Knowing how to find and evaluate information helps you succeed at school & at work. In this online-only course, you will learn about and practice with: proprietary databases that index material & provide full-text articles Google can’t; techniques that leverage search systems' subtle features;  open-access repositories and resources; evaluating the information you find; and advanced searching using Web search engines.


Academic Year: 


Course ID and Name: 

Section Number: 

Course Syllabus

Course Prerequisites: 

Prerequisite: Be a junior or senior in good standing at the university.

Course Description: 

Overview of multiple types of digital searching tools used in commercial bibliographic databases, library catalogs, and on the Web for discovering texts, images, audio, and numeric data. 

Course Objective: 

By the end of the semester, students will be able to:

Formulate search strategies, evaluate results, and modify search strategies as needed to improve search efficiency and results;
Understand the advantages and disadvantages of natural language and controlled vocabulary searching;
Understand the differences between browsing and searching;
Evaluate the services and products offered by different database vendors and creators;
Demonstrate the ability to select the best resourcess for particular information needs;
Discuss in some depth at least one major issue related to digital information discovery

Required Course Materials: 

Randolph Hock, The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook. 4th ed. Medford, NJ: CyberAge Books, 2013. ISBN 978-1-937290-02-3. Available at the UA Bookstore or from your favorite online bookstore. Hock provides updated links at Additional required readings and tutorials will be listed in the d2l course space.

Course Requirements: 


Search exercises  4 @ 10 points 40
Database/search engine evaluation 20
Quizzes 2 @ 10 points 20
Discussion participation 20

Complete assignment descriptions and course requirements will be provided in the d2l course space.

Course Grading: 

The instructor uses a point system and all students begin with 100 points. At the end of the semester, the course grade is based on the number of points the student has:
A 100-90 points
B 89-80 points
C 79-70 points
D 69-60 points

Course Policies: 

Student Responsibility for Learning

Students are responsible for understanding how to use d2l, the system we are using for this online-only course. Before the semester begins, please review the information for students at . Because the course does not have required meeting times, it is especially important to keep up with the lectures, reading, tutorials and other course material; participate on the discussion boards; turn in all assignments on time; read the instructor's feedback on assignments; and ask questions. 

If you  have not logged in and posted to at least one discussion board by the end of the third week of the semester, you will be dropped from the course.

Academic Code of Integrity
Students are expected to abide by The University of Arizona Code of Academic Integrity. "The guiding principle of
academic integrity is that a student's submitted work must be the student's own." If you have any questions regarding what
is acceptable practice under this Code, please ask an Instructor.

Accommodating Disabilities
The University has a Disability Resource Center. If you anticipate the need for reasonable accommodations to meet the
requirements of this course, you must register with the Disability Resource Center and request that the DRC send me, the
Instructor, official notification of your accommodation needs as soon as possible. Please plan to meet with me by
appointment or during office hours to discuss accommodations and how my course requirements and activities may impact
your ability to fully participate.

Assignment Policies
The instructor does not accept late assignments except in extreme documented emergencies. Assignments must be
submitted to the d2l course drop box, and not via email. Full assignment descriptions including due dates will be available in the course space.

The instructor does not grant Incompletes except in extreme documented emergencies.
The current Catalog reads:
"The grade of I may be awarded only at the end of a term, when all but a minor portion of the course work has
been satisfactorily completed. The grade of I is not to be awarded in place of a failing grade or when the
student is expected to repeat the course; in such a case, a grade other than I must be assigned. Students
should make arrangements with the instructor to receive an incomplete grade before the end of the term ...
If the incomplete is not removed by the instructor within one year the I grade will revert to a failing grade."

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences