Searching For and Evaluating Web Resources


Ashley Smolinski

Ashley Smolinski's Portfolio

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Welcome! Want to learn more about locating and evaluating information on the Web? You've come to the right place. While many people already know how to find 'something' by using Google to search for information, finding quality information can be a challenge! This course is designed to help you do just that: find quality information.

Navigating the Sea of Information

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As you probably know, the Internet is filled with information. Some pieces are useful while others seem like white noise. Because the amount of new websites, technologies, and potential resources is expanding every day, finding what you're really looking for can be a challenging process. Rather than settling for something instead of finding what we really want, in this mini-course you'll learn strategies for searching and for determining if there is value in what you've found.

Navigating This Course

Within this course you'll find three units, each with one or two lessons. Each Unit page provides you with an introduction to the topic, while the lessons provide you with further activities and exploration in depth. At the top of the page and the bottom of the page you'll find links to the next lesson or unit as well as the home page.

Course Goals

  1. Learn about the research process, creating guiding questions to help you navigate your search.
  2. Discover advanced search techniques to help you find resources to answer your question.
  3. Develop searching skills through guided and independent practice.
  4. Evaluate your resources based on five useful criteria.

Am I ready for this course?

Use this Research Skills Checklist to see how ready you are to begin this course. Feel free to print this list or just record your answers, keeping track of your final score out of 20.

  • 16 - 20 You're certainly ready for this course!
  • 10 - 15 You're ready, but may need some support.
  • 5 - 14 With assistance, you should be able to complete this course.
  • 0 - 4 This course will be challenging. It may be better to come back at a time when you feel more prepared.

What additional criteria will help me?

  • Previous searching experience.
  • A willingness to explore new technologies.

Unit One: Determining Our Information Needs

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Where do I start when I want to find the answer to my question on the Internet?


  • Identify stages of the research process
  • Develop guiding questions for your research topic
  • Create a focused research question

Complete the following lessons:

Lesson One: The Research Cycle

Lesson Two: Creating Guiding Questions

Unit Two: Using Advanced Search Techniques


How can I search effectively?


  • Identify limiting criteria in Google's advanced searching form
  • Use limiting criteria to search for resources
  • Describe the differences in results using a basic search and an advanced search

Complete the following lessons:

Lesson Three: Advanced Searching Techniques

Lesson Four: Finding Your Resources

Unit Three: Evaluating Information


How do I know if what I found is quality information? What should I look for?


  • Identify stages of the CRAAP model: currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose
  • Evaluate Internet resources based on the criteria and your information needs

Complete the following and final lesson:

Lesson Five: Evaluating Your Resources

Proceed to Unit One: Determining Our Information Needs

Additional Resources Collection

Use this Symbaloo, a collection of resources, for further classroom or research use. Collection of Research Resources

This collection includes video, webpage, and tutorials about evaluating sources and finding information.