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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

March 11th, 2014 12:00 PM
April 7th, 2014 5:00 PM

Rita GavelisCourse Instructor: Rita Gavelis

  • Do your search skills need a power boost?
  • Want to be more efficient in the way you search for information online?
  • Would you like to be able to quickly assess search results and determine the most relevant resource?
  • Want to know how to use search engine features and relational terms to build a more effective search phrase?

Since 2006 Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has included the word "google," which it defines as a verb. Despite that, seasoned searchers are well aware that there is more to life than Google, as well as more to learn about Google. In this course utilizing tutorials, point-of-need exercises and practical assignments Rita Gavelis will help you...

  • Compare engines and their features in order to determine the best resource for the information need
  • Understand how search engine indexing and ranking methods affect your results
  • Customize a search engine for more effective searching
  • Recognize faulty research patterns and information seeking behavior
  • Identify and compare the pros and cons of the free hidden web to paid databases
  • Develop tip sheets and pathfinders that will assist your customers with online searching

Course Description: According to a March 2012 survey conducted by, there are over 644 million active websites worldwide. With this much available, patrons, students and even librarians can be overwhelmed with information while performing a basic search using the common search engines. In this online course, you will gain the skills to be a more effective and efficient searcher by learning how to: analyze the many different engines available, evaluate their site indexing and ranking methods, identify the best engine for a particular format, create more effective search phrases and strings, speed up searches using keyboard shortcuts, learn how to access information via the hidden web, and be able to effectively convey those search strategies to your patrons.

Preliminary Course Outline: Using an Internet connection and web browser, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:

  • Week 1: Search Engines and Customization
    • Comparison of search engines and customized engines
    • Differences in indexing and ranking methods
    • Identifying credible sources
    • Typical information seeking behavior and search misconceptions
  • Week 2: Building an Advanced Search
    • Picking the right terms, word order, phrasing and relational terms
    • Common search features
    • Understanding and narrowing search results
    • Relational terms
    • Narrowing search results to specific format
  • Week 3: Subject Directories, Forums and Alternative Search Engines
    • Uses for directories as research guides and pathfinders in a library
    • How and when to find information using alternative search engines
    • Evaluating information found in directories, forums, and alternative search engines
  • Week 4: The Hidden Web and Databases
    • Alternatives to the popular search engines
    • When to choose a paid database over a free web resource
    • How and when to find information in the invisible web
    • Matching resources with information needs

Pre-course Assignment: To prepare for this course please complete this exercise. The exercise will be repeated at the end of the course and can be used as a practical way to assess your pre and post course searching skills.

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, interviews, and online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Library staff familiar with the basics of web searching who want to improve their search strategies and results. This course is appropriate for anyone who has a need to find information on the web.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

Payment: Your invoice will be emailed to the email address of the person who completed the registration. If that is not the person paying the invoice please forward invoice to the appropriate person. Payment is due within 30 days. If you have any questions about your invoice or payment please contact Gini Ambrosino at [email protected].

Course Start: This online learning course starts on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

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Keywords: Internet, Public Services, Reference, Searching