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Beginner's Guide to Business Research


Beginner's Guide to Business Research

Logo for Beginner's Guide to Business Research
This site introduces doing research in business classes.  The tutorial includes Introduction, Using Company Websites, Using Library Databases, and Looking for Specific Information.  It also includes a quiz and glossary.  The instructions are specific and include examples.  For instance, under Using Company Websites, one of the choices is Annual Reports.  The tutorial demonstrates not only samples of annual reports, but discusses the pros and cons of using them.  
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Material Type: Tutorial
Technical Format: Other
Date Added to MERLOT: July 01, 2007
Date Modified in MERLOT: December 12, 2016
Submitter: Cathy Swift


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
    Editor Review
    Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
    avg: 5 rating
  • User review 4.47 average rating
  • User Rating: 4.47 user rating
  • Discussion (36 Comments)
  • Learning Exercises (none)
  • Bookmark Collections (8)
  • Course ePortfolios (none)
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Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed, College Lower Division, College Upper Division
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: unsure
Accessibility Information Available: unsure
Creative Commons: unsure
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Discussion for Beginner's Guide to Business Research

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Avatar for Eduardo Montero
24 weeks ago

Eduardo Montero (Faculty)

Very useful teaching tutorial. Even I am not a specialist in business topics, I got progress in the topic.

Time spent reviewing site: 1.5 hours

Avatar for Eduardo Montero
24 weeks ago

Eduardo Montero (Faculty)

Beginner's Guide to Business Research introduces business internet research for beginners. Its goal is the improvement of the student’s skills to find and evaluate critically the specialized information for professional case studies in business topics. It can be useful for its use in both online and traditional courses as a self-learning tool. It includes concise introduction of critical issues, reinforcement of audio with text edition, easiness to move forward/back in any section, and a short quiz section for self-assessment. It is an effective teaching tool with high usability.

Avatar for Stephanie LaPuma
25 weeks ago

Stephanie LaPuma (Administrator)

Good use of learning and assessment tools to provide a beginners view. Overall, I would use this course for a freshman college student entering into a Business 101 course.
Time spent reviewing site: 90 mins

Avatar for Anohar John
29 weeks ago

Anohar John (Faculty)

The Information given throw lights on the basics of business research even people without business major can tick up easily
Time spent reviewing site: 90 min
Used in course

Avatar for Sue Newberg
32 weeks ago

Sue Newberg (Faculty)

Lots of good information on business attributes. Not sure how useful it would be to someone who is not enrolled in that college so therefore why it is on Merlot howeber.

Time spent reviewing site: 90 minutes

Avatar for Maureen O'Shea
33 weeks ago

Maureen O'Shea (Faculty)

For beginning business students, this tutorial presents relevant information with a succinct, engaging approach. The narrative can be accompanied by optional text boxes; color graphics are visually appealing and navigated easily. Students can click on different content topic areas to reinforce and clarify details. The quiz at the end of the material reinforced key concepts. I had to download the Adobe flash update in order to access material. The survey link did not work for me. Time spent reviewing material: 1 hour. (Grape Camp peer review assignment)
Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour

Avatar for Arnie Schoenberg
1 year ago

Arnie Schoenberg (Faculty)

[reviewed as part of a Grape Camp assignment] Beginner's Guide to Business Research introduces business internet research. Its goal is to increase the efficiency of student research in business, and to introduce the business research tools available to students at Baruch College. It would be especially good for an online business class, where students don’t have access to librarians to help them, directly. It would be best as a precusor to a research assignment, and be useful as a tutorial for students who haven’t done internet research. It is an effective teaching tool with high usability. Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour

Avatar for Torria Davis
1 year ago

Torria Davis (Content Developer/Author)

I reviewed this material as a result of participation in the peer review training course. With no background in business research, I found the site to be very user friendly for a newby. The conversational tone of the narrator was engaging as were the graphics and navigation. I always wondered how businesses learned about their competitors or about the status of a particular industry. Really enjoyed it and hope to create materials like it in the future.

Avatar for Denise Gaspard-Richards
2 years ago

Denise Gaspard-Richards (Staff)

Generally good tutorial. The modular design is an excellent idea as this allows for multiple user groups - e.g. beginners; more advanced students who need a refresher in one or more areas. Movement/navigation between modules is well thought out and presented. Content is good but I would like to see more examples to illustrate concepts and more so examples that would be relevant across different cultural divides, having regard to the fact that the resource will be useful for students in both the developed and developing country contexts.
Time spent reviewing site: 90 minutes

Avatar for Kareen Guscott
2 years ago

Kareen Guscott (Administrator)

The content is quite good as it is self-contained and concepts clearly outlined. The audio is excellent and the video quite sharp and content organized fairly well. May be difficult to use if the mode of delivery is strictly face to face without any form of technical equipment.

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes

Avatar for zheng-sheng zhang
2 years ago

zheng-sheng zhang (Faculty)

Very systematic; clear presentation; 

Time spent reviewing site: 10 minutes
Used in course

Avatar for Leanne Boddie
2 years ago

Leanne Boddie (Teacher (K-12))

Very thorough and helpful. I like that is was broken into tabs that were easy to use. I'm guilty of always going to google first, so it was nice to know the best places to look first for more accurate information. The quiz was helpful, because I could go back and look for the answers if I had questions. I would recommend this to anyone entering the business world.

Avatar for Shona McKinney
2 years ago

Shona McKinney (Teacher (K-12))

Method: This material was reviewed as a training exercise for a class. Technical: The material was tested in Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer, but not Safari Time Spent Evaluating: 2 1/2 to 3 hours Quality of Content: The material was easy to understand and instructions for the user were clear, but IE distorted the page on my laptop and made it impossible to read. The survey tab gave me an error message. Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool: Specific data could be located easily, making this a good teaching tool. More questions in the interactive test base would make this tool more effective for classroom use. Ease of Use: The voice over is a nice touch, however; the site is beginning to look dated by 2014 standard. The interface needs to be refreshed to keep it looking current. Overall: This is a great online tool for learning about credible methods of business research. It receives a 4.5 rating from me after averaging all three domains.

Avatar for Xin Ye
2 years ago

Xin Ye (Faculty)

This material is very informative. I am not a business major, and i learn something from it. it is very user friendly

Avatar for Patricia Plasse
2 years ago

Patricia Plasse (Student)

This material is an excellent resource for those in a business discipline. It was clear and concise and easy to use. The concepts built upon each other and the resources provided will assist business students to find credible information to complete projects and case studies. Because case studies usually refer to real-life companies the resources provided will be useful and will save students time and frustration. The material will also be beneficial to those who want to research companies for job interviews. The resources provide ways to find information about products already on the market and competition for those starting their own companies. The website will be easy for instructors to assign to students and the quiz will test learning outcomes since it focuses on how to find information and when to use it. Overall this material will provide a great learning experience. Having pursued a business degree, I know how beneficial this will be to students.

Time spent reviewing site: 2.5 hours

Avatar for Milan Frankl
2 years ago

Milan Frankl (Faculty)

Needs generalization for non U.S. based companies. (I teach in Canada). Many sites cover this type of topic.

Time spent reviewing site: 15 minutes
Used in course

Avatar for Milan Frankl
2 years ago

Milan Frankl (Faculty)

Interesting online guide for business research. Applies mostly for U.S. based companies. Needs some generalization to include foreign companies. The school's online libraries (ProQuest, Ebsco, Jstor, and so on) are still best for peer-reviewed material.
Used in course

Avatar for Russ Bennett
2 years ago

Russ Bennett (Student)

Method: Reviewed this for experience and not in a classroom.

Technical: I use Firefox and all worked fine.

Comments: Contains helpful information, despite having grown somewhat dated in design and presentation.

Rating: 3.75

Time spent reviewing site: 1.25 hours

Avatar for Paul Burwick
2 years ago

Paul Burwick (Student)

Overall Rating:




For the purpose of this review, this site was used strictly for experience and review purposes and was not used in a classroom setting.


