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Skill 1 – Search for Information

Schema : Skill 1

Skill 1 Schema – Search for Information : 1.1 Plan an Information Search, 1.2 Conduct Information Search, 1.3 Evaluate the Quality of Information Found and 1.4 Organize Documents To Be Saved

Description of Skill 1 – Search for Information

The mastering of informational skills is a must. Students have access, anywhere and at all times, to a vast quantity of information. And in a near future, there will be even more information, and without any doubt, more efficient ways to access it.

Searching for information is a very pertinent, frequent and even essential activity in all programs of study. Even when search tools and requirements differ from one program to another, the process remains the same.

This skill allows students to efficiently find, choose and collect relevant and quality information when it comes to processing and achieving a production. The proposed approach involves planning the research, choosing efficient strategies, evaluating the quality of information and methodically organizing of the documents found.

Supplemental Information

The general philosophy is to develop this skill in the context of producing something in order to give sense to this approach.

This skill can be developed or implemented:

  • in an assigned project, either brief or in-depth;
  • during ongoing monitoring or research;
  • during an activity aimed at developing the skill of searching for information (e.g. cyberquery, annotated bibliography, sources validation exercise, etc.).

The search process involves four objectives that are part of a linear or step by step approach. However, it may sometimes be necessary to backtrack and modify some choices or to restart some of the steps.

Requirements - Suggestions

The evaluation of this skill is often done by preparing a written assignment (either on paper or in a digital format). Oral presentations that are the results of an information research can also be evaluated.

Several intermediary products can be evaluated as either formative or summative assessments: a concept map, subject definition, validation of the quality of the information found, etc. In the end, the quality of the planning and research strategies, as well as the ability to properly evaluate and store the information are the proof that the skill has been mastered.

Potential Tools

In order to carry out their search for information, students can use a large variety of tools, including: timeline or work plan, search engines, database, working aids, methodology guide, reference tools, mediagraphy management software, evaluation grid for the quality of information, cooperative bookmarks, monitoring tools, etc.

Working aids : any tool that supports carrying out an assignment. For example: methodology guide, list of examples, concept maps, editing aids, etc.

Concept maps : Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. (Source: Cmap Software)

In Practice

Using this skill becomes necessary in every program of study and in a wide variety of contexts. For example, to analyze or critique a work, to write a pathological index, to prepare for a debate, to design a development plan for a factory or an exhibition site, to analyze the impact that a new government might have on a province, to prepare a portrait of a tourist area, to work on a press release on economic issues, to carry out a survey on couples, to prepare a lab to test water, to bring into context rules related to daycare centres, etc. The vast majority of work to be accomplished requires some kind of search for information.

Teachers can consult a librarian or teaching and pedagogical technician (SMTE - Spécialiste en moyens techniques d’enseignement) in their academic institution to find content, strategies to bring forward and even plan the right training required according to their discipline.

SMTE : Spécialiste en moyens techniques d’enseignement. Job category exclusive to Library Science.

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