Learn to Search & Research Effectively  

Let’s get started! Click the down arrow by Activity #1 below and work through the activities sequentially in Get Ready, Dive In, and Achieve Success. Then take the quiz to earn contact hours and a digital badge.

3 Activities: Click to view each activity
#1 Read- Reporting vs Research Read- Reporting vs Research

What is the difference between a report and a research project?

The purpose of a report is to inform.  For students, this is usually a short-term project that asks students to report what they find. Students writing a report simply “stick to the facts”. For example, a fifth-grade student might consult Biography Reference Bank and an encyclopedia like World Book Student to report about Benjamin Franklin’s life.

A research project requires students to develop their own questions to answer. A researcher develops a question to investigate and consults resources, evaluates those sources for usefulness and bias, and applies them to their research question. A research project on Benjamin Franklin, for instance, may ask " Did Franklin the inventor do more for the development of the United States than Franklin the statesman?" He would then need to consult contemporary sources and histories of Franklin to provide evidence as the question is answered.

This module introduces tools to help students develop the skills needed for research in a digital world.

#2 Watch - How Search Engines Work Watch - How Search Engines Work

Watch this short video, The Internet: How Search Works (5:12 min.), from Code.org describing how search engines work.

Freely available information is accessed through search engines like Google or Bing.  However, this is just a fraction of the published information.  Library databases provide access to digital information not available through Internet search engines. 

#3 Watch - Finding Information Beyond Google Watch - Finding Information Beyond Google

Libraries provide free access to high quality information that is not available when using an Internet search engine such as Google. In Ohio, INFOhio provides access to databases for PreK-12 students and educators. So, what is a library database?

Watch this video, What is a Library Database (2:01 min.), from La Trobe University Library and find out.

Later in this module, you'll learn about using INFOhio's search engine, ISearch.