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College Research Literacy Summer 2019--Demonstration

For demonstration purposes

Welcome to Week 6: Searching as Strategic Exploration

Searching as Strategic Exploration

This week you will need to complete the following:

  1. Pre-test --  0 points;  @ 2 minutes
  2. Introduction to Week 2 -- 5 points; @ 5 minutes
  3. Video & Quiz -- 5 points; @ 5 minutes
  4. Reading Assignment & Quiz -- 5 points; @ 20 minutes
  5. Tutorial & Quiz -- 5 points; @ 15 minutes
  6. Learning Activity #1: Strategizing -- 5 points; @ 25 minutes
  7. Learning Activity #2: Keywording -- 5 points; @ 20 minutes
  8. Learning Activity #3: Constructing a Search Strategy for YOUR Topic -- 10 points; @ 20 minutes
  9. Class Discussion -- 5 points; @ 5 minutes
  10. Conclusion to Week 2 & Post-Test -- 5 points; @ 3 minutes

Please answer the questions for the pre-test before completing the rest of the activities for week 6.

Please watch the introductory video to "Searching as Strategic Exploration" and then complete the quiz below.

Adapted from: Burkhardt, J. (2016). Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners. Chicago: Neal-Schuman.

Please watch the video below.  It gives an introduction to this week's framework: Searching as Strategic Exploration. Please complete the quiz after watching the video.

OkStateLibrary. (2016). Inform your thinking: Episode 6 - Search smarter. Retrieved from

There is an interactive section in this week's reading as well as two quizzes that are all available to you as you read through the chapter "Plan".

On page 45 you will see that you can take a quiz, this is optional.  Please complete the quiz questions below after reading the chapter.

Please work through the tutorial below and then answer the quiz questions.

New Literacies Alliance. (2018). Search strategies: Design, refine, adjust.

This learning activity will make use of the following research question. 

  • How do alternative energy sources, such as wind farms and solar panels, impact the consumption of fossil fuels in the United States?

Before beginning your search for resources, you will need to build a strategic plan for gathering information.

The questions below will guide you thru the process of creating your search strategy.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will learn to plan a strategy for finding information.
  • Students will learn to test that strategy and evaluate the results.
  • Students will learn to modify their strategy based on the first test.

Adapted from: Burkhardt, J. (2016). Strategizing. In Teaching information literacy reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners (p. 116). Chicago: Neal-Schuman.

Please watch the video below and work through the questions and worksheet that are included. There are two sets of questions that make up this learning activity, be sure that you complete both sections to earn full credit.

You are now going to come up with keywords or phrases that will help you to search for information in order to answer your research question about food trucks. You will then be able to use this technique for the topic you have chosen for your annotated bibliography.

Please download the worksheet below. Use the worksheet to formulate a search strategy, the boxes represent the use of a variety of keywords for your search. You should use this technique as you think about starting your annotated bibliography that will be due at the end of week 8.

Based on the research question you have written about food trucks, brainstorm to identify words that are related or have a similar meaning to the key ideas from your question. Use the worksheet to create at least 2 different search strategies that you would use in a research database.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will learn how to extract relevant keywords from their research question.
  • Students will be able to take these keywords and generate related words or terms that they can use to develop a search strategy.
  • Students will learn how to search a library database using the keywords and terms they generated to find manageable, relevant search results.

Adapted from: Oravet, C. C. (2015). Keywording. In P. Bravender, H. McClure, & G. Schaub (Eds.), Teaching information literacy threshold concepts: Lesson plans for librarians (pp. 133–136). Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries.

Please complete the activity below. You should be using the topic you have selected to use for the Annotated Bibliography for your final.

If you would like to view this in full screen (recommended):

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will apply skills for constructing a search strategy to their individual research question.

Adapted from:  McAdoo, M. L. (2015). The student’s survival guide to research. Chicago: Neal-Schuman.

You will need to login to our Blackboard class to participate in our class discussion.  Please answer the question posted and interact with other students' or instructors' posts to receive credit.

This week's discussion question:

Please answer all three questions:

Have you ever attempted to conduct your research by first constructing a search strategy?

Do you think it will be helpful to do this as you prepare for the final assignment?

What questions do you have about the annotated bibliography?

Hopefully, the process of creating your search strategy hasn't been difficult or painful!  Keep in mind that a successful search strategy is flexible.  Being flexible with developing keywords, deciding which resources to search, and the combination of different search terms together will be beneficial to you throughout the entire process. We urge you to bold and creative, not hesitating to experiment and to try new ways of thinking about each individual research topic you approach.

As librarians, we know that we are sometimes one of the best research resources that you can access. Librarians generally have a great familiarity with the resources available at their libraries, lots of experience understanding and maximizing the use of those resources, and are able to talk through research questions that you are working with.  We hope that you will explore this facet of research either for this class or for other research projects you may have.

After you submit the post-test, you will have completed week six of this class -- only two more to go!  

Linked below is a sample annotated bibliography that you can use as a guide to complete the final assignment along with the instructions you'll need.