Stump the Database
This is a simple activity intended to warm up students, break the ice, and introduce the concept of keyword searching. Ask students to come up with a single word search that gives zero results. It’s harder than it sounds. It may be too elementary for graduate students or upperclassmen; use your judgement about students’ abilities and familiarity with searching. This activity can be a great segue in to a lesson on keyword development, Boolean operators, popular terminology vs. technical jargon, and the differences between different kinds of databases.
Students will discuss the importance of keywords in database searching.
Students will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different search strategies.
Information Literacy concepts:
Individual or Group:
Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated):
Additional Instructor Resources (e.g. in-class activities, worksheets, scaffolding applications, supplemental modules, further readings, etc.):
Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips:
Suggested Citation:Mahan, Natalie. "Stump the Database." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2019. https://www.projectcora.org/assignment/stump-database.
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