Researching a topic
Now it’s time to put what we have learned about searching and evaluating information sources into practice; to independently identify a useful information source and share findings with each other.
In the previous steps of this activity we have considered how the ability to find, select and evaluate information, is essential in the modern world. We have looked at some of the techniques we can use to effectively find and evaluate information, from developing a systematic search to critically appraising the information we locate. From all of this we can conclude that finding information is not in itself a problem: information is in fact something that we can source in abundance in the information society. The problem is rather one of negotiating the information overload and selecting appropriate, reliable and authoritative material.
1. Select one of the following research topics to conduct a search upon:
- Digital divide and information inequality
- Digital literacy and the digital skills gap
- Automation and the rise of the machine
You will find guidance on how to construct a search strategy and improve your search on our Digital Skills Guides should you need it, including interactive tutorials, and guides to various search engines.
2. Select a search tool and conduct your search.
You may find one of the following useful:
Tip: Make use of the advanced search if there is one available. This will enable you to set more search parameters, improving the sensitivity/specificity of your search, and hopefully the relevance of the results you retrieve.
3. Contribute to our open reference list by adding a link and a reference to your information sources on our open Padlet board.
Please include a brief summary of the information source you selected and why it is helpful for the topic you researched. By adding a link you are contributing to a growing body of research which will benefit you and future learners.
See our help on how to use Padlet should you need it.
© University of York (author: Susan Halfpenny)