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Information Gathering

We have been conducting information gathering throughout our academic and work careers. Throughout school, we have learned strategies and techniques for gathering information. The only thing that has changed are the common methods used. At one time, physical libraries were the places to go to conduct research and it took more time to complete. Now, research is conducted primarily on the Internet, and it takes much less time [1].

When looking for solutions to immediate problems, always keep an eye out for best practices. If you discover a best practice, try to capture the details in a tool that will allow you to retrieve it easily later.

Sources of information

Determining the sources for information changes with each problem that is encountered. In some cases, you may rely more on people to find a solution to your problem, and in other cases, you may need to search the Internet. Here are some typical sources that you might consider:

Human

Odds are that you are not the first person to run into the problem you are facing. They can easily put you on the right track. It is simply a matter of asking them. Here are some possibilities as they relate to Extension:

  • Your supervisor
  • Your office assistant
  • Initiative team members
  • Members of other initiative teams
  • Specialists
  • Agencies
  • Clients
  • Vendors
  • Extension members from other states

Non-human

In many cases, people go to the Internet first before talking to a colleague. One of the first places searched is Google. When trying to find an answer to a problem, consider using:

  • Google
  • YouTube
  • FLickr
  • Twitter
  • UW Library
  • Proprietary databases
  • Subscriptions to professional magazines and journals

Most people can conduct basic searches on the Internet; however, to find what you really need you should become more familiar with the search query structure for different systems: Here are some of the more common search structures:

Tools for finding information

RSS from Library

Tools for collecting and sharing information

Hoffman encourages employees everywhere to share resources with other as they find them. [1] One of the more powerful things we can do for adult learners is to create learning resource guides or lists. By providing countless options, adults remain in control of their learning, something they enjoy. An easy way to develop a subject guide is with a tool like Diigo, a social bookmarking tool. You can also use other tools such as wikis. Here are resources you can use to collect and share resources for others:


Talk about evernote


Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hoffman, B. (2003). Informal learning: Managing the training function. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD. Retrieved from http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/1562863908