Referencing

By Gordon Rugg

So what is referencing anyway, and why should anyone care about it? What’s the difference between the Harvard system and the Vancouver system and the assorted other systems? How do you choose references that send out the right signal about you?

The answers to these and numerous other questions are in the article below. Short spoiler: If you do your referencing right, it gets you better marks, and you come across as an honest, capable individual who is highly employable and promotable. Why does it do this? Find out below…

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Finding the right references, part 1

By Gordon Rugg

The best questions are often short.

In a comment on a recent article here, Mosaic of Minds asked which authors I’d recommend for further reading about Likert scales. It’s a fair, sensible question, which lifts the lid on a whole boxful of issues about academic references. Many of those issues are important, but not as widely known as they should be.

This article is the first in an informal series about academic references, online search, and the ways that evidence is used in research. In this article, I’ll be looking at two concepts that provide some useful structure for understanding this general area, namely craft skills versus formalised knowledge, and back versions versus front versions. I’ll start with an overview of these concepts, and then look at the insights they give into different sources of information, including academic references.

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Education versus training, academic knowledge versus craft skills: Some useful concepts

By Gordon Rugg

At the heart of education theory is a widely used distinction between education and training. This overlaps with a closely related distinction between academic knowledge and craft skills.

Although these concepts are extremely important, there is widespread debate about just what they mean, and what they imply for education theory and practice.

In knowledge modelling terms, these two distinctions can be neatly represented using the concepts of closed sets versus open sets, and of connected graphs versus unconnected graph fragments.

The illustrations below show how this works, and what some of the implications are for education theory and practice.

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