To be honest, I haven't used Google Scholar in a while due to the fact that the QUT Library website has been so helpful and produced many results for me. Keeping this in mind, I made sure that I had included the QUT Library Database into my search engine by clicking Settings > Library Links on the main Google Scholar search page and including Queensland University of Technology.
I am quite excited about searching Google Scholar as I found searching on Google to produce a small number of books, journal articles and scholarly results in the search. Also I am keen to play around with the 'cited by' option where you can see how many times the article has been cited and then read through a variety of different articles - this helps to expand the search and gives the ability to track the evolution of an idea. Google Scholar still uses the same expert search techniques although it searches differently by producing more peer-reviewed and research based results. There is also the expert searching techniques of 'Proximity Searching' which I would like to explore in my Google Scholar search as well.
Based around my questions from my Google Searching, being an IT teacher, and assuming Google Scholar will give me fantastic information, I have decided to base this searach about Inquiry Learning and IT in Primary Schools.
Table 1. Table of Google Scholar expert search strings. Created by Author in Weebly
Samples of my Google Scholar Searches
As you can see below I have picked 4 examples of my Google Scholar Searches. An example of my first search which is the most basic, one example of a search where I used the (-) and time restrictions, one example based around my use of proximity operators and my last example is Google Scholars search technique of intitle:
Sample 1. Accessed from Google Scholar. Screen shot created by Author
My first search came back with quite a few results which seemed to be way too much to go through without thinking that I may be missing a fantastic source after getting tired of going through 10 pages of information. In saying this however, Google Scholar produced some great results in regards to collaboration, teaching and inquiry learning. It was good to see that there was a theory behind Inquiry learning that came up - Kuhlthau's Guided Inquiry Approach Book - that would be a recommended read for anyone starting out with these searches and inquiry learning as a new concept.
I didn't know there was a time restraint for search results so you can limit the results to current re-search which I will definitely be utilising this in one of my searches, so for this search 'Anytime' was running. I didn't include Patents as they are not suitable for these searches. I also enjoyed the 'Create Alert' button which allows Google Scholar to send you alerts if there is any new information added based around the topics you are interested in.
Next Step: Adding Synonyms and taking 'Science' out of the search
Sample 2. Accessed from Google Scholar. Screen shot created by Author
By adding parenthesis to narrow my search and also taking out science results, I was delighted to see more results that were aimed at what I was looking for. I really enjoyed the Web-Based inquiry learning WebQuest article as it was relevant to everything I was researching which was how technology and inquiry learning can be integrated at a primary school level, but not in science. The reason I wanted to take Science out is because as an IT teacher specifically and also a Grade 6 Form teacher, Science is one subject that I do not teach so all results are irrelevant to me in this situation.
I keep the search time to 'Anytime' as I feel that more results will be present. I fully see the benefit in this, especially when doing University Assignments that you need up to date and current articles, but in my case this is unnecessary. This time around I clicked on 'Cited By' and was amazing to see all the further results which included more research on technology, web quests and inquiry learning in the primary classroom.
Next step: Trying out Proximity Operators
Sample 3. Accessed from Google Scholar. Screen shot created by Author
Even though the AROUND(n) function produced some different results and made sure my words were within 3 of each other, I was still not taken aback by the search results. For those who are not familiar with the proximity operator 'AROUND', here is a good website to help you understand - Enhance your Google Searching with AROUND.
The AROUND function ensures that the terms you are using are within a certain amount of words of each other. For example, I used (3) as my number so I wanted terms such as 'technology and inquiry learning' to be within 3 words of each other. Some results did do this for me, others did not. The benefit of AROUND(n) allows your terms to be in close proximity of each other, rather than having an article that mentions 'technology' and then 100 words through the article it mentions 'inquiry learning'.
From this search I can see where adding a time restraint would help. Even though there are many older sources that are still fantastic, I think articles from 1987 are a bit too dated. For my last search I will activate the time restraint.
Next Example: My search using intitle:
Sample 4. Accessed through Google Scholar. Screen shot created by Author
I was shocked to see this search technique produced 25 results! It shows me that using intitle: is a very specific search technique. I think this would be extremely valuable if you were only searching 2 or 3 words as it would produce exactly what you wanted.
In this search I also made sure I tried the time constraint of 'Since 2012' and this meant that all my searches were current and relevant information. I really enjoyed this search technique as I felt it gave me results that were relevant and helpful for what I was looking for. Intitle: makes sure that all the words you have search for are within the result's main title and introduction.
Advantages & Limitations
1. I have read a few articles on the challenges of technology with inquiry learning - but everything else seems very positive. I would like to know - what are the disadvantages/challenges of inquiry learning - If any!?
2. I have refreshed my memory about Inquiry learning through this course's readings; however; I think using an Australian Database like A+ Education will help me even more. How many frameworks are there and which ones seem most relevant and helpful to my teaching environment?
3. There were no results in Google Scholar associated with the IB PYP program - why is this so? I would like to learn more about the Units of Inquiry of the IB program and HOW they get the students engaged and drawn in to each topics - what are they resources?
The Yogi of Inquiry Learning and Re-search