How to Improve Research Skills With the EtonX Research Skills Course?

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How to Improve Research Skills With the EtonX Research Skills Course?

EtonX courses are available worldwide, providing students with a unique opportunity to learn from and interact with peers from other countries. They also license Altius to other educational organizations in need of an all-in-one platform for developing and delivering first-rate online learning experiences.

What Do the EtonX Research Courses Do?

Their Research Skills Course will help you develop the ability to conduct independent research that goes beyond textbooks and basic internet searches. You will learn how to gather information from a variety of credible sources, as well as how to structure the research process. You will learn about time-saving tools and techniques, as well as how to properly reference your sources.

What Topics Do the Course Include?

Good Research

  • The research process
  • Why you shouldn’t only use a popular search engine
  • Recognize your biases.

Planning Your Research

  • Defining the information needed
  • Managing your time
  • Saving research and organizing notes.

Finding Resources

  • Different search platforms
  • Refining your search
  • Techniques for evaluating resources.

Using Resources

  • Strategies for reading for different purposes
  • Drawing conclusions and synthesizing different sources.

Referencing

  • How to write research up
  • Academic honesty
  • Referencing sources and creating a bibliography.

Presenting Your Findings

  • Best types of outputs
  • Using visual aids.

What Does the Course Teach You at the End About Improving Your Research Skills?

  • Define your information requirements
  • Control your research time
  • Organize your research in the most effective way possible
  • Use critical reading strategies
  • Make Use of advanced search features
  • Write up your research, present your findings in a credible manner, and correctly cite your sources.

What Else Can You Do to Improve Your Research Skills?

Encourage Your Child’s Curiosity

Curiosity is a strong desire to learn and is a powerful motivator. Students who are naturally inquisitive will naturally ask questions that demand answers.

Students who are hungry for knowledge may find themselves venturing outside of their comfort zone and learning about the unknown. It is also said that people who are curious are better listeners and are more open to hearing other people’s ideas and perspectives, not just their own.

What you could do

Encourage students to ask questions, give them time to explore, and help them enjoy the journey rather than the destination.

Learner Autonomy Should Be Prioritized

Instead of spoon-feeding information to students, let them discover it for themselves and draw their own conclusions. This may take much more time than simply spoon-feeding them information, but the process will teach students to think for themselves, which is especially important given that much of the information we impart to students may no longer be accurate or relevant by the time they enter the workforce.

What you could do

So, the next time a student asks you a question, respond with one of your own and let them figure it out for themselves. That way, the answer might be a lot more memorable.

Change Up How You Learn About Things

Find ways to demonstrate how relying on the same research method and resource can lead to skewed results. There are numerous publications, search engines, and online search methods that can inform students about previous research.

What you could do

Encourage yourself to learn about things from a variety of sources, including ones they are unfamiliar with. Then, expand on this prior knowledge by applying it to the context, conducting surveys, experimenting, or speaking in-depth with someone of interest.

Practice Focusing and Goal-Setting

While learning the circumference of the earth or how food is digested in the human body may be easier, larger questions may necessitate a more extensive research plan.

When confronted with the complexity of the various stages required to piece together information about a topic, you may feel lost and unsure where to begin. During the course of your research, you may come across other interesting pieces of information that may distract and divert your attention. Having a big goal and smaller goals along the way can help you stay on track.

When Setting Goals, Use the SMART Model

Goals, no matter how big or small, should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

What you could do

Encourage yourself to practice setting mini goals and completing them one at a time in your daily lessons. And, if you think you are becoming overwhelmed, try to focus on the smaller details of each stage of the research.

Experiment With Time Management

Do you constantly complain about not having enough time? Do you frequently show up to class without having completed your homework? When managing projects and conducting extensive research, poor time management skills can have a negative impact.

In addition to goal setting (see above), students can improve their time management skills by learning to plan and eliminating time-wasters.

What you could do

Consider how you spend your time and create a pie chart or table to show how your time is divided during the week. Set deadlines for yourself and consider working in teams so that a delay by one person affects the other team members.

Only through practice will we be able to break those bad habits and improve our time management skills.

Strategies for Reading

Some people are put off by the prospect of conducting research because it implies poring over reams of academic texts and attempting to make sense of what has been written.

However, reading can be made easier if we recognize that the strategies we use when reading for research purposes should not be the same as those we use when reading a novel.

For starters, we are less likely to read every word on every page. We might skim the text to get the gist of it, or we might scan it for specific information. We could use it to supplement our existing knowledge of the subject or to look for emerging themes.

What you could do

Choose a reading strategy that will improve your skimming and scanning ability the next time you read in class.

Experiment With Various Note-Taking Methods

Some students highlight sections of text in different colors, others summarize chapters they’ve read, and still, others copy out only what is relevant to their research question.

