Student Survival Guide for Distance Learning
Student Survival Guide for Distance Learning
Student Survival Guide for Distance Learning
Skills for Learning in an Information Age IT 105
Professor Margaret Garberina
March 4, 2007
Student Survival Guide for Distance Learning
The decision to return to school to further one’s education is one of the most important decisions that a person can make. Going to college full-time is not something that someone can just do in her spare time. Attending, and excelling, in college takes time, hard work, and patience. No one can know everything. College courses are available to teach the information that is not readily available. Getting a college degree allows people to reach heights that they had not been able to before. A college graduate has more opportunities for advancement and pay increases than coworkers that do not possess a degree. There are steps to take that can help someone excel in her classes and be more prepared for life after college.

Conducting Successful Library and Internet Searches
The internet gives today’s students a vast array of information at their fingertips. A person can sit down at a computer for a few minutes and find hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of pages relating to the information that is being searched for. Searching for information is simple. Narrowing down the results that are given to a small enough number to work with takes a little more work.

Brainstorming is one way to start the process. By writing down the main idea and writing down thoughts as they come, the student is giving herself more information to work with. When someone just tries to think about the information without writing it down, valuable ideas could be forgotten. Writing down anything, even if it does not make sense at the time, can open up even more avenues of thought on the subject.

After doing searches on the ideas that are written down, the results will still need to be refined. Enclosing the search words in quotation marks will decrease the number of results and return more specific information. More words from the brainstorming page can be added to the search criteria to narrow the results further. After reading the results, the student may decide that there may be certain sites given that are not helpful at all. Typing a minus sign preceding a word that needs to be filtered out of the results will show an even smaller return of information. The results that are still shown will be more likely to be pertinent to the research.

Not all those pages are created equally however. A student must be careful to use well established web-sites for gathering information. Anyone can create a professional looking webpage. No one should just assume that anything written on the internet is factual information. Some websites are obvious hoaxes, and some are harder to figure out.

One of the student’s responsibilities is to research her research; check out the source of the information. Many sites include information where the bias might not be readily apparent. There are a few things that should be determined before accepting information as unbiased.

What affiliations does the author have that may influence the information that they present?
What affiliations does that website itself have that may influence the information that is allowed to be presented?
How accurate are the facts that are stated? Can those facts be proven somewhere else?
Does that article or website provide adequate answers to opposing arguments?
One way to find out what other sites are linked to the one in question is to go to an internet search engine and type link: and the website address. The search engine will show all the sites that are linked to the site being researched. That will not definitively prove bias but it will give a starting point to begin looking.

The school’s library is an excellent source of information for research. The databases that are provided offer countless pages of useful data. The databases can be a little intimidating at first, though. The library’s tutorial is an exceptional way to get started using the library. The tutorial is also a good place to go for a refresher course on how the library operates. The tutorial is located at

To begin, read through the different databases that are available. Each one of the databases covers a different

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Successful Library And Internet Searches. (April 16, 2021). Retrieved from