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Friday, March 21, 2014

Three Good Web Search Tutorials for Students

One of the first things that I do with any group of new-to-me students is talk with them about research strategies. The following tutorials don't cover everything that I cover with students, but they do reinforce some of the basic skills that students should develop.

Vaughn Memorial Library at Acadia University hosts a series of four free animated tutorials designed to teach students lessons on web research strategies. The four tutorials are Credible Sources Count, Research It Right, Searching With Success, and You Quote It, You Note It. In Credible Sources Count students learn how to recognize the validity of information on the Internet. It's a good tutorial except for a strong emphasis on using domain names for determining validity. Research It Right walks students through the process of forming a research question through the actual research steps. Searching With Success shows students how search engines function. The tutorial gives clear examples and directions for altering search terms. You Quote It, You Note It shows students what plagiarism is and how to avoid accidentally plagiarizing someone's work.

The Kentucky Virtual Library hosts an interactive map of the research process for students. The map, titled How To Do Research, walks students through the research process from start to finish with every step along the way. One of the things about this map that school librarians will like is that it is not focused solely on web research. How To Do Research includes a good section about using library catalogs, books, and magazines.

A good resource that can help students understand web search strategies is Common Craft's Web Search Strategies in Plain English.

The video can be viewed online. If you would like a copy to download or embed into your blog like I have done above you will need to have a Common Craft subscription.

Disclosure: I do have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft.