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Teaching Ten Steps to
Better Web Research
Fall CUE
October 25, 2013
By Mark E. Moran
Dulcinea Media
Links to studies & articles discussed
are at the end of this presentation and
at

http://bit.ly/FallCUE
Dulcinea Media provides free content & tools that
help educators teach students how to use the
Internet effectively.
http:...
Educator Reviews of Dulcinea Media
Educator Reviews
Educator Reviews
Our generation
Their generation
“Digital natives are
extraordinarily sophisticated
and strangely narrow.” 1
In 2010 Dulcinea
In 2010 Dulcinea
Media Surveyed
Media Surveyed
300 middle and
300 middle and
high school
high school
stud...
Conclusions….
A majority of students:
 don’t know how to form a sound search query;
 don’t have a strategy for dealing w...
 “Students’ high level of
browsing… at the expense of
thinking about information
need, planning for strategies
and evalua...
College Students in 2010

 “[S]tudents’ level of faith in their search engine
of choice is so high that they do not feel ...
• Not one of the 600 college students surveyed
“could give an adequate conceptual definition of how
Google returns results...
• “Electronic media can “overwhelm youth with
information that they may not have the skills or
experience to evaluate.” An...
Students’ Primary “Strategy”

... wildly firing random
terms into a search box,
and hoping they’ll get
lucky.
Why Teach Web Research?

“[T]he [b]illions spent to wire schools

is of little

use unless students know how to retrieve u...
“Participation Gap”
 Students with
support are
finding ways to
thrive in complex
digital information
environment.8
• Students without access to librarians teaching
Web research skills show up at college “beyond
hope”….”they have learned ...
A “New Divide”
 Students with access
to librarians teaching
Web research skills
“take prize of better
grades” in college....
An Informed Internet Citizenry

“Initiatives that help educate people in this domain…
could play an important role in achi...
Improving Search Skills Starts With
Educators
 Emerging research indicates that many teachers
do not have the necessary skills to navigate the
Internet.
-- Barbara Com...
“Students see educators
modeling an effective
research process and
learn from it.”
-Colette Cassinelli
librarian/ technolo...
There is No Quick Fix
 Effective web research skills cannot be
learned in a week, a semester, or a year.
Must Be Integrated into Curriculum

 “[L]leaving information literacy to librarians alone
suggests a failure to understan...
 Web research skills must be taught throughout
primary school years to break the “culture of
use” currently seen in this ...
A New Approach?

 Educators must teach broad concepts and
strategies, not how to use specific tools.
-- Authors of ERIAL ...
“Use better interfaces and more sophisticated
indexing methods to nudge students, incrementally,
toward competence.”5
- Ca...
 “Unless we can
demonstrate some
measurable payoff to
searching, students
aren’t going to do it.”5
- Lisa Rose-Wiles, Lib...
A New Approach?
“We have shown the importance of looking at the whole
process of information seeking and content
evaluatio...
How Do Effective Researchers
Behave?
• Start general with several keywords
• Try new combinations in a systemic manner
• U...
Habitudes

• Curiosity
• Perseverance
• Adaptability
Step 1: Where to Search
• The Internet may not be the best place to
start; databases may help you find what you’re
seeking...
Step 1: Where to Search
• Students should not count on search engines
exclusively.
•Educators should recommend individual ...
Step 1: Where to Search

• Give students a list of
10 sites.
• Students must defend
their sources before they
start writin...
Step 1: Where to Search – Learn from
Others
Step 2: Try Several Search Engines
Step 2: Use Several Search Engines
• Suggest a two-week “Google Holiday” to

lessen dependency.

• Introduce meta-search e...
Step 2: Try Several Search Engines…..
• SweetSearch searches
35,000 websites that research
experts have evaluated and
appr...
Step 3: Think Before You Search
“If you don’t know
where you’re going,
you’ll probably end
up somewhere else.”
- Yogi Berr...
Step 3: Think Before You Search
Students should rewrite
assignments in their
own words.
Next, students should
write out th...
Step 3: Think Before You Search

 Writing questions helps
students explore the
topic from different
angles.
Step 3: Think Before You Search

Writing questions helps students focus in on
the area of interest to them.
Step 3: Think Before You Search

Thorough questions
let students know
when their research
is complete–when
their questions...
Good Questions --> Good Search Terms

 Extract keywords from your questions.
Pair main keywords serially with lesser
key...
Take a bottoms up approach.
Cover the Whole Field
 Use 2 or 3 keywords;
 in many combinations;
 important words first;
 adjust incrementally;
 co...
Search Engines, Not Answer Machines

The goal:
 Provide keywords in the search box
 that help you find documents
 that ...
Match Words in Search Box to Words on the
Page

“Imagine your dream document.
What words would the author of that
document...
Teach students not to
expect magic “answers.”
Instead, they want to
find relevant and
authoritative sources
from which they can
extract their own
answers.
Step 4: Dig deep for the best results
• Many websites rank high for reasons
unrelated to the quality of their content.
• P...
Step 4: Dig deep….
• Google and other search engines optimize their
results for adults, who want to know “what
happened to...
Step 4: Dig deep….

• With Yolink users can browse search results in
context without opening them.
• Integrated into Sweet...
Step 5: Make Search Engines Work for You
• Quotation marks are a critical tool students
should know when to use.
• But adv...
Step 5: Make Search Engines Work for You
• Learn the AROUND function.
• Search “Kennedy" AROUND(10) “moon” and
the top res...
Step 5: Make Search Engines Work for You
• As you search, add new keywords.
• Avoid “looping” by documenting your search
w...
Step 6: Don’t Believe Everything You Read
Students should think like a detective.
•A dose of healthy skepticism is require...
Step 7: Find Primary Sources
•Think of primary sources such as photos,
diaries and newspapers as “eyewitness
accounts” – w...
Step 7: Looking at the Original Source?
• If you suspect a site may not be the original
source of information, google a ke...
Step 8: Who Published the Article?
• Do editors or experts review the information?
Is it thorough?
• Do the author and pub...
Step 8: Who Published the Article?
• If the site does not provide the name of the
publisher and its editors you
on it.

ca...
Step 8: Who Published the Article?

• See 10 Reasons Why
Students Can’t Cite
Wikipedia.
More: http://bit.ly/dlxX6i
Step 8: Who Published the Article?
Assessing the top level domain (.com. .gov,
.org, .edu) is not as useful as commonly
be...
Step 9: Why Was the Article Written?
• Always ask, “why did the writer write this?”
• Is the site trying to sell you somet...
Step 9: Why Was the Article Written?
• Many websites that appear to offer valid
information but were created for another
p...
Step 10: When was information written
or last revised?
• Determine when an article was published or
last updated.
• If you...
The End?
Yes, but it’s only the beginning of our efforts to
help educators teach students how to use the
Web effectively.
...
Works Cited:
1. Born Digital, John Palfrey and Urs Gasser
2. Mark E. Moran and Shannon Firth, “A Study of Students Online ...
Works Cited:
7. Geoffrey Nunberg, “Teaching Students to Swim in the Online Sea,” The New York Times,
February 13, 2005.
8....
Survey:

Dulcinea Media Links:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/82BM99Z

SweetSearch 10 Steps:

http://www.SweetSearch.com/Te...
Presentation at Fall CUE 2013 on Teaching Web Research
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  • But can they search the Web PHOTO
  • They choose keywords wisely. They start generally and refine keywords systematically, adding new keywords they discover.
  • Transcript of "Presentation at Fall CUE 2013 on Teaching Web Research"

