Welcome to the course

Welcome to the fourth course in the Learning Online series. In this course, we consider searching and researching.

This course is just one of a series designed by the University of Leeds for school-based learners and their teachers. As this is an open course, we also welcome other learners: as you will have seen from the welcome area, we have a diverse cohort signed up. However, it is important to recognise that this course, and the content and activities within it, has been specifically designed to help those studying at school or college make the transition to studying at university or the work place.

It is anticipated that it will take around two hours to complete the tasks during this week. This includes watching videos, joining discussions, reading articles and completing any exercises. If you have more time, we have also provided some links to additional reading and resources.

This course is all about searching and researching online. Being able to find information effectively, and knowing how to critically analyse what we find, is an important part of being an effective online learner. This short course will help you to develop these skills.

We have provided a course map to help you navigate your journey through the course: click on the image to access, or you can download the map from the Downloads section below.

An image showing the course map - find the full version in the 'Downloads' section below

In this first week we’ll concentrate on how to use search engines to uncover new information. You will learn how to build up your understanding of a topic through identifying and using multiple sources. Through a range of exercises you will be able to put these new skills into practice.

In the second week you’ll learn how to assess, evaluate and critically analyse the information available to you. We’ll explore the way in which information is built upon over time, and how this ‘information journey’ can shape our understanding. There will be opportunity in this week for you to research and share an ‘information journey’ for your own chosen topic or question.

There’s plenty to keep you busy and interested, and we really hope you enjoy the course and the activities that we’ve planned.

Have your say:

Please use the comments to share your reasons for joining this course. Please also let us know where you are from: this course is open to learners world-wide.

Take some time to read the posts from other learners. If you come across someone with similar interests to you, you may choose to ‘follow’ them; you can then filter the discussions to view only the comments from those you are following. This can help to make discussions easier to manage.

Next steps

When you are ready to move on, click ‘Mark as complete’. You can monitor your progress through the course by clicking the ‘Progress’ tab at the top of each FutureLearn page. This will show you the steps you have completed. You can also click the ‘Activity’ tab to see all recent posts, and the ‘Replies’ tab to see responses from other participants to your comments.

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This article is from the free online course:

Learning Online: Searching and Researching

University of Leeds