(Video) Search Mastery Speaker Series: Overview of Program & Activities

UMD INFO Staff - March 7, 2023

An overview of program activities and opportunities related to exploring the foundations and practice of effective search engine use.

Image of an internet search bar with the words "search mastery" in it

On February 16, members of the University of Maryland Search Mastery Interest Group provided an overview of program activities and opportunities related to exploring the foundations and practice of effective search engine use: skills, education, and literacy. They spoke about the program’s main initiative—developing ways for students to improve their skills at online, open-web search. Ira Chinoy, associate professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, detailed the program’s origin. Sarah McGrew, assistant professor at the College of Education, spoke about the learning materials developed by the group. Beth St. Jean, associate professor at the College of Information Studies (INFO College), discussed the implementation of search mastery training at the INFO College. Ryan O’Grady, lecturer and assistant faculty director at the College of Information Studies, talked about the group’s public outreach programs.

Ira Chinoy has 24 years of experience as a journalist at four newspapers: The Washington Post, The Providence (Rhode Island) Journal, The Lawrence (Massachusetts) Eagle-Tribune and The Pine Bluff (Arkansas) Commercial. Chinoy has been on the Merrill College faculty since 2001. His courses include journalism history, researching emerging media in journalism, the use of archives as a resource for journalists, computer-assisted reporting, and news reporting and writing.

Sarah McGrew studies educational responses to the spread of online mis- and disinformation. Her research focuses on young people’s civic online reasoning—how they search for and evaluate online information on contentious social and political topics—and how schools can better support students to learn effective evaluation strategies.

Beth St. Jean teaches classes focusing on information behavior, research methods, consumer health informatics, and strategies for assisting people with their needs for information. In her research, she aims to improve people’s long-term health outlooks by exploring the important interrelationships between their health-related information behaviors, their health literacy, their health-related self-efficacy, and their health behaviors. Her most current research focuses on consumer health information justice, aiming to identify the information-related causes of, and potential solutions to, health disparities.

Ryan O’Grady provides training to librarians across Maryland and the U.S. to facilitate library-based professional development, works with the American Library Association on its Media Literacy Education in Libraries for Adult Audiences project, and served on a regional project for the national Urban Library Council seeking to elevate libraries as transformative institutions in workforce development.

Watch a recording of the talk: