It never hurts to search: Best practices for web searching

Hi cybercougs! Are you all done with holiday decorations? It turns out that today is the Look for an Evergreen Day which means it is about the last opportunity you have to ensure you have a tree for holidays. But the true reason is that the National Arborist Association wanted to create a day to appreciate the beauty of evergreens. I found out about it just now, when I googled the day in hopes of learning something special about it.

Yuliya Gerasimova, 
WSU Global Campus Virtual Mentor 
My point is that our current technology offers us a wealth of information. We can learn practically anything if we just take the time to search for it by using best practices: inputting the correct terms, tweaking our search, and checking the credibility of the sources we find. You can also include punctuation marks and special characters to further refine your search, as discussed in this sheet from Google. For academic sources, the best options are WSU Libraries “Search It” or Google Scholar connected to WSU, as they have access to most academic resources both online and at other libraries.

Thinking back to my college years, I found the internet searches to be a huge help. This is how I learned about Washington State University in the first place, after my life took a turn and I found out my family would be relocating. Research allowed me to troubleshoot issues I stumbled across as a student that I didn’t know how to solve. One issue was accessing library resources through a VPN tunnel. Back in the day, this process required manually installing the VPN certificate and configuring a VPN tunnel through Network Connections settings. I experienced some major issues trying to get it to work, and I had to dig up all the tips I could find to get it up and running. I also contacted WSU Tech Support, but they didn’t have a clear-cut solution to my problem at the time. So, I hope you get my point: conducting searches for your questions can help! Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Ask your search engine, or ask your instructors. Or, better yet: Ask your Virtual Mentor in the VM discussion board in your course space. Typically, someone else is having the same struggles as you are, so ask away!

I have been a Virtual Mentor for nearly 8 years now. I started back in 2010 after I graduated from WSU Global Campus with a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences, and completed a VM workshop. I also work as a transcriptionist by converting video lectures and general notes into PDFs for disability access purposes at universities.

Of course, I’m a fan of students asking questions because I happen to be on the team sitting behind the screen, watching for problems you might have so I can do my best to help you resolve them. So, if you are having trouble getting your media to work, or finding the correct resource cited in lectures, or if you have second thoughts about a suspicious email allegedly from the WSU Help Desk, don’t hesitate to ask your VM! As your Virtual Mentors, we will do our best to help you resolve any navigational or technical issues that might impede your success as an online student!

Rooting for your success!
Yuliya, VM

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