Distance Education - Online Resources

Searching the Internet:

  • Firefox or Chrome are the recommended browsers for Canvas and can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.mozilla.org/. Once you have installed your browser, using your mouse, locate the web browser icon on your desktop and double click on it.
  • Once the homepage is loaded, you will see a full webpage. Most large web pages do not fit on the entire screen. If you see scroll bars on the right of the bottom of the screen, simply click on the arrows to view more of the webpage.
  • Another useful tool when navigating the web, are links. A link is a word or a picture that takes you directly to another location on the web. When you pass your mouse over a link it will turn into a hand. Click on the word or picture and you will be taken to another location on the web, related to the word or picture you clicked. Many word links are underlined.
  • Sometimes you may need to view two web pages at once. To open another webpage, press [Ctrl][N] on your keyboard. A new Internet Explorer window will open to navigate between the two pages, click on the webpage you wish to view on the task bar located at the bottom of the screen.
  • At the top of any webpage, you will find the address bar. Using your mouse, click in the box next to the word "address" and type the address you would like to view. For example, to access Yahoo, click in the box and type the address, www.yahoo.com.
  • Yahoo is a type of Internet search engine. Search engines are programs that search the web and find websites based on the subject entered into the search field. It then generates a result page with a list of links related to your subject. This is one of the quickest methods of researching on the web.
  • For this tutorial, we will be using Google. Returning to the address window, type www.google.com. Once the Google homepage loads, click in the search box and type in the subject of your research, as an example we will research California Colleges. Once you've typed the subject click on the Google Search button.
  • Possible hits for your subject will be shown as links. Simply click on the link you would like to follow.
  • When you do a basic search, it often generates hundreds of thousands of results. Most of these results will be irrelevant to your search. There are several ways to narrow down your search.
  • The Phrase Method tells the search engine to look for a subject as a phrase with quotation marks. If you type California Colleges "engineering schools" in the search box and click on the search button, you will notice that the search engine returns results not only matching California Colleges, but also containing the phrase "engineering schools".
  • The number of results you received is a little over 2,000 versus the 994,000 from the basic search.
  • Another way of narrowing your search is the Exclude and Include Method.
  • In the search box, type California Colleges, the minus sign and the word southern. The search engine will return results for colleges in California and not show results from colleges in the southern area.
  • If you type California College, the plus sign and the word southern. The search engine will return results for colleges only in the southern part of the state.
  • Be careful not to make your search too specific. The search engine may return too few or even zero results.
  • For further information or training beyond the basics we've covered, please visit the Student Success Center, located in the lower level of the LRC. You can also visit their website at www.cerritos.edu/ssc. The Cerritos College Library has a variety of excellent research guides on various subjects. You can access the library's research guide at www.cerritos.edu/library.

The College Library:

  • Now let's take a quick tour of the Cerritos College Library. From the College Home Page (www.cerritos.edu/) click on Library.
  • The library home page is a great place to start when you're looking for information or doing a research paper. As you can see there are many links that will lead you to different types of information such as books, ebooks, articles, research guides, websites, and most importantly librarians.
  • Online students can search the book catalog from home to see if the library owns a book, ebook, or magazine on any topic or by any author. The book catalog will tell you if the book is available for check out, however you must come into the library to retrieve the books you're interested in. You need a valid student ID to check out books.
  • If you want to limit your search to electronic books that can be viewed from off campus you can search eBooks.
  • Students have free access to millions of full-text articles from magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, and other authoritative sources through our online databases. The resources included in these databases are not available for free on the open web and include the kinds of resources your professors want you to use when writing a research paper. Select a database from the list to find out what kind of information you will get from that database. In order to access these databases from off-campus, you will be asked to login with your Campus ID and password. To contact a librarian click on Ask a Librarian from the Library Home Page. The Librarians can also help you use the databases to their fullest capacity and become a power searcher in your quest for information.
  • The library provides Research Guides in a wide variety of subject areas to help students get started with their research papers. These guides list books, key words, databases, and websites that are useful when researching specific topics. These guides are designed to guide you through the research process and to help you navigate the vast sea of information available on your topic.
  • If you have any questions about the library or its resources, just Ask a Librarian. You can call, email, or chat. There's always someone available to answer your questions and help you with your research!

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