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Learning activity design exercise on Internet search for

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  1. 1. Octel: simple searchingImogen BertinThis is an adaptation of part of a talk I do about search for the MOOC on Technology Enhanced Learning using theAbsorb/Do/Connect model of learning activity design and is intended to take you15-20 minutes to complete.
  2. 2. The science bit: how Google works
  3. 3. What do Google results mean?The actual URL orweb address is ingreen. Reading theend of the domain(eg .ie or .edu) cangive useful infoThe blue text iswhatever the webdesigner entered asthe page title plushere the file typepdfThe black text iscalled the “snippet”and is taken fromthe body of thepageYou can choosewhat type of resulteg pictures (images)For scholarly documents you can seehow many other people referenced it
  4. 4. Google advanced search• Does exactly what it says on the tin…• If you want to find Ann followed by Brown and not all theAnns and all the Browns, put the search term in speech marks“Ann Brown”
  5. 5. This one is really useful. It allows you to search within a specific site. Excellentfor public bodies with useless websites and hopeless search features when youcannot find that vital form…To exclude a word put – before it eg Shark –attack in the query boxTo include words with similar meanings put a tilde ~ before it eg ~foodIf you want to use the function “or” (ie you don’t want pages with both searchterms on) then it has to be in upper case eg swallow OR martin otherwiseGoogle will ignore it. It may also ignore words like “and” or “in”
  6. 6. Your turn!• Go to and try searching for reports about theelderly in Ireland that use another word for elderly. So lookfor words ‘like’ elderly but not including elderly…• Now we’re going to look at how your previous search historyaffects what results Google shows you… please search onGoogle for:David Cameron Syria chemical weapons• Write down the first ten words of the snippet (the black text)for the top Google result you see• Now go to and enter this number: 354309followed by the ten words you wrote down.• View your ten words, and those that others got, at
  7. 7. Different results… what’s going on…?• Your Google results are personalised based on your searchhistory. Different people see different website links.• They wouldn’t be that different if you were all using recently-restarted computers in a college lab with the same Internetaddress.• Google personalisation is a lot more complicated thanCookies, but understanding Cookies is a good starting point…• Before next week’s session, check out this web page:• Think about your own Internet experiences… use the [classforum] or twitter with hashtag #imooctel to mention onegood or bad aspect of cookies or personalised search resultsthat you have personally experienced.We’ll discuss these at the start of the next session.
  8. 8. What Google and facebook hide…• Further watching: EliPariser