Student Reaction to Google Placement

Student Reaction to Google Placement (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

While preparing for my Intro to Literary Study class, I thought that, since I introduced the “Claim, Data, Warrant” concept last week when I was very sick, I’d better revisit the topic to make sure the presentation was effective. I Googled claim data warrant (without quotation marks) and looked for handouts. To my surprise, a blog entry that I wrote last week was fifth out of some 7 million hits for that topic.

Since I was planning to introduce an upcoming assignment that asks students to find peer-reviewed sources, I thought I’d introduce that quirky Google result as an example of why you should rely on library databases instead of Google when doing literature research. (When you include quotation marks, my site is 10th out of 200, which is still pretty good.)

But the students surprised me when I showed them the result. They applauded.

That sort of knocked the wind out of the sails of my intended argument — “Don’t trust Google for something the library database does better!” But I did emphasize that the blog entry that attracted Google wasn’t actually teaching the claim, data, warrant format. Google doesn’t know that I was looking for an instructional resource, and that instead it returned a personal reflection (“Lecturing is So Much Easier than Leading a Discussion“). That blog entry was not actually about CDW, but rather how sick I was.

Anyway, I’m sure that Google likes that page so much right now simply because it’s new.