Technical Use:

The initial review was done in Google Chrome, Version 34.0.1847.116 m supporting Marcomedia Flash Player and Java scripts. The site was also reviewed in I.E 11 but not as thoroughly. The OS used is Windows 8.1 on a Samsung all-in-one touch-screen computer.

Ease of Use:

The site as a visual tool is very effective and easy to use. It provides text that will assist those that are hearing impaired. Worked on Samsung Galaxy tab3 on Google Chrome App. It is diffcult to assess as to if the material is accessible for those with visual impairments – the site is very graphically driven.



The Learning outcomes are clearly defined. The site is rich in content and ideas as to the potentiality of MERLOT. In an actual publication, the user will have access to valuable information and resources. Knowing how to use the information will make it much more pertinent to the learner; however, as it is, it is an effective visual aid to teach a process. If the item were available as a guide, the information would be updated regularly so that it has not been updated since 2007 has no bearing on the usefulness.



Time spent reviewing site: 1 1/2 hours
Used in course

Avatar for Tina Pitt
2 years ago

Tina Pitt (Faculty)

I found this resource to be an excellent primer for learning how to obtain valid research and information. Navigation through the site is mostly intuitive. Without any background in business research I learned so much from the resource that I was easily able to do well on the quiz included at the end. This resource is excellent for high school students and beginning business majors in higher education. I used Mozilla Firefox version 28.0 and it worked perfectly.

Time spent reviewing site: 30 minutes

Avatar for richard michael williams
2 years ago

richard michael williams (Health Care Professional)

I found this presnetation excellent and easy to follow. Though I don't have a business background, I was not lost on many of the topics discussed. The program gave descriptions, and additional info that was impartant in understanding the entire issue of business research 

Time spent reviewing site: 1:15 hrs

Avatar for richard michael williams
2 years ago

richard michael williams (Health Care Professional)

I just finished listening to this course on business research. I found it especially interesting since my particular field is science rather than business. The program was done very well and I had no problems following the narrator and the course.

Avatar for Dawn Kerr
2 years ago

Dawn Kerr (Student)

I really enjoyed this presentation. As a beginner, I would not know where to start or how to network for my business. Great information. 

Time spent reviewing site: 1:45
Used in course

Avatar for Dawn Kerr
2 years ago

Dawn Kerr (Student)

Jodi, I can concur with your posting on the description of this presentation. My question is this content only applies to Business majors? I enjoyed the presentation and this is an excellent resource for beginners like my self learning "How" to conduct research in the business world. This is great information that SBA should utilize for beginners how to start their own business and network.

Avatar for Jodi McKnight
3 years ago

Jodi McKnight (Faculty)

Some of the learning objectives include:  To learn basic concepts of research using concepts such as a public company, a private company, shareholders, ticker symbols, fiscal year information and security and exchange commission. Student will learn basic information about researching company’s websites. Student will learn how to navigate online library databases. Provides learners with basic information about particular companies.Tests research skills with a quiz.The site provides learners with an introduction to how to conduct research in a business class.  There is a basic tutorial that uses company websites, contains library databases and has a quiz at the end.  Each one of the instructions are descriptive and includes a voice-directed prompt. 

This material is an animated presentation which allows for interactive exploration of the guide using pop-up definitions and tabs. The sound quality is impressive, as are the graphics.  The material also includes a glossary of terms and a quiz.



Technical Remarks:

Used Internet Explorer with high-speed internet. Contains visual and auditory prompts. 

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes

Avatar for Johannes Allert
3 years ago

Johannes Allert (Independent Scholar)

Excellent learning material for students who are just starting out as business majors. Provides fundamental knowledge enabling students to create a detailed and accurate analysis of companies in a short period of time. Focuses on pursuing a few reputable on-line resources, consequently the student avoids the 'mile wide and an inch deep' assesment. However, one draw back is the assuming everyone is a student with access to academic material. Suggest alternatives (public library, historical centers) as alternatives to academic institutions for individuals conducting general research outside the classroom.

Technical Remarks:

Very thorough step-by-step analysis with clear explanations and quiz at the end to test comprehension of material presented.


