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Learning Exercise

Material: Google (search engine)
Submitted by: Ralph Westfall on Apr 01, 2000
Date Last Modified: May 16, 2000
Title: Testing Search Engines
Description: Activity that compares two search engines
Type of Task: Individual, Student-centered, Supplemental activity, Team, Unsupervised
Time Required 20-30 minutes
Topics: search engines, information search, World Wide Web, Internet
Course: Library science, Introductory information systems, Introductory English
Audience: College General Ed
Prerequisites Skills: web browser
Learning Objectives: 1. Discover availability of search engines other than the one(s) the student typically uses. 2. Learn how to compare search engines
Text of Learning Exercise:

  1. Go to the search engine you usually use
  2. Enter your keywords and search for information
  3. Check through the first 10-20 items in the results list and see if any of them appear to be close to what you are really looking for
  4. Click on the links for the pages that look useful, to see if any of them really are what you are actually looking for
  5. Note the position(s) in the list (1st, 20th, or whatever) of any pages that actually are close to what you are looking for
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 with the Google search engine
  7. Compare the results (if possible, instructor should summarize results by search engines for the whole class)

    • which search engine produced more pages that were useful in the first 10-20 results?
    • how close to the top of the list were the most useful pages from each search engine?

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