Best Practices: SearchPlus and Information Literacy Part 2

Written by: Emilia Marcyk

Primary Source: Information Literacy Resources

As you are deciding how to incorporate SearchPlus into your teaching this fall, here are four best practices from two recent articles for your consideration:

  1. Have students use SearchPlus themselves:
    Buck & Steffy (2013) advocate for an active learning approach to teaching discovery tools. Since they are meant to be intuitive, they lend themselves to hands-on learning.
  2. Focus on critical thinking:
    Both Buck & Steffy and Fawley & Krysak (2012) point out the increased importance of search strategies and critical thinking when helping learners use discovery tools. Discovery tools both allow for and require more class time spent on critical thinking skills.
  3. Address information overload:
    How do we help users navigate increased numbers of (often irrelevant) search results? Fawley & Krysak suggest focusing on facets or developing strong search strategies to help users target useful results. You might also introduce the advanced search feature (Buck & Steffy).
  4. Emphasize transferrable skills:
    The skills students learn using SearchPlus can be transferrable to other searching they will do throughout their college careers (Buck & Steffy). Or you can use it to introduce basic skills before diving into a subject-specific database (Fawley & Krysak). After all, a good search strategy is a good search strategy, regardless of where students use it.

Buck, Stefanie, and Christina Steffy. “Promising Practices in Instruction of Discovery Tools.” Communications in Information Literacy 7.1 (2013): 66-80. Web.

Fawley, Nancy and Nikki Krysak. and “Information Literacy Opportunities within the Discovery Tool Environment.” College and Undergraduate Libraries 19.2-4 (2012): 207-14. Web.

More Here:Part 1: Describing SearchPlus

Lovingly written by Emilia Marcyk

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Emilia Marcyk
Emilia Marcyk is an Instructional Technology & Information Literacy Librarian at the MSU Libraries, where she develops instructional content, leads information literacy sessions for the First Year Writing program, and works at the reference desk. She is especially interested in developing new tools and strategies to help undergraduate students acquire information literacy skills, especially as they transition from high school to college. She received her MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her BA from Bryn Mawr College. In addition to her work in libraries, Emilia has been an environmental educator in Portland, OR, and Philadelphia, PA.