Lesson Plans for Making Students Better Online Researchers

Your students have to complete a certain project with the help of online research on the Шnternet. It would seem that entering a phrase in a Google search is not difficult. But how truthful will the information that appears on the first pages be? Is this enough to complete the task? Not likely. That is why students must become better online researchers. 

What should be kept in mind during online research? 

  • Formulation of a search query for search engines.
  • What search results will be really useful? 
  • Checking the information for veracity and relevance. 
  • How to analyze and use the obtained data. 
  • Rules for citing a source.

What exercises can teach your students to search and filter data? 

1) Refinement of search phrases 

Morrison’s 2016 research found that 80% of students rarely or never made a list of possible search words. Time spent defining the problem can lead to a more efficient and streamlined research process. You can have a class discussion or a small group conference to research keywords, consider synonyms or alternative phrases, write questions, etc.

2) Search 

You need to explain to students that the quality of the phrases that are entered into Google, Yahoo, or other systems will determine the quality of their results. Enter some simple search terms using only important keywords. If initial results don’t match your expectations, change your search terms to be more specific. Use quotation marks if you want your keywords to be in exact order.

3) Studying the results 

Students can try to look beyond the first few results. Most website owners understand the importance of SEO and use it to improve the position of their pages in search. However, it does not necessarily mean that they are the most useful or relevant sites for you. In addition, a 2016 Stanford University study found that 82% of high school students can’t tell the difference between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and the real news. Work on it.

4) Data analysis 

Students need to know how to search for the specific information they need on a website. Teach them how to look for a search box on a web page or use Ctrl + F. Check if students understand that you can’t believe everything you read. This may include checking multiple sources.

5) Quoting a source 

Plagiarism and copyright infringement must be avoided. Students can be shown how to describe the data in their own words and cite the source of data. For example, if they find information on Wikipedia, they need to link to the bibliography at the bottom of the article.

Our world is getting more and more saturated with information. So, it’s definitely worth spending some time learning the rules of online research. Optimize your lessons, prepare examples that you will work with students and homework assignments that they will complete. The results of their work will show how effective your instructions were.