I searched ‘Inquiry and secondary and obesity’ this was met with a mixed response. ‘Inquiry‘ was  interpreted as a ‘senate inquiry’ into obesity

and ‘Secondary‘ came up with ‘secondary responses’ instead of ‘secondary education’. I think I need to be more specific

A relevant link was listed last on the page however it was published in Croatia. I realise I need to be searching inquiry learning, however seeing as I am not the teacher who designed the assignment, a present my energies are best spent trying to help the students and understand exactly the frustrations they feel when trying to search for their topic.

 Google Advanced

I searched ‘preventing obesity in children’ in Language English, Country Australia

An ‘alliance for a healthier generation (USA’) came up first which would have some good information on it however Australian sources were requested..

Again ‘health rights USA’ came up second even though I requested Australia.

Both times in the above instances  scholarly articles for prevention of obesity in children came up third.

This shows a screen shot of the perfect website for students. This also prompted me to search for ‘strategies’. And students can use reference list at bottom of page for further readings.

This is just a snap shot of what I sent through to try to find relevant information. I can understand how students become quickly frustrated with google and inquiry learning in general.

Google scholar allows students to search just for scholarly journal articles. It helps to narrow the field for students.

This You Tube link bellow explains to students how to use Boolean Operators and this is something that I would show my students as a refresher before they start their inquiry process.

The next You Tube clip explains to student the domination of google, I believe this is important for students to understand. The clip fails to explain how people pay to have their website appear first of the list but does provide an good explanation about how google works. Students need to acknowledge that they may not all information is readily available to them and they may need to search other engines to use Boolean operators

The following you Tube Clip, although longer and drier, introduces the concept of ‘Truncation’ and would be useful for students.

Compare Google to Google Scholar

My Journey so far…Google allows access to the whole web including links to blogs and lesson plans on ‘inquiry learning’. Google Scholar acts as a library data base and only searches academic articles. Both tools base its results on keyword frequency and allows options for advanced searching in different areas. In Google Searches can be refined according to language, region, time, reading level, licence or website. In Google Scholar Searches can be refined according to author, publication, date or legal jurisdiction. Due to its ease of use and familiarity I would recommend students try using both search engines.


This search tool is easy to use, it has a similar layout and options to Google. I found the information down the right hand side tool bar extremely useful. Here the results are broken down and Pro Quest tells you how many journal articles, or how many results feature certain subjects or key words. This makes it very easy to refine your search.


A+ Education

The lay out is very different and would take secondary students a while to get used to. The front screen has a welcoming line and then a table of suggestions to help you search. The table is bellow and I thought this was a good idea.

To   find: Enter   search:
The word   ‘trade’ anywhere in a record trade
‘trade’,   ‘trader’, ‘tradesman’, ‘trade-related’ trade*
The exact   phrase ‘trade pact’ trade   pact
The exact   phrase ‘war and peace’ in the ‘Title’ field ti=”war   and peace”
The subject   term ‘human rights’ in any subject field subject=human   rights
The author   ‘Smith, John’ in any author field author=smith   john
Programs   or stories   broadcast on television for an entire month, e.g. May 2008 dob=200805*
Programs   or stories broadcast   on television on a particular day, e.g. 22 June 2008 dob=20080622
Both   words ‘law’ and ‘reform’ in a record law and   reform
Either   or both words ‘law’ or ‘reform’ in a record law or   reform
Records   with the word ‘law’, not both ‘law’ and ‘reform’ law not   reform


After having thousands of responses in other search engines I was surprised when A+ education found no results to Query term: (Inquiry-Based Learning) AND (Secondary Education) I had to broaden my search and only found results when I searched for ‘Inquiry Leaning’. A great thing about A+ Education is it records your searches and number of results in the bottom right hand corner; this makes it easier to go back. Once I found 24 responses, I then refined asked it just to give me the results with ‘inquiry learning’ in the Title, I came up with 4.


I found this data base the most useful out of all the search engines. The question needs to be asked was it the most useful because it was the last engine I tried and I improved at searching or is it the actual information I found. Eric displays an abstract with each result it finds. This can be overwhelming when you have a lot of results, but I actually found it very useful, I dint have to wait while more information was being loaded.

I quickly found results and I utilised the folder on the right hand side, that saved my articles of interest and I can now go back and look at them. I had to send a request to the Library for one of the journal articles. This is an ‘extra step’ and with the current generation, they expect things instantaneous.


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inquiry learning & information literacy

ideas & musings from mandy lupton

Learning by Inquiring

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing". ARISTOTLE (384-322 BC)


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