So, you've been given an assignment to research a topic.
First, you've checked out all the print resources.
Now you are faced with some problems.
- Which internet based resources will you use?
- What kind of search will you do?
- How will you state your search strategy?
- How will you know if your sources are any good?
- How will you cite your internet based sources?
- Will you print, download or email the information to yourself?
This project is designed to introduce search strategies and resources for today's information age.
The Task or Quest
To develop a quality search strategy and determine which online resource(s) meet your specific information needs.
To complete the task, you will need the following skills which align with the Arizona Technology Standards.
- Skill in framing questions which define the information needed.
- Skill in determining the appropriate database for the information needed.
- Skill in following directions and on-screen instructions.
- Skill in using key words and logical connectors.
- Skill in analyzing titles, headings and citations.
- Skill in creating citations.
- Skill in maneuvering through the pages of the internet.
- Skill in saving and printing information.
- Skill in evaluating information for accuracy, objectivity and relevancy.
How we will accomplish the process
The following is an overview of the activities.
- Each student will take the online pretest.
- Each student will be given a topic for research.
- Each student will be given a worksheet to use in identifying a selected topic sentence, subject, and keywords during this information literacy activity.
- Each student will use an online resource to locate general information on the topic.
- Each student will print out evaluation worksheets to be used in selected activities.
- Each student will download articles and complete evaluations of each article.
- Each student will correctly cite the sources.
- Each student will submit the complete packet of worksheets, printed articles and evaluations to the classroom instructor.
- Each student will take the online post-test.
Resources we will use
Subscription Services located on the MdN LRTC homepage:
- Infotrac (by the Gale Group): Multiple databases containing thousands of curriculum-targeted primary documents, biographies, topical essays and viewpoints, background information, critical analyses, full-text coverage of hundreds of magazines, thousands of photographs and illustrations, and hours of audio and video clips. A larger version of the Infotrac database is available at Tempe Public Library with a public library card.
- Worldbookonline: An online encyclopedia with offers information, graphics and links to other web information.
Search engine links:
- Ask is a search engine that allows natural language questions.
- Yahoo finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.
- Dogpile is a meta-search engine, that is it returns all the best results from leading search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask.
- Bing is Microsoft's search engine, which rivals Google.
Your teacher's assignment
Once you have completed all seven activities, you should be able to put all the parts together. You are competent in developing a search strategy and in understanding how the various resources work. You should also be able to evaluate the resources/information that you have found. Now you have the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned.
Your classroom instructor will determine your final project.
Definitions used in the unit
Now you know a lot more about the resources available to you. No more guesswork when searching for information. You should be proud of yourselves! You can use what you've learned to quickly and efficiently locate and evaluate information for any of your school and personal needs. Are there other sites to still be explored? Absolutely! You will have many opportunities in other classes to continue this process. Remember learning never stops and INFORMATION IS POWER!!!