Tools for digital researchers

Cloud created by:

Antonella Esposito
31 October 2009

This could is set up to collect information and resources about tools, tecniques and training opportunities addressing researchers in the current digital era.

"Digital Research Tools (DiRT) is a wiki which collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively.  It provides a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools in which we not only describe the tool's features, but also explore how it might be employed most effectively by researchers."

Many of the tools they list and describe are social media tools, including a page about data collection:

"There are many available tools that allow you to input or collect data online, export the data in a variety of formats, and even publish it on the web."

The website also includes a list of selected Articles and Reports on Digital Scholarship.

Extra content

Social media: A guide for researchers is out! "The guide has been produced by the International Centre of Guidance Studies and aims to provide the information needed to make an informed decision about using social media and select from the vast range of tools that are available".

A list of resources, case studies from researchers and an informative guide can be downloaded from the Research Information Network's website.

Antonella Esposito
18:31 on 10 February 2011 (Edited 18:33 on 10 February 2011)

Embedded Content


Antonella Esposito
3:20pm 31 October 2009

I have just started to explore this resource but it seems to me a good starting point for whom would like to upgrade his/her own instruments of investigation. It could be interesting to review some of these tools for researching as well as tools for teaching.

Gráinne Conole
3:20pm 31 October 2009

Hi Antonello this is a brilliant topic for a cloud! I think increasingly it is important for researchers to be aware of the variety of ways in which technology can support their research. There are a number of aspects to this:

  • Tools for data collection and analysis
  • Tools for communicating with other researchers
  • Tools for disseminating research findings

Gráinne Conole
3:27pm 31 October 2009

The Practice-based Research in Educational Technology H809 course on our Masters in Open and Distance Education is all abut helping researchers explore how technologies are being used in an educational context. An alternative title we played with for the course was 'researching wih and about technologies'. The course is designed around core readings from the field and the intention is that students on the course experience the technologies as well. Researching in today's context is much more than just publishing journal articles. It's increasingly also about being visible and active in different digital spaces - such as the blogosphere, twitter and of course cloudworks ;-) I think researchers who don't embrace this are missing very important channels for communicating their work and engaging with others in current research topics and challenges.

Giota Alevizou
4:55pm 31 October 2009

Great links and ideas. I think there is also space for connecting digital scholarship with open educational resources. Graine, It would be a good idea perhaps to explore this further in our Exeter workshop?

James Aczel
5:32pm 31 October 2009

Thanks for this Antonella. I like your idea of reviewing these tools - could be a good H809 activity for the next presentation. We're doing the updates right now!

James Aczel
5:34pm 31 October 2009

Giota - interesting idea to connect digital scholarship (incl. digital research tools) with OER. Especially as plans are afoot to (a) put H809 in OpenLearn and (b) create a completely open version of H809...

More details on this as soon as I get time for a blogpost!

Gráinne Conole
6:45pm 31 October 2009

@Giota - yep great idea, lets explore more in the Exeter meeting

@James - sounds good, would love to talk to you more about how we might more actively use cloudworks now that we have a site that looks and feels good and now that we have a vibrant international community discussing and sharing things in here - we have people fro over 130 countries participating now!

Giota Alevizou
12:52pm 1 November 2009

James - super idea. Like Grainne said, it would be interesting to explore the link betweeen research and scholarship and embed it to representations and discussions about teaching and learning in both OER contexts and generally. I feel it may be a great incentive for teachers who are keen to promote research-led teaching.

Gráinne Conole
1:07pm 1 November 2009

Yep totally agree Giota and it aligns well with what we are trying to do with OLnet in terms of bringing researchers and users of OER together more and to provide mechanisms for them to share and discuss around OER.

Antonella Esposito
4:38pm 1 November 2009

As a student enrolled in H809 in 2009 edition, I think that the "formula"of the course succeeds on providing learners with a small (even too short, I miss it) but significant simulation of a  research experience from inside. Thanks to this course, a student can undertake a perspective of reflection about what "new research methods" really means and influence research practice.

However, I believe that collaboration among participants could be also increased by engaging them in activities to be developped outside H809, in a social, specialized arena. For instance, I found it valuable the wiki activity related to learning theories'' entries, but what could it become if developped as a public wiki, such as Digital Research Tools? Outside the comfort zone of a course's VLE there is more responsibility, more competition

Back to Cloudworks, while participating in Cloudworks in these months I thought how much interesting it could be for a research student in educational technology to join and/or start discussions and activities in this social network as an integral part of his/her program. I see Cloudworks as a natural add-on and extension of courses such as H809. be continued

(I think that an individual creates a cloud, he/she is somewhat responsible for its maintenance and supervision. So, I will attempt to follow and contribute in time to this one and other current clouds, but at the moment I'm travelling in Laos and I can't assure continuity until 8th november)

Gráinne Conole
8:49pm 1 November 2009

Hi Antonella - I totally agree with you! I think cloudworks could be a real added bonus for students on course like H809. It's up to James as the chair though, but I will certainly talk to him about it! Cloudworks wasn't really ready a year a go but now I think it has the right look, feel and funtionality and a nice mix of international dialogue (people from over 130 countries!) so it could really enrich the experience of students on Ed Tech courses.

Iván M. Jorrín Abellán
7:29pm 9 October 2012 (Edited 7:31pm 9 October 2012)

Thanks a lot for creating this cloud!!! I´m gonna use it as a resource on the Master on Research in Education I´m currently teaching. 

By the way, I want to share with you a couple of tools developed in my research team with this regard:

ILOCA: It is a tool to help in participatory observation of interactions with a tablet-PC. It can be downloaded here

CSCL-EREM-Web tool: It is a tool that helps non-expert evaluators in the evaluation of a wide range of CSCL systems by guiding the collaborative creation of evaluation designs and multimedia reports. The tool relies on the CSCL-Evaluand-oriented Responsive Evaluation Model, an evolving evaluation model, based on the principles of the Responsive Evaluation approach. A user manual can be found here. You can start using it here

Patricia Perry
5:12pm 26 November 2012

Hello Antonella, I don't know if you are still following this but I am currently a student (and lecturer) and learning about blended and online education. I have found your postings very interesting and I'm following up the links in  Social Media: a guide for researchers. Thanks for sharing your ideas.  

Patricia Perry
5:13pm 26 November 2012 (Edited 5:16pm 26 November 2012)

Hello Antonella, I don't know if you are still following this but I am currently a student (and lecturer) and learning about blended and online education. I have found your postings very interesting and I'm following up the links in  Social Media: a guide for researchers. Thanks for sharing your ideas.  

Kiran Gawali
3:00pm 27 March 2013

Here is an up to date link to DIRT which has now been superseded to BambooDIRT:

I like the way tools have been oragised according to activity/needs. 


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