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The UK's largest digital collection of social sciences and population research data

Census data teaching resource

This project aimed to develop the Collection of Historical and Contemporary Census (CHCC) data and related materials into a major teaching and learning resource.

Through a number of strategic investments by both the JISC and the ESRC, the UK academic community has access to a Collection of Historical and Contemporary Census data and related resources which are available in digital format. While individual datasets were used extensively in research, they were significantly under-used in teaching and learning programmes in higher education (HE). There was clear evidence that the CHCC could be used more widely in teaching and learning programmes in HE.

The central aim of this project was to increase use of the CHCC in teaching and learning by improving accessibility to the primary data resources; developing an integrated set of teaching and learning materials; improving awareness about the contexts in which census data can be used in teaching and learning; integrating contextual materials; providing access to web-based data exploration/visualisation tools; and developing resource discovery tools via the Census Resource Discovery System.

Archive contribution

The UK Data Archive's role in the CHCC project was to develop a stand-alone Census Resource Discovery Service (CRDS) to production-ready standard. The CRDS employed the DDI and the IEEE LOM metadata schemas in order to index its dataset and learning resource records respectively.

The CRDS was made up of three elements:

  • the underlying database containing the metadata
  • a web-based interface via which the database may be searched and browsed
  • a Metadata Entry System

Although centralising the storage and resource discovery of the metadata, the CRDS entry system was distributed, with each CHCC partner entering their own. The Archive also undertook a role in the evaluation of the CRDS and its associated teaching and learning materials. This survey-based evaluation work included testing by students from the ECPR Summer School and a tutor-led case study of the service.

Principal Investigator: Matthew Woollard
Funder: Jisc
Dates: October 2000 - September 2003
Contact: UK Data Service