Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media

Research Basics Handbook
This lesson is an introduction to Research. It covers basic topics including developing a research question, using databases to find good information, using Google and Wikipedia for research, and an overview of types of resources.

I can:
  • Use databases to find reliable and credible information
  • Create a research question
  • Use INFOhio and iSearch to find source material
Tech Skills:
  • Keyboarding

  • Editing

  • Search engines & online resources

Materials and Resources:

Research Basics Handbook - document that allows for guided note-taking from videos and websites provided in the lesson.

Developing a Research Question (video)

How to Develop a Good Research Topic (video)

Getting More Out of Google (website/infographic)

iSearch for Students (video)

Using Wikipedia for Academic Research (video)

What are Databases and Why should You Use Them? (video)

Types of Information Resources (website)

Grade Level:
  • 7th-12th Grades

Subject Area:
  • ELA (appropriate for research in other content areas as well)

This lesson is designed to be self guided, but could also be completed in class with small groups. In practice, I list these links and documents in Schoology (my learning management system), which allows students access to all the materials as well as a means to turn in their word).

The videos and websites are listed in the order they appear in the Handbook, but can be put in different order, or even done one at a time as a class.

As an introduction to the research process, students will watch the following videos and/or examine the following websites to answer the guided questions on the Research Basics Handbook document. Students will use the document as a guide during our research.


Once students complete these lessons, there will be a class discussion and review of the information. Following this lesson, students will begin the process of identifying possible topics and narrowing them into research questions.

RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

W.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

W.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
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