Searching in Google and Google Scholar

Expert Searching in Google

Search #1  inquiry OR enquiry & “guided learning”    Results 44 000, with 3410 within Google Scholar

I decided to use both terms inquiry and enquiry as they are often interchangeable.  I also decided to use the ‘&’ as described in googles search terms as strongly connecting ideas or phrases, just to retest without it to see if there is value in its application. Scanning the results list on the first page, including the scholarly articles, I was pleasantly surprised by the relevancy to the search.  I saved a couple of the articles for later reading.

Search #2  inquiry “guided learning”                        Results 31 400 and 3390 from Google Scholar

Less results and a scan of the first couple of pages indicates it’s not useful to include ‘enquiry’ nor ‘&’, so eliminate them from any strategy. 

Search#3  inquiry “guided learning” -books            Results 14 700

I did notice, a littering of book titles, linked to book stores such as Amazon in the results list, so I decided to eliminate these from my search using “-“.  A decrease in 16 700 hits is a significant result.  Time to get more specific.

Search #4   inquiry “guided learning” -books science                 Results 9 980

Becoming more refined.  In these results, I notice, on the first couple of pages, referencing to higher education students, so decide to refine to the age group I’m aiming for.

Search #5  inquiry “guided learning” -books science elementary OR primary           Results 31 400

That’s not so good.  I’ll lose elementary in the search, to see if it makes a difference. 

Search #6  inquiry “guided learning” -books science primary                        Results 30 000

Not much difference, but the results do have relevance to the topic.  However, apart from Fay’s Inquiry Blog made last year for this course, there are no Australian references in the first 2 pages of results, so I decide to try limit to localize the results. I also decide to eliminate blogs in the next search.  See screenshot below.

Capture google 1

Search #7  inquiry “guided learning” -books science primary “Australia* curriculum” -blog*      Results 7

This search is too refined.  I decided to use the hash tag as a wildcard, though it probably wasn’t necessary.  I took the hash tags away and added the ‘n’ to Australia.  This produced 140 results, which weren’t of much use either -see the screen shot below.

Capture google 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I either need to go back and revise my search terms or decide google isn’t the right tool for the job.  I’ll now turn to google scholar.  I’ll adjust my searching according to my inner librarian, as my goal continues to be teaching methods.  And it is at this point that lightning strikes and I realize teaching methods or strategies are missing from my search.

Expert Searching in Google Scholar

Search #1  inquiry  “guided learning”                       Results 3490

Results are very broad related to higher education and theoretical fields of inquiry study. 

Search #2 “teaching methods” “guided learning inquiry”         Only 7 results

This surprised me.  The results were useless.  I’ll choose some alternatives from my concept map.

Search #3  “inquiry-based learning” teaching                      20 200 results

Scanning through the first 2 pages of results I found and saved 2 of these results.  Most results, however speak to the benefits of using inquiry-based learning or a theoretical discussions on what it is . 

Search #4  “inquiry-based learning” teaching primary-science            558 results

Results have certainly narrowed, but still very theoretical and not necessarily directed towards primary aged children

Search #4 “inquiry-based learning” teaching primary-science-lessons                14 results

Still not quite  what I’m after, however I selected 2 articles which are relevant to one of the questions which has been troubling me with regards to Inquiry led teaching and learning.  That is, despite all the evidence and accolades for Inquiry-based or guided learning inquiry and despite so many teachers applauding it as a method of teaching, why do teachers not teach an Inquiry-based curriculum?

google scholar

I’m starting to become despondent working within Google and Google Scholar.  Next stop A+ Education and Proquest Education.

Mr Spock, we might need the help of an advanced mind….. please Mr Spock!


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