Information Anlysis – what does this mean?

Critical analysis and evaluation occur concurrently when researching. It is vital to be critically literate in this time of information overload offered to us via the world wide web. Being able to apply this essential literacy competency empowers learners to not only interpret the text and make meaning, but  to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners who are capable of reaching their God given potential. The expert search strategies employed a variety of approaches in order to source relevant information that has been cited in my annotated bibliography. These expert search strategies share common terminology and related terms as they were associated to my inquiry. One vital learning disposition is the use of critical information skills. In order to evaluate the diverse nature of sources located I decided to utilise the CARS Checklist (Credibility, Accuracy Reasonableness and Support) to ensure information quality.

The CARS Checklist has been a very useful tool for me to use and the availability of posters in PDF form will be even more useful for point of intervention use in the classroom. However as my ILA is focusing on middle primary I will also consider Kathy Schrock’s checklist – The 5 W’s of Web Site Evaluation.

Information Analysis identifies where articles, books, abstracts and readings were obtained from and how I was able to critically analyse and evaluate the information within them.






Stephenson(Google) Author links to current twitter account Quote on website 2007 with blog last updated in February 2012 Passionate about Inquiry Learning and links with Galileo Network and 8 Inquiry Principles No sources listed
FitzGerald(Google and Google Scholar) Sponsored by SLAQ and IASL and even more credible due to being Head TL at Loreto Sydney Information published in 2011 and copy written by authors Purpose for article is to report on impact of Guided Inquiry and the how the SLIM toolkit was used Sources are highly relevant leaders of GI (CISSL, Kuhlthau and Todd)
Colburn(Google Scholar) No information about the author 2000 and a professor 13 years ago Practical and truthful narrative of difficulties behind GI 5 other professional links are available but dated 1964-1996
Wolf(Google Scholar via QUT via Informit) Author is a respected by Australasian Science Education Research Association Published in 2008 and is copy written in 2007 Seems to read reasonably well but is verbose and discusses gender and equity Over 40 references made well researched
Green(A+ Education) Clear author biography and whole abstract are listed Published in 2012 and discusses current inquiry trends in IB Author has a bias toward the IB program and the Middle Years Program model of inquiry 4 current sources from 2005-2008
McLean(A+ Education) Professional links with SCAN as a TL gives credibility Published in SCAN in 2011 Author supports Kuhlthau’s ISP model giving this added reasonableness 29 sources listed with many
Purnell & Harrison
(A= Education)
Published by Geographic Education giving authority to inquiry in this area of the Curriculum Published in 2011 in its complete entirety and has been copy written Purpose is to lift critical inquiry in Geography and Science using a backward map design CQ University Australia with 21 sources and current experts are listed
Sheerman(A+ Education) Professional links with SCAN as a Head of Information Services  gives credibility Published in SCAN in 2011 available as a complete article on this data base Author supports action research cycle and the use of ISP and SLIM in this article giving a truthful explanation of the action research 18 sources are listed with reference to FitzGerald, Hay & Todd, Todd and Kuhlthau
Hunsburger(ProQuest) University of Toronto with full abstract and doctorate Published in 2008 and is a complete document of 256 pages Truthful recount of teaching experience but unreasonable to consider due to the size Many sources are listed as to be expected in a doctorate
Kuhlthau & Maniotes(ProQuest) Professional links with School Library Monthly make this resource credible as does their names Complete article published in 2010 Truthful explanation of GI process and the role of the ISP make outstanding connections for educational purposes 3 references cited are all Kuhlthau connected
Pellegrino(ProQuest) Abstract only Published in 2008 Review of Kuhlthau’s book No sources are made
Rusche & Jason(ProQuest) Associated with American Sociologists has clear contact details and full abstract Published in 2011 Is a truthful recount of inquiry process and importance of questioning Appendix of 47 sources but none are known but sources can be located when checked

Are you as scholarly as Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a new search engine for me and gives free access to more scholarly literature across many publishing formats and disciplines. Even more impressive is the ability to link into other library collections such as the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) which was as easy as going into the settings and adding this to my list. To get started and try this new search strategy I did as many of my students do – watched a YouTube clip! Are you as scholarly as Google Scholar?

Firstly as a starting point I thought about the relevant search terms and related terms or synonyms. Below is a table of vocabulary that I used to conduct my expert searches on Google Scholar.

Figure 1. Relevant Terms

Figure 1. Relevant Terms

Search 1

Search String Used: “inquiry learning” AND “Inquiry Based Learning” AND “Middle School” AND “Science”

This being my first search brought 1,160 articles in only 0.08sec and after scanning the first few articles I realised that this was still not quite as relevant a search and that I would need to refine this next time. Perhaps using better Boolean operators would see this change dramatically? Another interesting thing to consider when using Google Scholar is that of access to the document. One article that was of interest was that of Coleburn (2000) as it was cited 203 times which I thought was high. The subjects listed and recent citations made me want to find this even more. Fortunately this article was accessible through QUT as a PDF.

