• Research Skills

50 Mini-Lessons For Teaching Students Research Skills

Please note, I am no longer blogging and this post hasn’t updated since April 2020.

For a number of years, Seth Godin has been talking about the need to “ connect the dots” rather than “collect the dots” . That is, rather than memorising information, students must be able to learn how to solve new problems, see patterns, and combine multiple perspectives.

Solid research skills underpin this. Having the fluency to find and use information successfully is an essential skill for life and work.

Today’s students have more information at their fingertips than ever before and this means the role of the teacher as a guide is more important than ever.

You might be wondering how you can fit teaching research skills into a busy curriculum? There aren’t enough hours in the day! The good news is, there are so many mini-lessons you can do to build students’ skills over time.

This post outlines 50 ideas for activities that could be done in just a few minutes (or stretched out to a longer lesson if you have the time!).

Learn More About The Research Process

I have a popular post called Teach Students How To Research Online In 5 Steps. It outlines a five-step approach to break down the research process into manageable chunks.

Learn about a simple search process for students in primary school, middle school, or high school Kathleen Morris

This post shares ideas for mini-lessons that could be carried out in the classroom throughout the year to help build students’ skills in the five areas of: clarify, search, delve, evaluate , and cite . It also includes ideas for learning about staying organised throughout the research process.

Notes about the 50 research activities:

  • These ideas can be adapted for different age groups from middle primary/elementary to senior high school.
  • Many of these ideas can be repeated throughout the year.
  • Depending on the age of your students, you can decide whether the activity will be more teacher or student led. Some activities suggest coming up with a list of words, questions, or phrases. Teachers of younger students could generate these themselves.
  • Depending on how much time you have, many of the activities can be either quickly modelled by the teacher, or extended to an hour-long lesson.
  • Some of the activities could fit into more than one category.
  • Looking for simple articles for younger students for some of the activities? Try DOGO News or Time for Kids . Newsela is also a great resource but you do need to sign up for free account.
  • Why not try a few activities in a staff meeting? Everyone can always brush up on their own research skills!

research skills year 5

  • Choose a topic (e.g. koalas, basketball, Mount Everest) . Write as many questions as you can think of relating to that topic.
  • Make a mindmap of a topic you’re currently learning about. This could be either on paper or using an online tool like Bubbl.us .
  • Read a short book or article. Make a list of 5 words from the text that you don’t totally understand. Look up the meaning of the words in a dictionary (online or paper).
  • Look at a printed or digital copy of a short article with the title removed. Come up with as many different titles as possible that would fit the article.
  • Come up with a list of 5 different questions you could type into Google (e.g. Which country in Asia has the largest population?) Circle the keywords in each question.
  • Write down 10 words to describe a person, place, or topic. Come up with synonyms for these words using a tool like  Thesaurus.com .
  • Write pairs of synonyms on post-it notes (this could be done by the teacher or students). Each student in the class has one post-it note and walks around the classroom to find the person with the synonym to their word.

research skills year 5

  • Explore how to search Google using your voice (i.e. click/tap on the microphone in the Google search box or on your phone/tablet keyboard) . List the pros and cons of using voice and text to search.
  • Open two different search engines in your browser such as Google and Bing. Type in a query and compare the results. Do all search engines work exactly the same?
  • Have students work in pairs to try out a different search engine (there are 11 listed here ). Report back to the class on the pros and cons.
  • Think of something you’re curious about, (e.g. What endangered animals live in the Amazon Rainforest?). Open Google in two tabs. In one search, type in one or two keywords ( e.g. Amazon Rainforest) . In the other search type in multiple relevant keywords (e.g. endangered animals Amazon rainforest).  Compare the results. Discuss the importance of being specific.
  • Similar to above, try two different searches where one phrase is in quotation marks and the other is not. For example, Origin of “raining cats and dogs” and Origin of raining cats and dogs . Discuss the difference that using quotation marks makes (It tells Google to search for the precise keywords in order.)
  • Try writing a question in Google with a few minor spelling mistakes. What happens? What happens if you add or leave out punctuation ?
  • Try the AGoogleADay.com daily search challenges from Google. The questions help older students learn about choosing keywords, deconstructing questions, and altering keywords.
  • Explore how Google uses autocomplete to suggest searches quickly. Try it out by typing in various queries (e.g. How to draw… or What is the tallest…). Discuss how these suggestions come about, how to use them, and whether they’re usually helpful.
  • Watch this video  from Code.org to learn more about how search works .
  • Take a look at  20 Instant Google Searches your Students Need to Know  by Eric Curts to learn about “ instant searches ”. Try one to try out. Perhaps each student could be assigned one to try and share with the class.
  • Experiment with typing some questions into Google that have a clear answer (e.g. “What is a parallelogram?” or “What is the highest mountain in the world?” or “What is the population of Australia?”). Look at the different ways the answers are displayed instantly within the search results — dictionary definitions, image cards, graphs etc.

