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Information Literacy in the Curriculum

The Framework and Online Tutorials

Searching is Strategic

Learning Goals

  • Select an appropriate search tool based on discipline and task at hand.

  • Construct a search based on keywords and use basic search strategies

  • Condense or expand as necessary using search string and facets.

  • Remain persistent!

Assignment Ideas

1. Ask students to choose a topic, develop key terms to search with, and use two different databases to locate information on their topic. Have them compare the results in terms of quantity, types of sources (e.g., government, educational, scholarly, commercial), order/sequence of results, and relevance. Pair students who used different databases with the same topics to compare results.


2. Assign students to identify and use subject headings after conducting a keyword search; after which they write a paragraph on the differences between subject and keyword searching.


(From University of Washington's Research 101 tutorial)

Assessment Ideas

These questions can be added to Canvas as a graded homework assignment. A librarian embedded in your course can create, grade, and provide feedback.

Searching is Strategic

  1. When searching for a newspaper article about a recent natural disaster in California, which search will give you relevant results?
    1. Searching a library biology database using the term “natural disaster”
    2. Searching a library biology database using the terms “natural disaster AND California”
    3. Searching a newspaper database with the term “natural disaster”
    4. Searching a newspaper database with the terms “natural disaster AND California”
  2. How can you narrow your search (check all that apply):
    1. adding an additional keyword or concept
    2. using database suggestions of ways to narrow
    3. deleting a key word
    4. starting your search over