There are also Mind Maps, Sketch Notes, the Cornell Method, outlining methods, charting methods, and so on. Whatever method you use, a good note-taking strategy can help you absorb information more effectively and retrieve it when needed.

What you could do

During the class, take notes. See if you can try a different method of taking notes.

Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Improve Your Critical Thinking Abilities

When conducting research, you must be able to identify credible sources, distinguish between opinion and fact, analyze arguments, and recognize when they are manipulated.

In other words, you must be capable of critical thinking.

What you could do

Find every opportunity to put your critical thinking skills to the test and question the information you receive on a daily basis.

Develop Self-Awareness

In addition to being aware of other people’s subjective opinions, it is critical to be aware of your own subjectivity. We are all raised with a preconceived notion of the world, as well as certain biases.

To be able to analyze information objectively, we must first help ourselves reflect on our beliefs and attitudes and then encourage ourselves to open our minds to new perspectives and ways of looking at things.

What you could do

Try to expand on what you’ve said the next time you express your thoughts or feelings about a topic. Develop an awareness of the foundations upon which you filter the information you receive without being confrontational.

What Else, You Can Do?

Begin With the Big Picture and Work Your Way Down to the Specifics

Because research is a large task, it can be difficult to know where to begin—nothing there’s wrong with a simple internet search to get you started. While not always accurate, online resources such as Google and Wikipedia are a great way to get a general overview of a topic, including a brief history and any key points.

Learn How to Spot a Reliable Source

Because not every source is trustworthy, it’s critical that you can tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones. To find a reliable source, use your analytical and critical thinking skills and ask yourself the following questions: Is this source consistent with other sources I’ve discovered? Is the author a subject matter expert? Is there a conflict of interest in the author’s point of view on this topic?

Check the Accuracy of Information from Multiple Sources

The internet is a vast place where, for the most part, anyone can say whatever they want—many websites do not evaluate their content for factual accuracy. This means that there are a lot of untrustworthy resources out there, as well as a lot of outright incorrect ones. The best way to combat this is to ensure that whatever you discover in your research can be verified by multiple sources. Rather than relying on a single website, ensure that at least two others say something similar.

Be Open to Unexpected Responses

Finding answers to your research questions is the goal of good research, not necessarily to validate what you already think you know. Looking for confirmation is a very limiting research strategy because it requires you to pick and choose what information to collect and prevents you from developing the most accurate understanding of the topic. When conducting research, keep an open mind in order to learn as deeply as possible.

Maintain Your Organization

Throughout the data collection process, you will encounter a vast amount of information, ranging from web pages to PDFs to videos. It’s critical that you keep all of this information organized in some way to avoid losing something or failing to cite something properly. There are numerous methods for keeping your research project organized, but here are a few of the most common: Bookmarks in your browser, index cards, and an annotated bibliography that you keep up to date as you read.

Make Use of the Library’s Resources

If you still have questions about researching, don’t worry—there are plenty of resources available to assist you, even if you aren’t a student conducting academic or course-related research. In fact, many high school and university libraries provide resources not only for faculty and students’ research but also for the general public. Check out the Library’s website for research guides and access to specific databases.

Explore

Once you’ve determined the purpose of your research, get ready to do some serious reading. Conduct a targeted online and offline search – read relevant papers, articles, books, trusted blogs, and reports to gain a thorough understanding of the subject matter. Extra knowledge is never a bad thing, so read as much as you can!

Make a List of Your Key Findings

Do not postpone this step because it is impossible to remember everything you read. As a result, write down all pertinent information as you come across it so that you can refer to it later and your research notes are complete.

Expand Your Network

Never pass up an opportunity to meet new people. It is difficult to find subject matter experts, and they are critical to any research; thus, the larger your network, the better. It will be simpler for you to contact these experts.

Form a Habit of Organizing Information

During any research project, you will need to collect and organize information. Recycling information and stockpiling contacts is the next step, so learning to organize is the next step—everything in order for you to find it when you need it. Organizational abilities are usually advantageous in various ways, but they are extremely useful when conducting research – whether for a school project or otherwise or to solve a workplace problem. So, take baby steps and refer to everything you learn. Maintain separate files or folders for each section, label the files carefully, and so on. Consider this: if you forget everything you read or learned while researching a topic, you should be able to re-discover it by navigating through your files and findings.

Conclusion

Through this course, you will be able to improve your research skills. Also, we have listed other tips, so we hope that this article will definitely help you improve them. As, Research skills are necessary at every stage of your life – whether in school, college, or the workplace – but they don’t have to be tedious or difficult. Any daunting research task can be made easier by planning ahead of time and staying organized. Take your time, be thorough, and enjoy the research process!

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.