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LIS2004 Strategies for Online Research | Prof. Tiffany Walker

Hi and welcome to Strategies for Online Research!

After reading this page and before you begin working through the lessons in this course, be sure you've read the following:

  • Syllabus
  • Course Outline

Always check Blackboard for updates and course announcements. I can be reach via email at and you can always meet up with me for student hours using my booking page

This course consists of six lessons. You will complete each lesson in order because they build on each other. By the time you have finished this course, you will have gone through the research process from start to finish. The good news is that you do not have to write a paper for this course. You will choose a topic, select keywords, locate sources using Google and library databases, evaluate sources, explain your process, and document those sources in an annotated bibliography.

We have a lot to cover in our short time together so we are going to get right to it!

This is how the lessons work off each other:

Information has value; information creation as a process; searching as strategic exploration; authority is constructed and contextual; research as inquiry; scholarship conversation

Research Skills for College Students by Florida College System, Council on Instructional Affairs, Learning Resources Standing Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Last revised January 2018 by the LIS 2004 Course Revision Committee.

Lesson 1 Information Has Value:

This lesson is all about plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Lesson 2 Information Creation as a Process:

Here we'll discuss how information comes about and you will ponder your place in the information cycle.

Lesson 3 Searching as Strategic Exploration: 

You will come up with a topic of your choice...make sure it's one you like because you'll use it for all the assignments.  You'll develop a thesis from that topic and work on keywords and phrases.

Lesson 4 Research as Inquiry:

We used Google last time, so this time around you will use the library databases. 

Lesson 5 Authority is Constructed and Contextual:

Here we'll go through searching the interwebs for information. get to use Google! BUT you get to learn how to evaluate what you find.

Lesson 6 Scholarship as Conversation:

This one is all about citations...the why and how of MLA.

Final Course Project:

You will take all the resources that you have found in the 6 lessons and create an annotated bibliography.

What is Information Literacy?

In addition to the explanation provided in the Objectives section of your Syllabus... 

Human beings are passionate, curious, and always seeking to connect with each other and make sense of things. Learning is more effective when new information is meaningful and linked to some personal experience or prior knowledge. Learning is about both context and content. It is necessary to learn how to assess, evaluate, and connect in order to make information become knowledge. Information literacy skills are the hallmark of the ability to do research. What is important is for you to learn how to find information that “matters” and then figure out why it might matter.

Information literacy is a link between the life experiences of you as a student, the academic world of scholarship, and the postcollege real world of application of learning. An information-literate person has the ability to ask questions and knows the difference between ignorance and understanding. (When do I need information?) Information literacy builds a lifelong ability to determine where information is kept (Where is the best place to find this?) and in what forms knowledge is stored (Which knowledge products will likely have what I need?).

Information literacy relies on the use of a critical mind to discern credible from not credible, valid from not valid. It is actually the core of the first-year experience. It lasts, while the specifics of particular courses fade over time. After all, the nature of research, the core of higher education, is a learning process: “How do I learn about something?” Communication skills are essential to your ability to both learn and share what you’ve learned.

Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 | Access for free at


Now that you have read all this, I am reminding you once again to read the syllabus and course outline. One of your first tasks is to introduce yourself in a post to the Student Introductions discussion board on Blackboard and complete the Information Literacy pre-assessment. There is a short activity reviewing Lesson 1 during the first week of class. 

Finally, if you mention something about your favorite book character (yes, comic book characters count!) in your introduction, I'll give you 1 point extra credit... my way of making sure you read this.

Enjoy the class!