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May 2003 Issue

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Internet Resource of the Month

By Pat Gottschalk, Learning Skills Instructor, USAFA

Email: Pat.Gottschalk@usafa.af.mil

May's internet site, http://muskingum.edu/~cal/database/database, maintained by Muskingum College, is a former Shrockguide Award winner. That award is presented for the best use of the internet in providing information for educators in a useable format. In terms of useable format, there is plenty to appeal to the interested browser. Several databases exist on the main menu, although for purposes of this review the two most pertinent are one for general-purpose learning strategies, and another featuring content-specific strategies. (If you want to scan the site's complete offerings, there is a hyperlink labeled "overview of database

organization".) For the learning strategies sites, there is a tremendous amount of self-help information, including materials for transitioning high schoolers, as well as graduating (college) seniors (check out the "life after college" site). The content-specific sites list the major core content classes, with great study tips (although the last posted update per content-area was 1999, and updated information couldn't be accessed, even using the Refresh button as directed). Nevertheless, both links allow the user easy access to the already plentiful and helpful academic support. Additional features of interest for learning support personnel are links to on-line (and printable) tests, and a First Year Seminar. The seminar walks students through a 3-step process starting with learning styles, then strategies, then a "monitoring progress" link (a little difficulty with that last link, a user has to scroll to the bottom of the page to access material offered - you would be better off in one of the two learning strategies databases previously mentioned). Two bonus aspects of the site are (1) the bibliography link, with a huge list of resources (although here again I was looking for evidence of updating); and, perhaps most uniquely (2) an emphasis on and information for students with learning disabilities. All in all, this was a good site to browse, with links easily explored, lots of study skills information, and particularly the site's strong focus on learning disabilities.



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