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Education Research: Tools & Techniques

What is ERIC?

ERIC has been providing education information to students, researchers, teachers, parents, policy-makers, and so on, since 1966. Although it has changed over the years in some significant ways, it is still basically providing access to education information of two basic types:

  • articles from professional and scholarly education journals and magazines. These are only occasionally provided in FULLTEXT through ERIC. Usually you have to get the article through the library or the publisher's website.
  • ERIC Documents which can be published books, but, more often, are unpublished items like conference papers, dissertations, technical reports, theses, classroom materials, speeches, all sorts of reports from government and nongovernmental agencies and organizations, tests, surveys, and more! Except for published books, there will be a link to the fulltext of ERIC Documents back to 1993. Prior to 1993, you can get a document on microfiche through Interlibrary Loan & LINK+. 
  • ERIC is a great place to get inspiration and ideas for classroom teaching. See the separate section below on searching the free web version of ERIC to do just that!

Getting to ERIC

There is a free version of ERIC on the internet. There is also a version you can search that uses the same interface as Education Fulltext. That version is linked below. 

From off-campus you will need to login through your SCU account.

Searching ERIC for Classroom Materials

Start at the main ERIC search page:  https://eric.ed.gov/?

Begin by entering a few words or a phrase describing what you want to teach. Keep it simple, but specific. While you could search mathematics ... algebra would be better! Put " " around obvious phrases, like "civil war". You can enter more than one idea. For example, maybe you want to teach about the roles of women in the civil war:

This search retrieves a lot of things not specifically useful for the classroom teacher. But, it is easy to LIMIT to that group of material. Look at the limiting options in the column to the left. Scroll down to those  labeled PUBLICATION TYPE. There are two groups that would be useful:

Guides - Classroom - Teacher   and    Guides - Classroom - Learner

When I did this search, there were 22 items in the Guides - Classroom - Teacher category

They are a variety of teaching materials published in different formats. In some cases, you will see a link to download a PDF of the item right there in ERIC: 

For the others, there are a few different possibilities:

Some are books ... generally the description includes that information:

If you want this book, look up the title in the library catalog, OSCAR. If you do a TITLE search, and we don't have it, click on the  button that will appear at the top of the search results. You can have it delivered here for you to pick up. It takes a few days. 

The others are a variety of things. To find those, start by searching in OneSearch, which you will find on the library's homepage. Also, look them up as if they were books on OSCAR.