Google Scholar Search 1

Figure 2. Google Scholar Search 1

Search 2

Search Strings Used:

  1. (inquiry learning AND Information Seach Process) AND (primary AND elementary) AND Science
  2. (inquiry learning AND Information Search Process) AND (primary AND elementary) AND Science
  3. (inquiry learning AND Inquiry Based Learning) AND (primary AND elementary) AND Science
  4. (“inquiry learning” AND “Inquiry Based Learning”) AND (“primary” AND “elementary”) AND Science
  5. (“inquiry learning” AND “Inquiry Based Learning”) AND (“primary” AND “elementary”) AND Science

Again before I did my second search I did some more research about the use of more complicated Boolean Operators and search terms such as parenthesis. The use of YouTube clips was employed to better my skills. As you can see by my initial use of parenthesis and a spelling error I was well on my way to discovering how to use this new tool more competently. Search 1 gave me 17,800 hits while search 2 with correct spelling brought 123,00 with the search terms scattered throughout the articles. This sent me back to researching Boolean operators where I remembered that using talking marks kept the word string together. Searching with parenthesis, talking marks and AND to link the related terms finally narrowed my search to 1,100 results but after a great deal of reading found only one article about attitudes towards learning in Science by Wolf (2008) which I have not included in my annotated bibliography as it was accessible only to subscription members. This makes me aware of accessibility and not being able to rely on Google Scholar for all sources of information. I took this bibliographic information and tried searching for the article on QUT but was unsuccessful.

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Figure 3: Google Scholar Search 2

Figure 3: Google Scholar Search 2

Search 3

Search String Used: (“Guided Inquiry” AND “Information Search Process AND primary NEAR Science

In my previous search I was perplexed by the list of articles dating from 1985 to 2001 and saw that there was not a great deal of citation or even links to the QUT library. This indicated a lack in currency and therefore made me question the accuracy of these articles. Considering that I had not used the related term Guided Inquiry (GI) it was clear that another search would be necessary. As GI is grounded in constructivist principles and connects with the Information Search Process (I.S.P.) this was to be the next synonym used. The decision to use the Boolean operator NEAR was based on the fact that my ISP is a primary science unit and having these relevant terms close by would be ideal. In this search I found an interesting article by FitzGerald (2011) that explains a Guided Inquiry unit conducted by Ross Todd and interestingly enough was cited by Bernadine Power a past QUT TL student.

Figure 4: Google Scholar Search 3

Figure 4: Google Scholar Search 3

These are the articles of interest that will form part of my annotated bibliography:

Colburn, A (2000). “An inquiry primer”. Science scope (Washington, D.C.) , 23 (6), p. 42.

FitzGerald, L. (2011). The twin purposes of Guided Inquiry: guiding student inquiry and evidence based practice.


Wolf, Stephen J. (05/2008). “Learning Environment, Attitudes and Achievement among Middle-school Science Students Using Inquiry-based Laboratory Activities“. Research in science education (Australasian Science Education Research Association) , 38 (3), p. 321.

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My Inquiry Learning Questions

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” Lloyd Alexander

What is inquiry learning?

This investigation started with research from Carol Kuhlthau where she explains this process as going “beyond merely fact finding to personal understanding” (2010, p. 4). I have likened this to the getting of wisdom and wonder if this inquiry learning process is a professional model of practice that can be taught to teachers and students alike? I read Mark Treadwell‘s book, The Conceptual Age and the Revolution School 2.0 and enjoyed the chapter about inquiry learning but have not put this into practice yet. Treadwell states that “the development of inquiry is now seen as a core capability in developing a lifelong learning capability within the move to the emerging education paradigm” (2008, p. 75) and having no real experience in this area I am excited by this opportunity to learn more.

What does expert inquiry learning look like?

If inquiry is a way of learning then what does best practice look like? Kuhlthau explains that Guided Inquiry “is a research approach to learning” (2010, p.2) but that it is guided by a team to gain a deeper understanding. “Inquiry provides the opportunity to create a third space and Guided Inquiry enables students to make their own connections within the inquiry process” (ibid,. p 5-6). The idea of new knowledge being developed in the third space is exciting – does this mean the student’s background knowledge and the teacher’s mandated curriculum can be met in the middle? A perfect answer to the crowded curriculum conundrum.

How do we recognise the critical moment when we are to intervene?

The important part of this will be to ask the deep and rich questions and keep asking and stretching our researchers too – all at the right time. What will this time look like? How will I know when to do this stretch? The social construction that learning will come through isn’t limited to just us in classrooms anymore. It is important to teach wider thinking, questioning and make links to our State Libraries and even the Public Records Office. How can we guide and not give away the information? Is there a best search model to follow? I am interested in the Information Search Process (ISP) that the inquiry process described by Kuhlthau (2010) as this seems to offer deep learning and thinking but are there others to investigate? It will be interesting to reflect on this over the semester and decide if Kuhlthau, who stated, “an inquiry approach is a most efficient way to learn” (2010, p. 6) is indeed correct.


Kuhlthau, Carol. (2010). Guided inquiry : school libraries in the 21st century School Libraries Worldwide, 16 (1), 1-12.

Treadwell, M. (2008). The Conceptual Age and the Revolution Schoolv2.0. Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

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