Cool Toys Pic of the Day – Higher Education Empirical Research (HEER) Database

Higher Education Empirical Research (HEER) Database:
http://heer.qaa.ac.uk/pages/default.aspx

In their words:
“The Higher Education Empirical Research (HEER) database comprises summaries of the latest published research on a range of topics related to higher education.
It is intended for use by policy-makers, academics and researchers in higher education.
The database is fully searchable by theme, publisher and date. It is free to register.”

You can tell it’s a government project because it doesn’t have an “About” page explaining who is working on it, is responsible for the content, selects the content, or who to contact if there are questions. Aside from that, it’s great!

This UK-focused project seems similar to the US ERIC database. ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) is more mature and comprehensive database, with some excellent interface and audience engagement features that HEER could usefully model. HEER still has carved out a focused and useful niche. HEER focuses on more than bibliographic indexing by providing utilitarian summaries for leaders and professional decisionmakers in higher education along with (usually) links to the original content in addition. Registration is required to see the summaries, but simple and advanced search, browse, and citations are available without registration. Registered members may contribute items to the database in addition to using the content. It has a clean design and is easy to use.

Here are some of the items I found through the HEER database that captured my interest and which I had not see or heard of previously. Note, while many of these are available free, some require a fee or that you request it through your university.

Understanding the information needs of users of public information about higher education:
http://www.hefce.ac.uk/media/hefce/content/pubs/2010/rd1210/rd12_10b.pdf

Research-teaching linkages: enhancing graduate attributes –
information and mathematical sciences:
http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/docs/publications/enhancing-graduate-attributes-information-and-mathematical-sciences.pdf?sfvrsn=18

Learning from ELIR 2003-07. The emerging impact of information and communication technologies (including virtual learning environments) on quality enhancement:
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/Info_Commi08.pdf

Making sense of higher education: students as consumers and the value of the university experience:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2011.648373

‘Yes, as the articles suggest, I have considered dropping out’: self-awareness literature and the first-year student:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2010.490580#preview

Educational use of social networking technology in higher education: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13562517.2010.507307#preview

The Experience of Black and Minority Ethnic Staff in Higher Education
in England: http://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/files/experience-of-bme-staff-in-he-final-report.pdf/at_download/file

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