Using Online Encyclopedia and Reference Resources – How They Help Students, Teachers and Researchers

Using Online Encyclopedia and Reference Resources – How They Help Students, Teachers and Researchers

There has been a huge jump in the amount of research being done by students, teachers and researchers. Although their use has increased, there is still a large majority of these groups who prefer not to use online resources or simply do not know how. There is also a large percentage of individuals, especially in the academic arena, who do not consider online encyclopedias. This mindset turned out to be unfortunate because online reference materials are often as effectively correct as printed ones. To discuss the benefits of finding facts online, it is important to address the issue from the point of view of a student and teacher / researcher.

Student Benefits When Using an Online Encyclopedia

1. Speed

It is much faster to use online encyclopedias to do research than to spend hours in the library. When working online, the student simply needs to find the encyclopedia of their choice and type a search phrase. From here, the student can receive several articles related to the focus of their research. They will be able to gather a lot of information in a matter of minutes. This same process can take literally hours when using printed materials in a library.

2. Updated Information

By using an online encyclopedia, students will receive updated information. If the facts change, those changes will be reflected in the online reference materials. With printed materials, this is simply not possible. Once a book is printed, it cannot be changed. Many schools and libraries have five or ten year old encyclopedias. Students who are forced to use these materials may be absorbing information that has been outdated for a long time.

3. Depth and width

Because online encyclopedias are constantly updated, they generally have more depth and breadth than a traditional encyclopedia. This gives students a chance to find much more information on a particular subject. Also, if they are focusing on a topic that is not well known, it may not be found in traditional printed reference materials. One final advantage is that when there is a quote or footnote in an online encyclopedia, it is usually accompanied by a link to the original source. This gives students an easy way to gather more information and easily reference original sources.

Benefits of teachers and researchers for using online encyclopedias

1. Create a connection

Students are using the Internet and all it has to offer at a continuous pace. Using online reference materials, you can make a connection with students. This will usually increase your attention to the project as well as increase your overall level of involvement. A more engaged student will not only work harder, but will naturally retain more information than they find.

2. Image Building

For a teacher or researcher to be taken seriously and more respected, he or she must gain the approval of his audience. With more people using the Internet, a teacher or researcher will naturally seem to have used resources that their audience would find acceptable, thus enhancing their image.

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