How To Make Students Better Online Researchers

Posted by Ross Crockett on

“This article written by Sahiba Pahwa and published on EdTechReview offers up a practical strategy for developing Information Fluency skills in students, specifically in regards to researching online. The article includes a useful set of links for teachers to explore that are great resources for this.”

 

via EdTechReview

How many times has it been that you’re trying to search for a specific site or on a specific topic too hard but in the end you end up finding nothing. Have you ever questioned yourself why this happens? Well as much as the internet is the easiest and quickest way to acquire abundance of knowledge, it comes with some cons too. For one the task of finding the exact and right place is hard, and then it’s not only collecting the right data but also organizing it in an orderly manner.

For example, you’re aiming to search for the reasons for the great recession that just occurred in the economy. Now just about typing the word recession you may get millions of information sites but it does not help your purpose, not even close to it. So what would you need to do? You would have to type a term that explains about that specific recession like typing “recession in US in early 2000s” your search would become much exact and information would be more clear. Further you would want to know what happened in that recession, it’s effects and the conclusion you draw from it. So you see we have methodically categorized our research.

You see a very easy task like doing an online research also needs some amount of skills and I can help you in acknowledging what those skills are and how to go about it.

So the first and foremost step towards it is asking the right questions to get the right answers. These simple steps can make your research more efficient and effective manner. (Also learn how Using Twitter for Online Research is a great idea)

How to make students better online researchers?

Planning the map inside your head is the most important task of a man. Without a plan a person is just a clueless wanderer. And into the vast oceans of information a wanderer is just bound to be lost. Map in your mind, what is research all about, what are the key points and what you hope to achieve as the conclusion of this research and does your information smoothly flows proving towards your conclusion? This makes the job of searching easier.

Use unique, specific terms

It is simply amazing how many Web pages are returned when performing a search. You might guess that the terms tiger are relatively specialized. A Google search of those terms returned 2,440,000 results! To reduce the number of pages returned, use unique terms that are specific to the subject you are researching.

Use quotation marks for exact phrases

I often remember parts of phrases I have seen on a Web page or part of a quotation I want to track down. Using quotation marks around a phrase will return only those exact words in that order. It’s one of the best ways to limit the pages returned..

Don’t use common words

The major problem starts when you have totally bizarre and uncommon words that may give you millions of results but none related to your research. Trust me that happens a lot! So be careful with what words you choose.

Maximize AutoComplete

Ordering search terms from general to specific in the search box will display helpful results in a drop-down list and is the most efficient way to use AutoComplete. Selecting the appropriate item as it appears will save time typing. You have several choices for how the AutoComplete feature works.

Selecting the most apt site

Many of the online researchers know which site they often will find the right kind of information they require. This makes the elimination of unwanted sites easier and hence improving your speed and quality of research.

Elimination of unwanted Information through speedy evaluation

One should not only have the skill to select the right site but also eliminating the unwanted or vague information provided by the internet through speedy and critical reading and evaluation.

After all these steps I’m very sure your search would become a much easier task and you will see great changes in the quality and quantity of your research.

Useful Links For Searchers:

Here are some links that offer some resources for teachers trying to teach students the digital literacies involved with searching.

• Safe Search Engines for Your Kids
• How to Spot a Fake Website
• Great Tech Expectations: What Should Elementary Students be Able to do and When?
• Boolify Project: An Educational Boolean Web Search Tool (very visual)
• Boolean Searching on the Internet
• Rockwell Schrock’s Boolean Machine
• Web Search Strategies in Plain English



What do you think?