Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Planet SOSIG: Internet Training for the Social Sciences

Debra Hiom and Emma Place announce the RDN virtual training suite.

RDN Virtual Training Suite

SOSIG is pleased to announce the launch of the RDN (Resource Discovery Network) Virtual Training Suite - a set of free, interactive, web-based tutorials for students, lecturers and researchers who want to discover what the Internet can offer in their subject area. Each tutorial has been written by an academic or librarian with specialist knowledge of both their subject area and the Internet. There are 11 tutorials available in phase one of the project (with another 27 in production).

Key features include the opportunity for users to:

TOUR - key sites in their subject area
DISCOVER - techniques for improving Internet search skills
REVIEW - skills needed to evaluate internet information
REFLECT - on practical ideas for using the Internet to support study, teaching or research

Quizzes and exercises help to lighten the learning load and a virtual “shopping basket” is available in which users can collect links to interesting sites and return to them later.

Who should know about the Virtual Training Suite and why?

Students - who can use the tutorials to familiarise themselves with the key sites in their subject area and gain tips on how to use the Internet to support their study and research.

Lecturers and teachers - who can discover ideas for making effective use of the Internet within their teaching and support their students by encouraging them to work through the tutorials.

Internet trainers, librarians or academic support staff - who can integrate the suite within institutional training programmes to complement local induction/education/refresher activities. Posters and leaflets are available to help you promote the service.

The Training Suite has been built at the Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT), University of Bristol.

SOSIG is host to seven tutorials within the RDN Virtual Training Suite:

Internet Business Manager written by Kate Sharp of Biz/ed, Institute for Learning and Research Technology, University of Bristol.
Internet Economist written by Libby Miller and Martin Poulter, Economics LTSN, University of Bristol.
Internet for Lawyers written by Sue Pettit, Subject Librarian for Law, Wills Memorial Library, University of Bristol.
Internet Politician written by Heather Dawson, British Library of Political and Economic Science, the Library of the London School of Economics.
Internet Psychologist written by Annie Trapp, LTSN Psychology, University of York.
Internet Social Worker written by Angela Upton, National Institute for Social Work, London.
Internet Sociologist written by Stuart Macwilliam, Library and Information Services, University of Exeter.

For details of the tutorials available in other subject areas and future planned tutorials (available in May next year) see:


Some feedback from the tutorials so far:

“Very user-friendly. Well laid out and easy to use. An ideal introduction for new students”
Politics lecturer, University of Bristol

“We think this is a wonderful self-paced guide for law and will create a link to it from our Library web page for students and Faculty”.
IT Training and Development, Law Faculty and Bodleian Law Library, University of Oxford

“I like the way it introduced me to new economic sites I didn’t know.”
Economics post-graduate student, Oxford University

“Brilliant resource which I’m sure I’ll use again and again. Thank you!”
Psychology researcher, University of Edinburgh

“Quick and easy links. Well-designed”.
Economics researcher, University of Leeds

Author Details

 Emma Place and Debra Hiom
University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square
Bristol BS8 1HH

Email: emma.place@bristol.ac.uk
Web site: http://www.sosig.ac.uk/