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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Complete These Free Courses to Become a Better Researcher

A couple of summers ago Google offered a MOOC about search skills. The content of that course is still available online for anyone to use at his or her own pace.

Power Searching With Google provides six units of study on search strategies. Each unit includes slides, videos, and text. Examples of how each strategy works in practice are provided by Daniel Russell, Google's search anthropologist. One of the videos from the course is embedded below.


Advanced Power Searching With Google is full of challenges through which you can test your power searching skills. The challenges include helpful videos and texts to consult when you get stuck on a challenge. When you think that you have successfully completed a challenge, you can check your answer before moving to your next challenge.

Applications for Education
Whether you are looking to brush-up on your search skills or you are looking for search lessons to share with your students, Google's Power Searching courses are valuable resources. I've watched many of Daniel Russell's videos and read many of blog posts about search strategies. Every time that I watch one of his videos or read one of his posts I come away with a new little nugget of information that helps me become a better researcher. Many of the strategies aren't complicated, but knowing when to employ them goes a long way toward becoming a better researcher.

Even if you don't use the entirety of these courses, you and your students could glean a lot information by trying the Advanced Power Searching challenges.

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