Learn to Search & Research Effectively  

5 Activities: Click to view each activity
#1 Explore - Introducing ISearch & My Lists Explore - Introducing ISearch & My Lists

Have you heard? There is an easy way to find high-quality digital content! Use INFOhio's ISearch! This search engine is easy for students to use. It searches your school library plus nearly all of INFOhio's digital resources with just one click!

Learn more about ISearch with this lesson Getting to Know ISearch

Reflect on what you learned about ISearch from the lesson. Think about how you would answer the following questions.

  1. Based on what you've learned so far, name at least two features of ISearch that will most appeal to your students.
  2. What is one question you have about ISearch that you hope will be answered during the training?
  3. Think of a time when you used an online shopping site (e.g., Amazon, Kohl's, Target, Walmart, Zappos). Did you find what you were looking for? What features did that site have that made it easy or difficult to use? What are some ways that ISearch is similar to, or different from, the online shopping site you used?

Want to learn more? Watch this brief tutorial on using the My Lists Feature in ISearch (2:41).

Next, learn tips and tricks on introducing your students to ISearch.

#2 Read - Introduce Your Students to ISearch Read - Introduce Your Students to ISearch

Your students will quickly recognize the search environment in ISearch.  There are limiters along the left side of the screen to help narrow or broaden search results.


Learn how to help your students using the limiters to narrow search results. Read the lesson, Helping Students Locate Information with ISearch

Reflect on what you learned about ISearch from the lesson. Think about how you might answer the following questions. 

  1. What part of the search process do you think will be most difficult for students?
  2. What part of the search process is most intuitive for students?

Introduce your students to ISearch with these resources:

#3 Watch - Choose the Right Search Terms Watch - Choose the Right Search Terms

When your students are using a search engine such as Google or ISearch, they need to choose search terms or keywords that will lead them to needed information.

Watch Choose the Right Search Terms (1:43 min) to learn about using keywords with search engines.

The narrator in the video says, "A few, precise keywords generally lead to much better results." This is true for both Internet and library resource search engines.

#4 Read - Tips and Tricks to Personalize Your Search Read - Tips and Tricks to Personalize Your Search

Do your students need help developing search terms?  Help is on the way with ISearch.  ISearch includes search term tools to help students learn how to expand and narrow a search using keywords. 

For example, ISearch includes subjects that help students think of related search words. Students will become savvy searchers if they know these simple tricks:

  • Click a subject link to limit results to those with that specific subject.
  • Note the words and phrases that appear on the left under the Subject. Then try searching using those words.


In this image, the search was for weather. Teach students to review the words under subject and record them. In this example, the terms that focus the search are meteorology or weather forecasting. 

A  new search for meteorology or another search for weather forecasting will produce new results and provide additional subject terms. 



Try a search using the terms "personalized learning" in ISearch.  Experiment with the subject terms to limit the results. Note the words and phrases under the Subject and try searching using some of these terms.

#5 Search - Model ISearch to Your Students Search - Model ISearch to Your Students

Here is a quick search you can use to model how ISearch works.


Introduce students to ISearch with this short video, One-Stop Searching with ISearch (1:47).


One-Stop Searching with ISearch from EBSCO on Vimeo.



  • Try a search in the ISearch. Follow a link to ISearch. 
  • Use the keywords Ohio history
  • Note: To create a widget for your classroom website, follow these directions.



  • Explore the tabs along the top.  The tabs provide results-focused for specific grades.


  • Explore the search help tools that you find along the left side of your screen when you click each of the tabs.
    • Can you find the format for the library materials? - - Use this area if you need a specific medium such as a video or an eBook.
    • Can you find source type for the digital resources? - Use this area if you need a  specific type of information such as a magazine, news item, or a report.
    • Can you find a subject? - Use this to find additional keywords or to focus the search.

For Middle School and High School Students

  • Introduce the feature that allows you to create a list in ISearch.
    • Direct students to login to ISearch. (The Student ID and birth month and date are usually the login criteria.)
    • Suggest students brainstorm when they will use the My Lists Feature.
    • Discuss the advantages of keeping lists of resources when performing research.

Additional features to assist students in research.

  • Introduce these features to your students, when they are ready to use them. To reach these features, students need to click on the View/Download button.
    • Google Classroom - to use when working on an assignment.
    • Citation - to assist in creating citations in the proper format
    • Permalink button - to share a resource with another person, easily.

 1. Click View/Download.

2. Choose the tool you need.