Just as having students predict answers to math problems is a way of creating more meaningful learning, prediction can be a useful strategy in successful searching too.
Search results can be presented any number of ways: tables and charts, videos, infographs. We teach students how to develop an understanding of the kinds of information that’s best conveyed with timelines, maps, or diagrams. Using what they know about all the different kinds of content and media, they can apply the same theories of predicting what they might find on their online searches.
Here are some guidelines for asking predictive questions even before they launch their search.
- When I run this search, what do I expect to appear?It’s extremely useful to get in the habit of spending just an instant anticipating what kind of results you expect your search terms to find. When students do not ask this question and search terms bring back unexpected results, they often come away feeling that there’s nothing there. But when students prep themselves by considering what they expect to appear and then skim the first page of results, they’re better prepared to spot any clues indicating that their terms have a meaning they did not foresee. It can be fun to practice this anticipation in class. Try asking students to anticipate what will appear for the searches [who], [the who], and [a who] in turn.
- When I find this answer, what do I expect it to look like? This is where students imagine their perfect source. First, what types of words would this trusted source use? Would a doctor write about a busted arm, or possibly stick with the medical term fracture? From the Common Core standards to those from the American Association of School Librarians, we aim for thoughtful searches that consider the audience and purpose and be able to determine the format and voice that will communicate information most clearly. It stands to reason that if we Continue reading