Online Database Research

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 Scholarly research is an essential part of learning and online databases are essential in research and analysis of scholarly information. Online database research is simpler and convenient because it relies on the use of search words to reveal the associated information that may be required. In this research exercise two databases were selected and used in researching information contained in scholarly articles. The selected research topics included the use of online platforms such as blackboard and WebCt in learning and the influence of gender in the mentoring of doctoral female students. The selected databases included EBSCOhost and ProQuest.


The search on the use of online learning platforms in teaching mathematics yielded five scholarly articles within the ProQuest database. The first literary work authored by Marshall and Taylor highlighted latent potentiality that is inherent in online learning platforms as means to reducing poverty and economically empowering the less fortunate. The article covers issues of poverty and unemployment reduction. The article was a 2009 publication within the International Journal of Education and development using information and communication technology. Mastery with meaning: Access to mathematics online is also another piece of scholarly work by Benoit et. al.


(2007). The article highlights how internet platforms used in teaching mathematics (Pre-calculus) have alleviated the deficiencies that students encounter in learning calculus. It also highlights the development of the PACe program in Colorado university (Paced Algebra to Calculus electronically). Hopf (2007) authored the third article titled  discourse analysis of the online mathematics analysis classroom. The scholarly work basically addresses issues and advancements in online learning, especially; in the field of mathematics. The work presents survey results from a study conducted on various online mathematics learning programs. Shore et. al (2004) also present


Using e-Learning Platforms for Mastery Learning in Developmental Mathematics Courses an academic literary piece that evaluates the use of Blackboard as online platform for enhancing mastery of mathematics in various campuses. The last results (Houghton Mifflin College Division Launches Eduspace e-Learning Platform Powered by the Blackboard Learning System {2004}) detail how the Houghton Mifflin College has implemented the use of the Blackboard online platform in its mathematics teaching programs. The literary work is originally from New Yorks Business wire.


A search on issues of gender that may be encountered in the mentoring of doctoral candidates on ProQuest yielded seven literary works that had information related gender issues involved in mentoring doctoral students. The first source had results from a survey conducted on various doctoral female students on how the race of their mentors influenced their choices on the pursuit of their professoriate. The article was authored by Rebecca in 2007 and it is a University of South Carolina publication. The educational decision-making path to the doctorate in career education for midlife women was the second source that was accessed on ProQuest.


The work evaluates the decision-making of a sampled number of women on their doctoral specialty choices. The article by Wayne is a 1993 publication by the University of Nebraska. The third sourced article was authored by Edward in 2004 and it was a publication by the University of Southern California. The article titled  study of doctoral student-advisor satisfaction: Considering gender and ethnic grouping at a private research university studied the satisfaction on students in the doctoral program with regard to their advisors ethnicity and gender.


A replication of the search on EBSCOhost academic database yielded more than ten articles on the topic of online use of platforms to deliver mathematics lessons and teaching. Out of the resulting articles three were selected and briefly highlighted in this paper. The first article was a Blackwell publication authored by Michael from the University of Hong Kong in 2004. The article was sourced from the British Journal of educational technology, and it accesses the increased demand in continuing education as well as the part that online or web based type of learning partakes in enhancing the realization of web based learning, especially; in mathematical courses or units.


The scholarly work highlights more on WebCT as one of the online platforms that have enhanced the realization of these efforts. The second scholarly work was authored by Yun from the Georgia University, in 2009 and it is titled the An investigation of students’ media preferences in learning mathematical concepts. The article highlights the findings and survey on studentspreferences on the delivery of mathematical lessons and teaching. The article evaluates the traditional forms of delivery versus the modern online form of delivery and the extent to which these have become applicable in mathematics and sciences compared to other fields or subjects of study.


The research work portrayed that there were no significant differences between the numbers of students that completed their mathematics classes in hybrid classes as compared to those that preferred to complete their work in traditional classes. The third article reviews the open mathematics learning program at the University of Catalonia which is online based; it presents the new experiences that encountered in this online mathematics program. The article was authored by Serrat et. al. in 2008. The article reviews advances achieved as well as the challenges encountered in the program.The search on gender issues related to the mentoring of doctoral candidates on EBSCOhost also yielded a lot of article results, and from the list three articles were sampled and represented below.


The first sampled article was authored by Alice in 1995 and it highlights the mentoring process, benefits of mentoring and its effects on female students in higher education. The second cited article authored by Steven et.al (2000) and it explores the effect and nature of cross racial and gender relationships in mentoring within institutions of higher learning. The article extensively analyzes mentorship relationships in learning institutions from the perspective of the mentors and the students. The third article is by the American Psychological Association published in 1992 and authored by Karen and Lucia. The article details how gender may influence the mentoring process in doctoral programs, especially; in the field of psychology and with regard to female candidates.


Notably, the two databases were very important and resourceful in this search, however; through the search activity I was able to note that ProQuest was specific and its search was narrowed and hence delivered fewer results compared to EBSCOhost. The results were however very different and at no time were two similar works encountered on any database.


References

 Alice, M. B. (1995),. Mentoring women doctoral students: What counselor educators and supervisors can do, Counselor supervision and education, volume number 35, issue number 2.

Edward, J. K. (2004),. A study of doctoral student advisor satisfaction: Considering gender and ethnic grouping at a private research university, southern California University

Karen, R. M. and Lucia, A.G. (1992),. Gender and the mentoring for women: Implications for professional development, The journal of professional psychology: Research and practice, volume 23, issue number 3.

Michael, C. Y. (2004),. Using WebCt to teach courses online, The journal of educational technology, volume number 35, issue number 4.

Rebecca, B. G. (2007),. Exploring mentoring experiences of diverse women in the academy, South Carolina University

Serrat, .C., Corcoles, C. Steegmann, .C., Huertas, A. and Juan, A. (2008),. Mathematical e-learning: state of the art and experiences at the Open University of Catalonia. The International journal of mathematical education in technology and science, volume 39, issue number 4.

Yun, H. M. H. (2009),. An investigation of students media preferences in learning mathematics, Dissertation abstracts international journal, volume 69, issue number 9 a.

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