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.
An activity to teach students how to construct database searches using Boolean operators.
This group activity can be used in a variety of disciplines and contexts. Pass the Problem aims to have students provide feedback to other students on database and keyword selection. By having students critique each other it works to build critical self-reflection during the research process (it's also pretty fun!).
The following activity is meant to assist learning the concepts of strategic search. It introduces the idea that sources contribute different perspectives to an argument and that scholarship is a conversation. It can be used for any discipline but is particularly well suited to introductory writing courses.