    1. 1. Teaching Ten Steps to Better Web Research Fall CUE October 25, 2013 By Mark E. Moran Dulcinea Media
    2. 2. Links to studies & articles discussed are at the end of this presentation and at http://bit.ly/FallCUE
    3. 3. Dulcinea Media provides free content & tools that help educators teach students how to use the Internet effectively. http://www.DulcineaMedia.com SweetSearch, A Search Engine for Students www.SweetSearch.com Sign-up for our free daily newsletter: http://www.findingdulcinea.com/info/newsletter.html Follow us on Twitter: @findingDulcinea
    4. 4. Educator Reviews of Dulcinea Media
    5. 5. Educator Reviews
    6. 6. Educator Reviews
    7. 7. Our generation
    8. 8. Their generation
    9. 9. “Digital natives are extraordinarily sophisticated and strangely narrow.” 1
    10. 10. In 2010 Dulcinea In 2010 Dulcinea Media Surveyed Media Surveyed 300 middle and 300 middle and high school high school students in New students in New York. 22 York.
    11. 11. Conclusions…. A majority of students:  don’t know how to form a sound search query;  don’t have a strategy for dealing with poor results;  can’t articulate how they know content is credible;  don’t check the author or date of an article.
    12. 12.  “Students’ high level of browsing… at the expense of thinking about information need, planning for strategies and evaluating obtained information.”3 -- Shu Hsien L. Chen (2003)
    13. 13. College Students in 2010  “[S]tudents’ level of faith in their search engine of choice is so high that they do not feel the need to verify for themselves who authored the pages they view or what their qualifications might be.”4 -- Eszter Hargittai, et al Northwestern University Int’l J. of Communications 4 (2010)
    14. 14. • Not one of the 600 college students surveyed “could give an adequate conceptual definition of how Google returns results….the word ‘magic’ came up a lot.”5 --ERIAL study (Illinois)
    15. 15. • “Electronic media can “overwhelm youth with information that they may not have the skills or experience to evaluate.” And literacy skills overlap with safety skills.6 -- Berkman Center for Internet & Society, March 2010
    16. 16. Students’ Primary “Strategy” ... wildly firing random terms into a search box, and hoping they’ll get lucky.
    17. 17. Why Teach Web Research? “[T]he [b]illions spent to wire schools is of little use unless students know how to retrieve useful information from the oceans of sludge on the Web.”7 -- Geoffrey Nunberg UC Berkeley School of Information
    18. 18. “Participation Gap”  Students with support are finding ways to thrive in complex digital information environment.8
    19. 19. • Students without access to librarians teaching Web research skills show up at college “beyond hope”….”they have learned to ‘get by’ with Google.“9 -- University College London
    20. 20. A “New Divide”  Students with access to librarians teaching Web research skills “take prize of better grades” in college.9
    21. 21. An Informed Internet Citizenry “Initiatives that help educate people in this domain… could play an important role in achieving an informed Internet citizenry.” 4 -- Eszter Hargittai, et al
    22. 22. Improving Search Skills Starts With Educators
    23. 23.  Emerging research indicates that many teachers do not have the necessary skills to navigate the Internet. -- Barbara Combes, Professor, Edith Cowan University, Australia
    24. 24. “Students see educators modeling an effective research process and learn from it.” -Colette Cassinelli librarian/ technology teacher Portland, OR
    25. 25. There is No Quick Fix  Effective web research skills cannot be learned in a week, a semester, or a year.
    26. 26. Must Be Integrated into Curriculum  “[L]leaving information literacy to librarians alone suggests a failure to understand the scope of the problem.” 7 -- Geoffrey Nunberg
    27. 27.  Web research skills must be taught throughout primary school years to break the “culture of use” currently seen in this generation of users. -- Barbara Combes
    28. 28. A New Approach?  Educators must teach broad concepts and strategies, not how to use specific tools. -- Authors of ERIAL study
    29. 29. “Use better interfaces and more sophisticated indexing methods to nudge students, incrementally, toward competence.”5 - Casper Grathwohl Oxford University Press
    30. 30.  “Unless we can demonstrate some measurable payoff to searching, students aren’t going to do it.”5 - Lisa Rose-Wiles, Librarian Seton Hall University
    31. 31. A New Approach? “We have shown the importance of looking at the whole process of information seeking and content evaluation… from the first decision about which search engine or Web site to consult initially… to the final stage of settling on a page with the sought-after content.” 4 ---Eszter Hargittai, et al
    32. 32. How Do Effective Researchers Behave? • Start general with several keywords • Try new combinations in a systemic manner • Use more precise, or even natural language. • Look well beyond the first few results, and return often to favorite, reliable sites.
    33. 33. Habitudes • Curiosity • Perseverance • Adaptability
    34. 34. Step 1: Where to Search • The Internet may not be the best place to start; databases may help you find what you’re seeking far faster.
    35. 35. Step 1: Where to Search • Students should not count on search engines exclusively. •Educators should recommend individual sites. • Use student-friendly tools for aggregating your own favorite sites. e.g. Symbaloo or Diigo.
    36. 36. Step 1: Where to Search • Give students a list of 10 sites. • Students must defend their sources before they start writing. -Michelle Baldwin -Anastasis Academy
    37. 37. Step 1: Where to Search – Learn from Others
    38. 38. Step 2: Try Several Search Engines
    39. 39. Step 2: Use Several Search Engines • Suggest a two-week “Google Holiday” to lessen dependency. • Introduce meta-search engines (eg. Zuula). More about search engines: http://bit.ly/bO7FbB
    40. 40. Step 2: Try Several Search Engines….. • SweetSearch searches 35,000 websites that research experts have evaluated and approved. • SweetSearch4Me features sites for emerging learners. •We created these, yet don’t use them exclusively– we use the full range of resources.
    41. 41. Step 3: Think Before You Search “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” - Yogi Berra
    42. 42. Step 3: Think Before You Search Students should rewrite assignments in their own words. Next, students should write out the questions they want their research to answer. -Angela Maiers, - Digital Literacy expert
    43. 43. Step 3: Think Before You Search  Writing questions helps students explore the topic from different angles.
    44. 44. Step 3: Think Before You Search Writing questions helps students focus in on the area of interest to them.
    45. 45. Step 3: Think Before You Search Thorough questions let students know when their research is complete–when their questions have been answered.
    46. 46. Good Questions --> Good Search Terms  Extract keywords from your questions. Pair main keywords serially with lesser keywords.  Choose nouns instead of verbs.
    47. 47. Take a bottoms up approach.
    48. 48. Cover the Whole Field  Use 2 or 3 keywords;  in many combinations;  important words first;  adjust incrementally;  cover the “whole field.”
    49. 49. Search Engines, Not Answer Machines The goal:  Provide keywords in the search box  that help you find documents  that are helpful to your research.
    50. 50. Match Words in Search Box to Words on the Page “Imagine your dream document. What words would the author of that document definitely include?” -Joyce Valenza Never Ending Search School Library Journal
    51. 51. Teach students not to expect magic “answers.”
    52. 52. Instead, they want to find relevant and authoritative sources from which they can extract their own answers.
    53. 53. Step 4: Dig deep for the best results • Many websites rank high for reasons unrelated to the quality of their content. • Professionals and academics don’t “optimize” their content for search engines, so it usually does not appear at the top. • Don’t stop at the first page!!
    54. 54. Step 4: Dig deep…. • Google and other search engines optimize their results for adults, who want to know “what happened today.” •Google continually strives to deliver “fresher” results. • For school research, “fresher” is not usually better.
    55. 55. Step 4: Dig deep…. • With Yolink users can browse search results in context without opening them. • Integrated into SweetSearch, Yolink can be used on other sites through a browser add-on. •SweetSearch = “better indexing,” Yolink = “better interface” suggested by Oxford University Press.
    56. 56. Step 5: Make Search Engines Work for You • Quotation marks are a critical tool students should know when to use. • But advanced search options are the best way to mandate or exclude certain words.
    57. 57. Step 5: Make Search Engines Work for You • Learn the AROUND function. • Search “Kennedy" AROUND(10) “moon” and the top results will be ones in which Kennedy appears within ten words of moon. •NOTE: both search terms must be in quotes, AROUND must be capitalized, and the number must be in parentheses.
    58. 58. Step 5: Make Search Engines Work for You • As you search, add new keywords. • Avoid “looping” by documenting your search with a bookmarking tool, or keep a written record.
    59. 59. Step 6: Don’t Believe Everything You Read Students should think like a detective. •A dose of healthy skepticism is required. •Information is only as good as its source. • No single element determines credibility. •ALWAYS verify critical information with several sources.
    60. 60. Step 7: Find Primary Sources •Think of primary sources such as photos, diaries and newspapers as “eyewitness accounts” – which are generally more reliable than second-hand information. More: http://bit.ly/6CnTrq
    61. 61. Step 7: Looking at the Original Source? • If you suspect a site may not be the original source of information, google a key phrase. • If the phrase appears on another site, evaluate the credibility of that site. More: http://bit.ly/9k6a2v
    62. 62. Step 8: Who Published the Article? • Do editors or experts review the information? Is it thorough? • Do the author and publisher have a wellestablished reputation? Search their names in a search engine.
    63. 63. Step 8: Who Published the Article? • If the site does not provide the name of the publisher and its editors you on it. cannot rely • Even if it “looks good or sounds good.”
    64. 64. Step 8: Who Published the Article? • See 10 Reasons Why Students Can’t Cite Wikipedia. More: http://bit.ly/dlxX6i
    65. 65. Step 8: Who Published the Article? Assessing the top level domain (.com. .gov, .org, .edu) is not as useful as commonly believed. • • Be wary of sites containing words like "free/discount/best/your/Web.” • Be critical of sites where advertisements blend with content.
    66. 66. Step 9: Why Was the Article Written? • Always ask, “why did the writer write this?” • Is the site trying to sell you something? • Does the site have any social or political biases? Eg. WhiteHouse.gov is not a neutral source for information on U.S. Presidents.
    67. 67. Step 9: Why Was the Article Written? • Many websites that appear to offer valid information but were created for another purpose.  •More: http://bit.ly/9dzELE
    68. 68. Step 10: When was information written or last revised? • Determine when an article was published or last updated. • If you can’t, then confirm the currency of the information elsewhere. • Use a news search engine, add the current year as a search term, or Advanced Search Options to restrict dates (imperfect). More: http://bit.ly/9dzELE
    69. 69. The End? Yes, but it’s only the beginning of our efforts to help educators teach students how to use the Web effectively. In Fall 2013, Mark Moran and Angela Maier will release their co-authored book, “Digital Literacy: Lessons for Leaders and Learners.”
    70. 70. Works Cited: 1. Born Digital, John Palfrey and Urs Gasser 2. Mark E. Moran and Shannon Firth, “A Study of Students Online Behavior,” March 2010. http://blog.findingdulcinea.com/2011/06/a-study-of-students-online-research-behavior.html 3. Shu-Hsien L. Chen. “Searching the Online Catalog and the World Wide Web.” Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences, 41 1 (September 2003) 29-43 4. Eszter Hargittai etal, “Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content,” International Journal of Communications 4 (2010), 468-494, 1932-8036/20100468 5. Steve Kolowich, Searching for Better Research Habits, Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2010 http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/09/29/search 6. On “Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media landscape” Berkman Center for Internet & Society. February 24, 2010. http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/node/5951 (cont’d)
    71. 71. Works Cited: 7. Geoffrey Nunberg, “Teaching Students to Swim in the Online Sea,” The New York Times, February 13, 2005. 8.Project Information Literacy Smart Talk, no. 3, John Palfrey, "Rethinking Plagiarism in the Digital Age?" September 1, 2010. http://projectinfolit.org/st/palfrey.asp 9. . UCL. “Information behavior of the researcher of the future”: 11 January 2008. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/reppres/gg_final_keynote_11012008.pdf 10. Media Post: Google Research Focuses on Search Failures, September 21, 2010 http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=136114&nid=118854
    72. 72. Survey: Dulcinea Media Links: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/82BM99Z SweetSearch 10 Steps: http://www.SweetSearch.com/TenSteps Yolink: http://www.yolinkeducation.com/education/ Primary Sources: http://bit.ly/6CnTrq Original Source? http://bit.ly/9k6a2v Can’t Cite Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/dlxX6i Who? http://bit.ly/9dzELE Why? http://bit.ly/aTfAPo When? http://bit.ly/cZDEig
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