Learning Online: Researching Your Project

Discover how to conduct online research effectively by exploring tools and strategies to help you with your research project.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $39 Find out more

Learn how to search and evaluate online information for your project

With over 63,000 searches per second, searching online is a hugely popular form of research. But how can you make sure you’re doing it right?

To conduct online research effectively, you need to learn specific skills. On this course, you’ll explore the limitations of popular search engines and consider alternative search tools.

You’ll learn how to conduct research, starting with identifying your research question. You’ll also explore primary and secondary sources, how to use specialist databases, and how to critically analyse information so that you can form your own opinion on a research project.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Advantages and limitations of online search tools.
  • Identifying your research question.
  • Advanced search approaches and operators.
  • Different types of information source.
  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Evaluating sources to include in your research.
  • Avoiding plagiarism.
  • Referencing others in your work.
  • Formulating your own opinion.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available nowThis course started 27 Jan 2020

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore using search tools to more effectively locate appropriate sources.
  • Perform searches using different ‘operators’ and advanced search options.
  • Evaluate the validity of information found online by assessing its quality and appropriateness.
  • Apply critical thinking strategies when reviewing different sources to develop your own opinion.

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in conducting online research but will be particularly useful for students in high schools.

This course and the other courses in the Learning Online series provide an excellent foundation for studying the Going to University courses.

The Going to University course collection are created specifically for high school students as well as their teachers who can use these courses as classroom enrichment resources.

Who will you learn with?

Angela  Newton

Angela Newton

Learning Advisor at Skills@Library, University of Leeds.

Neil Morris

Neil Morris

Dean of Digital Education and Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Leeds. For more information see: https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/education/staff/156/professor-neil-morris

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 4 weeks


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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
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  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
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