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Assignment

The World Wide Web is an excellent information site for educators. While anyone can enter a word in a search engine and get something back, it takes a little more effort to find good information. In this assignment you will practice using what you have learned in class to find information about an educational topic of your choice.

Procedures

Step 1
Choose an
educational topic of your choice. You will use the same topic every time you search. Choose something interesting to you, such as math projects, ADHD, whole language, cooperative learning, etc.  Open a Word document, name it "search.htm" (don't use quotes), and save all items in the assignment to this document.

Step 2
Conduct a search on your topic using a subject or directory search. Be sure to include the name of the search engine that you used. Use the sources that we examined in class to develop a good search strategy (Guided Tour) Keep a record of your searching techniques on a chart (below).

Search Topic:
Search Terms:

Type of Search:
Search Engine:

 Attempt

Search terms and operators used

# of hits

Quality of Hits

The majority of hits in this search appear to be (choose one):

 

 1.

 

 

 

 2.

You would extend the chart until you developed a good search

SAVE to search.htm

Visit several of the sites that your search found. Choose one of the sites that you found that you think was particularly good. Use the evaluation sheet that your team developed in the Guided Tour to evaluate this site. Be sure to include the URL

Step 3
Conduct a search on your topic using a keyword search using a different search engine. Be sure to include the name of the search engine that you used. Use the sources that we examined in class to develop a good search strategy. Begin by making a list of search terms that you will use in your search. Keep a record of your searching techniques. Create another chart describing how you searched and the results that you got.  Be sure to keep trying until you do a good search. Don't just enter one keyword and then quit. You will be assessed on the quality of your search. Visit several of the sites that your search found. Choose one of the sites that you found that you think was particularly good. Use the evaluation sheet that your team developed to evaluate this site.

SAVE

Step 4
For this step you have a choice. You can search your topic using a meta search engine like dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com). OR You can use the combination search engine Northern Light (http://www.northernlight.com/) .

If you use a meta search engine create a chart describing how you searched and the results that you got.  You will also need to include a breakdown of the results of the different search engines that this meta search engine searched. Be sure to keep trying until you do a good search. Don't just enter one keyword and then quit. You will be assessed on the quality of your search.

If you use the combination search engine, Northern Light, keep track of the keyword(s) that you first entered and the "folders" that you could choose from. You may write your results in a paragraph or design a chart. Be sure to keep trying until you do a good search. Don't just enter one keyword and then quit. You will be assessed on the quality of your search.

As with the other searches, choose one of the sites that you found that you think was particularly good. Use the evaluation sheet that your team developed to evaluate this site.

SAVE

Step 5
By this time you should have used three different search engines. For each search engine you should have a chart describing your search and a description and evaluation of one good site that you found with each search engine. Now you will go back and look at your searches. Compare your results from the different searches. Write a paragraph describing what you found. Some things that you could write about include the number of sites you found, the quality of the sites, or any sites that you found on different search engines.

SAVE AND UPLOAD TO YOUR WEB SITE

 

Scoring Rubric

 

Always

Sometimes

None

Assignment was uploaded to web site on time

(1)

 

 

Effective use of word processing skills.

(1)

 

 

Well written with correct spelling and grammar

(1)

 

 

Description of the search conducted using a subject search is thorough and demonstrates effective use of the search engine

(2)

 

 

Description and evaluation of the site located in the subject search  complete and demonstrates a careful evaluation of the site

(2)

 

 

Description of the search conducted with a keyword search complete and demonstrates effective use of the search engine.

(2)

 

 

Description and evaluation of the site located by the keyword search is complete and demonstrates a careful evaluation of the site

(2)

 

 

Description of the search conducted on the meta search engine is complete and demonstrates effective use of the search engine.

(2)

 

 

Description and evaluation of the site located by the meta search engine complete and demonstrates a careful evaluation of the site

(2)

 

 

Description of the three searches is a good comparison of the searches that were conducted on the different search engines.

(3)

 

 

URLs included and accessible for all three sites

(2)

 

 

Total Points: (20 possible)

 

 

 


Adapted from Karen Milligan

Last Updated Spring Semester, 2000


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