From Google to Academic Search Premiere

From Google to Academic Search Premiere

Overview: In this activity, students compare search results for topic searches in Google, a database, and Searchworks to better understand the different search mechanisms available to them in their research.

Author: Phyllis Kayten, Senior Reference Specialist at Green Library

Activity name: From Google to Academic Search Premiere: Comparing Search Engines and Outcomes

Class: PWR 1/PWR 2

Activity brief description: This exercise asks students to search their topic across a variety of platforms  (from popular to academic) and then reflect on the results.

Schedule: This activity was originally designed to be completed immediately prior to the Library Workshop, which would mean it would be done in weeks 3 or 4.  For PWR 2, since it is a research refresher, it could be useful as early as weeks 2 or 3.

Activity length:  In this group-based format, plan at least 30-40 minutes for this activity.

Activity goals: To help students learn how to access resources for a specific topic and to start to understand the differences between different search engines.

Activity details: See handout.

Additional notes:  This activity was developed by Phyllis Kayten, Senior Reference Specialist at Green Library, to be used specifically as preparation for PWR 1 library workshops. Phyllis first shared this activity with the PWR lecturers during the 2012 September Professional Development sessions, but has updated it for our use as recently as February 2020.  Phyllis originally conceived of it as an individualized activity that could be completed either inside or outside class.  The version presented here has been modified for in-class group work.  Note also that the activity presupposes the students’ familiarity with Searchworks and Academic Search Premiere – or that the instructor will introduce students to these platforms prior to this activity (and to the workshop).  In this version, the instructor chooses a sample topic for students to investigate; the activity could easily be modified so that students are working on their own research topics.

This activity could be easily adapted as a research refresher for PWR 2.

This activity was originally published as an Activity of the Week in spring 2014.