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Key skills: making a difference
Key skills: making a difference

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6.5.3 Record and critically evaluate the results of your search

Keeping a record of what sources you have explored, and the strategies, keywords and search terms you have used, will help you make best use of the facilities and time you have. As part of this record you should note how useful the sources have been, what was returned from your search, and what adjustments you made to your search plan (for example new keywords, different search parameters, different combination of Boolean operators).

Establish criteria (such as by date, author, subject, organisation, type and format) to help you select the information you need. Be critically aware of the reliability and quality of information from different sources, taking into account factors such as commercial, political, academic or personal interests that may influence the content and presentation. How will you judge the quality of the information you find?

Review how you sort and evaluate the information you have found. What criteria are you using to help you decide what information to retain and what to reject? What would help you to do this more effectively? Monitoring progress means being actively aware of how your understanding and your skills develop as your task unfolds.

Time out

List the criteria you are using and comment on their usefulness in helping track down the information you need. Note any modifications you make to your search plans.