The Opportunities of Educational Internet Resources in the Development of Students' Research Skills (on the Example of Webquest and Educational Blog)

The Opportunities of Educational Internet Resources in the Development of Students' Research Skills (on the Example of Webquest and Educational Blog)

Larisa Darinskaya (Saint Petersburg State University, Russia) and Galina Molodtsova (Saint Petersburg State University, Russia)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6154-7.ch003
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to identify the possibilities of educational blogs and webquests in the organization of independent work of students oriented to the development of such research skills as search, analysis, and systematization of thematic information. The authors use a set of methods and procedures to determine experimentally the degree of development of these skills. The experiment confirms the existence of three levels of formed students ' research skills—high, medium, and low—depending on the level of development of verbal intelligence of the participants. The received data during the formative experiment confirms the positive dynamics of formation of Russian students ' research skills by means of educational Internet resources. The authors reveal the specific advantages of the use of the webquests and educational blogs for the development of students` research skills: visibility, structuring, versatility, interactivity.
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Introduction

One of the main requirements to a modern higher school is to provide a high level of preparation of graduates, capable to solve research problems in the training process in the higher educational institution and in the conditions of professional activity. This requirement is conditioned by growing demand of the society to professionals with well-developed analytical skills, acute receptivity and independence of thinking. Thus, in the materials of the Bologna seminar on demand on graduates in the labor market (Slovenia, 2004), it was noted that the educational process should be encouraged by research activities of students. Despite the modernization processes in the higher school of the Russian Federation (development and introduction of the Federal state educational standards of the 3rd generation into universities, joining the Bologna process and others), the content of education is still not oriented to training graduates with advanced research skills. Analysis of job descriptions of specialists from different fields of activities (psychologists, economists, lawyers and others), in each of which the ability of the system analysis, abstraction, formalization are included, also confirms the urgency of the problems of formation of students ' research skills. Ideally, a future specialist must possess deep theoretical preparation, fluent methods of scientific research, be able to analyze the results of professional activity, diagnose and design his/her own professional and personal development, generate new ideas for work, efficiently organize time.

To form learning skills of a future professional means to teach him/her to think, to see and define the problem in a new situation, put forward hypotheses, motivate them and offer an effective solution.

The decision of problems of formation of students ' research skills in many respects depends on how effectively we implement the possibility of introducing innovative methods and technologies of teaching into educational practice of Russian higher educational institutions.

It should be noted that in the global educational practice the issue of employing Internet resources is also relevant. So, in her dissertation P. Philavanh (n.d.) gives the results of the survey conducted among young Americans which indicated that 95% of teenagers aged 14-17 are engaged in online activities. In addition, 73% of young people use social networks. Social media is an integral part of life of modern youth, it is now a platform for their communication and other activities. The technology of Web 2.0 has created a virtual environment, which enables to create a new product, collaborate and share ideas with friends.

Education trends to make use of social services, particularly those applications that have emerged with the appearance of Web 2.0. Social resources, such as wikis, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others are a powerful resource for the development of young people's skills in the 21st century. As young people daily use Web 2.0 technologies, the formal educational environment of colleges and universities should provide guidance and support necessary to help the students to develop thinking skills of high level: to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create within the space of social media services.

In our work we focus on research methods of training and more active use of Internet resources in the educational practice of Russian higher institutions. However, a pressing question about the choice of those of them that can effectively contribute to development of research skills remains. If we take into account the fact that the majority of today's students are proficient in computer technology and can easily navigate the Internet, the use of educational resources of a network can be one of the effective means of the development of these skills.

In this connection, it is necessary to focus on research methods of training, active use of educational Internet resources. In this case it refers to the study of a particular block of information, the work with thematic literature, systematization of the revealed facts and received data, the analysis and interpretation of theoretical and empirical material in relation to the research problem, that is without which research activities are impossible. This task has successfully been solved for more than a dozen years by information technologies, the importance of which grows both in the daily and professional life. Information technologies are in the lead among the main teaching materials and aids in the educational process.

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