This lesson took place during a 50-minute session with first-year program students in select classes.
The focus was keywords, and a connection was made with a current campus speaker. Using a reference to picture, students were asked to type "January berry" in a Google Image search, since these were the keywords recalled from mention of a picture in the speech. In addition to the picture being in the results, pictures of Halle Berry and January Jones (with berry lips) are included. This served as a good example for keyword searching and the use of AND, OR, NOT... (not Halle Berry not a dish of berries).
Have students log into a shared Google Sheet (spreadsheet) and answer a set of open ended questions about a specific research question. What words would you use? What alternative words would work? etc. Use Google Sheet to spur conversation about developing search terms in research.
fruit stall by Ross Parker, 2006 (CC BY-NC 2.0)
At the beginning of many first year courses I show this picture on the screen and ask the following questions:
From the activity I pull out the following questions:
Reference: Edwards, A. and Hill, V. (2012) Games used in teaching information literacy skills. Available from
https://find.jorum.ac.uk/resources/18121 [accessed 10/8/2014].
Goal is to get students thinking about alternative keywords for searching. In groups, students are given a keyword related to a sample topic. Groups have 2 minutes to brainstorm synonyms or use online tools to create the longest list. After sharing results and methods with the class, a winning group is declared.