Module 2: Strategic Searching

This module focuses on the process of planning, evaluating, and revising searches during strategic exploration. There are two knowledge outcomes and one disposition that make up this module.

  • Outcome 2.1: Plan, conduct, evaluate, and revise searches to achieve relevant results.

    Performance Indicators:

    2.1.1: Select appropriate basic and advanced search options to satisfy different needs.
    2.1.2: Identify keyword searching as an appropriate basic search strategy when beginning research.
    2.1.3: Apply basic search limiters or filters to increase the relevance of results (e.g., checking a "peer-reviewed" or "scholarly journals" box).
    2.1.4: Given a topic, identify terms and concepts to use in a search for basic background information.
    2.1.5: Given a description of a research topic, identify keywords.
    2.1.6: Scan search results for synonyms and keywords to use for additional searches.
    2.1.7: Decide when the number of results makes it worthwhile to read through the individual results.
    2.1.8: Given a list of results, select titles relevant to the topic.
    2.1.9: Given a set of results that is too large, select keywords that will effectively narrow search results.
    2.1.10: Use advanced search syntax such as synonyms and truncation to increase the number of relevant results
    2.1.11: Apply nested logic structures, Boolean operators, and truncation to successfully construct an advanced search.
    2.1.12: Use sophisticated search limiters and modifiers to improve search results.
  • Outcome 2.2: Compare and contrast a range of search tools.

    Performance Indicators:

    2.2.1: Identify differences between search tools such as those on the open web, in a database, and in a library catalog.
    2.2.2: Understand when it is appropriate to use a web search engine to find information.
    2.2.3: Compare the types of sources found in different search tools.
    2.2.4: Identify a range of possible sources, such as scholars, industries, and organizations, that would likely have created or collected useful information on a topic.
    2.2.5: Match descriptions of scope, content, and limitations to the search tools they describe.

Disposition 2.1: Productive persistence

Learners who are disposed to demonstrate productive persistence during their searches for information approach searching as iterative and not linear by employing alternative strategies and learning from mistakes.

    Example behaviors:
  • Adapting and evolving new strategies rather than clinging to familiar search techniques.
  • Handling feelings of frustration that commonly surface during the search process.
  • Recovering from a failed search in order to continue searching until the information need is satisfied.
  • Taking constructive assignment feedback from instructors as an impetus to continue searching for better sources.