the change in the number worldwide Internet users between 2006 and 2016.

Data can be customised using Statista’s style options, and exported in PNG, XLS, PDF or PPT formats. This allows easy inclusion of images and data from Statista in presentations and documents.

Access Statista from its record in Search, or from the Databases A-Z menu. http://guides.lib.monash.edu/subject-databases


Can’t find the data you need? Consult your library’s Research & Learning Point or local Faculty Team librarian. http://www.monash.edu/library/skills/contacts


An example of a Statista graph, available to Monash staff and students.






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10 January 2017

Caulfield Library to reopen on 20 February

Caulfield Library will be reopening on Monday 20 February 2017. The date has been pushed back due to some unexpected delays, while still providing early access for new and returning students preparing for Orientation and first semester. The final stages of work are expected to be completed by 21 March.



The temporary arrangements for the pick-up and return of items held at Caulfield Library will continue until 20 February. 

Monash staff and students and visitors should note that:


  • From 20 February to 9 March, the Library's temporary entrance will be from the arcade level 1 between Buildings A and B (opposite Monash Connect). A temporary ramp will be available for wheelchair access.
  • From 9 March, the Library entrance will shift permanently to the West entrance facing the Campus Green. The landscaping works will continue.


When it reopens, the Library will have three-quarters of the total space open for use, including the physical collections, study and teaching spaces. An initial five bookable discussion rooms will be available to students.

Upon completion when all corners of the Library are open, it will have:

  • 1500 seats for individual and group study
  • Seven bookable discussion rooms with technology
  • Four teaching rooms, including three large state-of-the-art teaching rooms
  • Study nooks
  • A café located inside the Library
  • More natural light and an inspiring interior
  • Artwork from the Monash collection
  • Shade house at the front extending four levels

Thank you for your patience during the refurbishment. Stay tuned for updates.









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3 January 2017

SAGE Research Methods Online

Undertaking research for a project is an exciting prospect - but it can also be intimidating, especially when starting out, says librarian Romney Adams. SAGE Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a powerful tool researchers can use throughout their journey - from familiarising yourself with methodological concepts via the Methods Map, to materials designed to inform your practice.


For new researchers, a fascinating place to begin is with the Methods Map - an interactive component of SRMO which allows you to ‘drill down’ to a set of methodologies that may best suit your needs. For example, perhaps you are undertaking a qualitative study, but are unsure of the data collection options available to you. Using the Methods Map, you can obtain an overview of a number of qualitative data collection methods - including ethnography, narrative research, and interviewing - and determine which may be best-suited to your needs. Or, perhaps you’d like to learn more about research design? Again, using the Methods Map, you can explore different research design theories and principles - including phenomenology, longitudinal research, and systematic reviews. You can choose to get a basic overview, or drill down to more specific information concerning these types of research design.

When beginning your research, you can move on and access some of the materials housed in SRMO. These include case study examples from researchers in the field, video tutorials showing chosen research methods in action, and full-text items. SRMO houses over 1,000 academic books, reference works, and journal articles, all with full-text online access - with a particular strength in the social sciences. To access these materials, enter your search terms into the simple box on the SRMO homepage - you’ll be able to tweak your search by specifying date ranges, material types, and other limiters once your results have been returned.

By running a simple search on ‘ethnography’, for example, you can then refine the returned materials by using the limiters. This will make the results more relevant to your needs - from ~4,000 items relating to ‘ethnography’, to ~150 eBooks relating specifically to ethnographic research in the field of education, published in the last 10 years. As you can see, a quick and easy way to be connected to high-quality materials!

If you think your search is complex, just use the Advanced option to use multiple terms and construct a more robust approach to exploring SRMO’s collections.

SAGE Research Methods Online can be found through Library Search, and Databases A-Z.

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About the Blog

Welcome to the Monash University Library blog. Whether you are engaged in learning, teaching or research activities, the Library and its range of programs, activities and resources will contribute to your success. Here you will find useful information, ideas, tips and inspiration. Your comments on any of the articles are welcome.

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