05 More Search Techniques

We go through the exercises related to search techniques; we also discuss evaluating sources from the Web.

Class held on 09/23/2009. (student notes; possible questions).

Class structure

  1. Go through “At beginning of class” information
    • This should include you adding your information to the Grades database.
  2. Lecture (but no slides today) going through “My notes”
  3. Work on exercises
    1. Finish the exercises from last class
    2. Then work through the exercises for this class
  4. Work on experiment:

At beginning of class

Before class starts (for you to do)

  1. Check who is doing what:
    • Notes & questions
    • Special blogs (these should be written and posted on this howcanifindit site)
    • Other blogs should be written and posted on your own personal site. I will then tell authors of posts that get "10" grades to transfer the blog to the howcanifindit site.
  2. Look at recent writings for the class:
  3. Stay up with recent information on these pages:
  4. Content update:
    • We now have some information on the notes page and questions page. Even if people are not signed up for specific days on the class notes page, I would still recommend that you post notes and questions. The more good information that is on these pages, the more that I will be able to use this information on the tests, and the better that you will do on the test — as opposed to me coming up with some random, poorly-worded question that you have to guess on.

Information for me to cover

  1. Grade stuff
    • The Grade Database is evolving, and I need you to help out.
    • If you want a grade for this class, I need you to do the following:
      1. Choose Grades from the Class Info menu.
      2. Use the Student menu to enter your information.
      3. Use the Add Grade Record to create your grade record; all you will have to do is enter your uniqname and save it. This gives you a database record where I can put your grades.
      4. If you have written a blog entry or notes or questions, then enter this information under Add Wiki Assignment.
    • Next steps for me are as follows:
      • To create more reports so that you can see grades that I have entered as well as your summary grades for the semester. I'll keep you posted.
      • To enter your participation grades so far.
      • To grade the blogs you have written.
  2. You should be thinking about the topic for your term project.
    • Be sure to read the description of the assignment.
    • A student from last year's class re-iterated my point that doing a project about a sports team would not be the best use of your time.
    • Also look at the list of industry sectors that you might select.
    • On day 8, which is October 5, you are turning in the first status report for your term project. On that date, you need to have decided on the topic, you need to have discussed your topic with me, described the topic on the start page of your wiki, and updated your information (that is, indicated the title of your wiki) on the class wikis list of student wikis.
      • Every single one of you needs to meet with me next week during office hours!!
  3. Another note for your term project. Your term project reports will include a section on information sources (as we will discuss today). Part of this will be an evaluation of the quality of the information sources that you identified. You will want to describe how you evaluate the sources, and indicate on the report your evaluation of each one of them. This will not be a separate deliverable but should be integrated into the final report.
  4. There are so many blog opportunities from these two classes (i.e., today and Monday). If you want to blog on both classes, you don't have to choose something from “last class” and then something from “this class”. These are both the same topic; you can use any two things you want to blog on from both classes. It doesn't matter if they were the same or different days. (Again, you don't have to blog today, or last class. But you'll have to blog sometime, and you might as well start sooner rather than later.)
  5. If you want to know how I format anything on any of the wiki pages that I have, you can just look at the source yourself.
  6. Talk about the experiment.
  7. Questions about any or all of this?

My notes


  1. Long term research projects, or more difficult queries, require another level of effort and analysis.
    • Gather and save as much information as you can.
      • Use information from the search results, page characteristics, and contents of the results pages.
        • Look for names, contents, concepts, URLs, page titles, unique words, dates, places, facts, etc.
      • Create a wiki site to keep information and links.
    • Sometimes finding a set of related nouns and unique names can help you find what you need.
      • Use Google Sets
      • Use the queries ["type of X"], ["there are * types of X"], ["compared to X"], ["X vs." OR "X versus"]
  2. Evaluate the potential validity of the Web page from which you get information.
    • Facets to evaluation
      • Location of the page
      • Speaker's identity
      • Speaker's motivation
      • Credibility of sources
      • Speaker's history
      • Speaker's reputation

In-class examples

Candy bars

Types of things


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