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Research on the Free Web Tutorial: Introduction

Outcomes for the Tutorial

The tutorial overall prepares students to --

  • Explore basic and advanced methods of free web searching
  • Approach free web searching from an academic perspective
  • Evaluate web search results and individual pages
  • Consider societal issues surrounding web searching and information exchange

Adapted From

This tutorial adapted from one created by Carol Franck in consultation with Alex Gomez and Elizabeth Andrews for the SUNY Potsdam College Libraries.  


Welcome to academia. Where you're supposed to question your assumptions, think critically about everything, expand your horizons, and refine your worldview. This mindset should apply to the Internet, too.

This tutorial covers two things:

  1. The Web - Overview: Formulate a big picture view of the Web beyond any single aspect of use by building on your existing knowledge, in particular, by asking you consider societal issues such as privacy or ethics.
  2. The Web - Academic: Power-up your academic web skills by emphasizing issues of Internet use from an academic perspective.

What this tutorial is not

  • Complete coverage of everything you'll need through your academic career. The core concepts in this tutorial will expand and develop over time as you select a major, accumulate understanding about disciplinary issues, and discover how the Internet is used as a tool within your discipline.
  • "Button-pushing" for all search tools is not the focus of this tutorial, though we do cover Google and Wikipedia extensively. Most individual web search tools already provide help pages and tutorials if you need assistance figuring out how they work.

When searching for information on the web, our goal is to get you to the point where you ask yourself:

  • Am I searching in the right place? 
  • Am I searching in the right way? 
  • Am I searching with right things in mind?

and have the answers be yes, yes, and yes.

Begin Module 1