Teaching Internet Research Skills
a seminar presented by Genie Tyburski

COURSE SECTIONS

Introduction

Myths & Misconceptions

Research Starting Points

Evaluative Skills

Hypothetical Research Exercises

Fact-Finding Exercises

NAVIGATION

Home

Search This Web

Site Map

SPONSORS

The Virtual Chase

Drexel University,
College of Information Science & Technology

MYTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS
Simplifying Research

Patrons want to find information on their own. Quickly. Cheaply. Period. In an attempt to teach them "proper" search or research methods, librarians often give them more than what they want to know. We lecture on correct query formulation, the use of Boolean logic, and on analytical methods for determining quality in information. In essence, we contribute to information overload.

We should recognize that many patrons simply don't care, and then consider how we can help them accomplish simple research tasks. Below appear a few suggestions.

Credit: Technique spotted in Rita Vine's PowerPoint presentation entitled "Keep-It-Simple-Searching."

Description: To help instructors communicate with patrons and provide them with basic searching skills.

print this chart
Don't Do
Don't Do ThisUse library terminology (e.g., Boolean, card catalogs, subject indexes). Use words and descriptions in common use (e.g., subject starting points, quick look-up sites, AND, OR, NOT).
Don't Do ThisPresent a show 'n tell of "good" resources. Present the basic research process (source consideration to starting point to query).
Don't Do ThisTeach Boolean (excepting advanced patrons/classes). Illustrate use of natural language engines (e.g., Google, Vivisimo).
Don't Do ThisIllustrate query formulation and interpretation of search results. Explain why search engines often do not work.
Don't Do ThisProvide complex evaluation skills (excepting advanced patrons/classes). Instruct on how to dissect a Web address.
Don't Do ThisAttempt to teach during one class what it has taken you years of education and experience to learn. Provide your contact information.

 

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Created: 9 October 2001
Revised:
URL:
https://www.virtualchase.com/ResearchSkills/basic_skills2.html
Suggestions:
Genie Tyburski,
editor [at] virtualchase [dot] com