Time spent reviewing site: 40-60 minutes
Used in course

Avatar for Donna Liljegren
3 years ago

Donna Liljegren (Administrator)

Excellent resource for a number of different courses and workforce opportunities.

Time spent reviewing site: 20 minutes

Avatar for Billy Woodson
4 years ago

Billy Woodson (Faculty)

This site would very helpful for individuals who are wants to know specific details about a particular business. Could be use to make investment decisions. Tons of information, databases, and quizzes to test your knowledge. 

Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour

Avatar for Mary Kaye Hooker
4 years ago

Mary Kaye Hooker (Librarian)

Excellent introduction for any level of student  or of the public who is new to   basic business terminology and the related research tools.  The material is organized from terminology to publicly available information resources to library specialized databases. Cautionary explanations are available to help decipher legitimate information from "wishful thinking."   The presentation is lively with an appeal to many learning styles with excellent graphics, narration, flash, texts, and activities.  Additional resources, a survey, and a quiz round up the tutorial.

Technical Remarks:

Requires a computer with Java and Flash. Otherwise, the tutorial is intuitive in in its organization and use.

Time spent reviewing site: 2 hours
Used in course

Avatar for Dr. Sherri Restauri
4 years ago

Dr. Sherri Restauri (Administrator)

Nicely don!

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes during Grape Camp, Jan 2012

Avatar for Teresita Hunt
5 years ago

Teresita Hunt (Faculty)

I am not a business educator, but if I were, I would definitely utilize this resources. It is very informative, efficient, accessible, It will allow learners to be engaged in learning.

Technical Remarks:

I found the technical aspect to be quite engaging. As I clicked on the different links, each one was accesible. I am saddened when I  find a great source only to find that the link is no longer active. However, this is not the case. I especially liked the commentator throughout the site. Overall, I found it to be efficient.

Time spent reviewing site: 60 minutes

Avatar for mollie hummel
5 years ago

mollie hummel (Faculty)

JanBeginner's Guide to Business Research is an excellent tool that aurally and visually supports the description of elements to access , such as Hoover's and highlights vocabulary meaning, such as 10-k filing with a clearly defined 'mini' research path. This 'mini' practice business research path is a profile of 'how-to' search a to create an assigned report of a company's place within its business sphere. Examples are integrated and plausibly explained, both the pros, and the need to access added information is explained and moves the viewer forward to continue the research activity. The viewer's learning is checked with an instant feedback from a quiz 's mutiple-choice questions and responses that give immediate feedback to the viewer with a bravo , or a re-explanation of another correct choiceuary 6, 2012


Technical Remarks:

The smooth movement of the timing within the aural and visual examples is most precisely and clearly defined.

The pace of this learning tool is individuallly controlled, yet the narrative voice guides the viewer flawlessly anticipating the screen searching action of an individual by giving prompt, short cues.


Time spent reviewing site: 0ne hour
Used in course

Avatar for Stephanie Burch-Bynum
5 years ago

Stephanie Burch-Bynum (Faculty)

The tutorial is interactive and uses screen shots of the resources. The library resource is only avaiable to Baruch students but the other cites are available to the public. The resource can be used to familiarize students with using and analyzing online resources to find information regarding organizations.

Technical Remarks:

Used firefox to access

Time spent reviewing site: 50 minutes

Avatar for Ayndrielle Ward
6 years ago

Ayndrielle Ward (Faculty)

Great tutorial with more than enough reference materials.

Technical Remarks:

Would like to see more graphics!

Time spent reviewing site: one hour and thirty-two minutes
Used in course

Avatar for norbert boruett
6 years ago

norbert boruett (Health Care Professional)

Great article,i have not idea on business.Interacting with the material has boosted my insight in the business world.

Technical Remarks:

use of basic IT skills
Time spent reviewing site: 25 minutes

Avatar for Rhonda McCoy
6 years ago

Rhonda McCoy (Faculty)

This tutorial is easy to understand and very informative! I enjoyed the tutorial and taking the quiz in the end.

Technical Remarks:

The technical aspects of this tutorial are amazing!
Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes.