Introduction to Economic Data on the Web

Students will be given background information on economic concepts and terms essential to understanding economic reference questions. Each week, they will be able to choose between several reference questions to answer as part of a team. In addition, each student will either individually or as part of a team complete a project relating to their work, such as a creating a pathfinder on an economic topic or developing a training session for staff in one of the above areas. The course will be structured as lecture with links to websites and tutorials. Students will complete 2-3 hours of work per week.

This course will be organized around four major content areas of economic data which will be addressed over the course
of the four weeks.

• United States macro and regional data
• International and trade data
• Financial data
• Special areas, including energy, transportation, agriculture, social welfare, education.

Each week will include information on relevant concepts and vocabulary and major sources of information. Students will also have short tutorials or screencasts provided to help understand the structure and search strategies needed in each topic area. The relative benefits of using a specific source or using a search engine such as Google (advanced) or FedStat will be discussed. Each week, they will be able to choose between several reference
questions to answer as part of a team. They will also be required to post heir research journal log which describes their experience using a particular source from the week's lecture In addition, each student will either individually or as part of a team complete a project relating to their work, such as a creating a pathfinder on an economic topic or developing a training session for staff in one of the above areas. The course will be structured as lecture with links to websites and tutorials. Students will complete 2-3 hours of work per week. I think what is compelling about the course is its constructivist approach with students having opportunities to learn form each other and participate in teamwork answering questions using the resources. The emphasis on understanding basic concepts and terms in the economics area is also important as is the emphasis on process which comes through in including sample reference questions in the lecture and asking students to post research journal logs each week. Also the focus on economic data is unusual for a business research course and will fit a real need among librarians.

Students will work collectively on a reference question each week, relating to the week's material and they will work either individually or in a group on a work related project (Pathfinder, annotated bibliography, training session,
 screencast, etc..) in the area of economic data. Progress reports on these projects will be shared each week and students may comment on and/or make suggestions for each other. The final reports will also be shared. Students will also post a weekly journal report on source form the week's lecture.

Many courses on business research are offered by various organizations and institutions, but courses on finding economic data are not as common, but still necessary for librarians whose clients need economic data. Also, given tight budgets, a course focusing on free sources of economic data available on the web is especially useful. Including concepts and terminology essential for answering economic reference questions is especially useful to those who are not economic and business specialists or those who are new to the field. This course offers opportunities for interaction with other students which allow students to contribute to the course and learn form each other following a constructivist approach to learning.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will become familiar with Economic concepts and Vocabulary
  • Students will learn how to use major sources for economic data on the Web
  • Students will learn how to form a strategy for answering economic reference questions

Instructor

Sharon Radcliff

Date(s) & Time(s)

Oct. 6 - Nov. 2, 2014

Fees

  • $130 for RUSA members
  • $175 for ALA members
  • $210 for non-ALA members
  • $100 for student members and retired members

Technical Requirements

ALA will use Moodle for all online educational courses. Learn more about Moodle at www.moodle.org.

The Moodle login instructions will be sent the Friday before the start date. The course site will remain open one week after the end date for students to complete any assignments and submit the course evaluation survey.

You will receive access instructions from Andrea by Friday. If you registered after Friday morning, you should have the instructions by Monday morning.

How to Register

  • Online
  • By Fax: download, complete, and fax form (PDF format) to (312) 280-1538
  • By Mail: download, complete, and mail form (PDF format) to American Library Association, ATTN: MACS/Online CE Registration, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Contact

Questions about your registration should be directed to registration@ala.org. Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Andrea Hill, RUSA Web Manager, at ahill@ala.org.

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!