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Learning Design & Technology

Recommended resources for learning design and technology, including educational technology; instructional systems; distance education; online learning; and related topics.

Basic search techniques for Google, Scholar, Books, News & Images

Google search tips

  • Capitalize search operators/boolean connectors AND, OR  
    •  Example:  zika AND "birth defects"
  • To exclude words use a dash or minus sign (-) before a word with multiple meanings or to exclude a site   
    • Example:  jaguar speed -car,
  • To search for an exact phrase and make sure that you are only returning results that have those exact words in the same words in same order  but quotation marks around the phrase
    • Example: “your phrase in double quotations”
  • When you’re not certain if you are looking for a compound word or two words search for both using the OR operator and putting both terms within parentheses  
    • (“health care” OR healthcare)
  • wildcard - placeholder for any unknown term (word or number)
    • "evidence based" ** practice
  • number range - results contain numbers in the range
    • 1990..1999 AND ("native american" OR "american indian") AND poverty
  • terms in the document title
    •     intitle:”human trafficking”

Cited reference searches

Use the Cited by link to to see newer papers that reference the citation.

  • On your Google Scholar results page, click Cited by to see articles that have cited your reference.
  • Entries with [Citation] have been extracted from bibliographies of articles and may not have complete bibliographic information.

Limit page results in Google, Books, News & Images

No spaces between the limit and search terms.

define:hipster limits results to pages with definitions
filetype:pdf AND ebola limits pages with specified file type (pdf, doc, xls, ppt, rtf, dwf, ps, kml, kmz, swf) AND ebola limits results to pages from the domain  results included cached version of page, pages that link to site, similar pages  pages that link to the page pages that are similar

Find specific information types: books, blogs, news, images


  • Go to to search full text of books--free, borrow, buy.


  • Google search box > yourterms AND blog
  • Google search box > yourterms > News > Search tools > All news > Blogs

News & News Archive

  • Google search box > yourterms > News for current computer generated headlines
  • Google search box > yourterms > News > Search tools > Recent > Custom range for articles from 2003
  • Google search box > yourterms > News > Search tools > Archives for articles prior to 2003
  • Go to for top headlines in 11 categories and 70+ regional editions
  • Go to > down arrow for Advanced news search for more search options


  • Google search box > Images > Search tools for size, color type, time, usage rights
  • Go to > Settings > Advanced search for size, color type, time, usage rights
  • Go to > Camera icon > Search by image by url or uploading an image, a good way to check for appropriate use