What is the population of Australia

  • Watch the video How Does Google Know Everything About Me?  by Scientific American. Discuss the PageRank algorithm and how Google uses your data to customise search results.
  • Brainstorm a list of popular domains   (e.g. .com, .com.au, or your country’s domain) . Discuss if any domains might be more reliable than others and why (e.g. .gov or .edu) .
  • Discuss (or research) ways to open Google search results in a new tab to save your original search results  (i.e. right-click > open link in new tab or press control/command and click the link).
  • Try out a few Google searches (perhaps start with things like “car service” “cat food” or “fresh flowers”). A re there advertisements within the results? Discuss where these appear and how to spot them.
  • Look at ways to filter search results by using the tabs at the top of the page in Google (i.e. news, images, shopping, maps, videos etc.). Do the same filters appear for all Google searches? Try out a few different searches and see.
  • Type a question into Google and look for the “People also ask” and “Searches related to…” sections. Discuss how these could be useful. When should you use them or ignore them so you don’t go off on an irrelevant tangent? Is the information in the drop-down section under “People also ask” always the best?
  • Often, more current search results are more useful. Click on “tools” under the Google search box and then “any time” and your time frame of choice such as “Past month” or “Past year”.
  • Have students annotate their own “anatomy of a search result” example like the one I made below. Explore the different ways search results display; some have more details like sitelinks and some do not.

Anatomy of a google search result

  • Find two articles on a news topic from different publications. Or find a news article and an opinion piece on the same topic. Make a Venn diagram comparing the similarities and differences.
  • Choose a graph, map, or chart from The New York Times’ What’s Going On In This Graph series . Have a whole class or small group discussion about the data.
  • Look at images stripped of their captions on What’s Going On In This Picture? by The New York Times. Discuss the images in pairs or small groups. What can you tell?
  • Explore a website together as a class or in pairs — perhaps a news website. Identify all the advertisements .
  • Have a look at a fake website either as a whole class or in pairs/small groups. See if students can spot that these sites are not real. Discuss the fact that you can’t believe everything that’s online. Get started with these four examples of fake websites from Eric Curts.
  • Give students a copy of my website evaluation flowchart to analyse and then discuss as a class. Read more about the flowchart in this post.
  • As a class, look at a prompt from Mike Caulfield’s Four Moves . Either together or in small groups, have students fact check the prompts on the site. This resource explains more about the fact checking process. Note: some of these prompts are not suitable for younger students.
  • Practice skim reading — give students one minute to read a short article. Ask them to discuss what stood out to them. Headings? Bold words? Quotes? Then give students ten minutes to read the same article and discuss deep reading.

research skills year 5

All students can benefit from learning about plagiarism, copyright, how to write information in their own words, and how to acknowledge the source. However, the formality of this process will depend on your students’ age and your curriculum guidelines.

  • Watch the video Citation for Beginners for an introduction to citation. Discuss the key points to remember.
  • Look up the definition of plagiarism using a variety of sources (dictionary, video, Wikipedia etc.). Create a definition as a class.
  • Find an interesting video on YouTube (perhaps a “life hack” video) and write a brief summary in your own words.
  • Have students pair up and tell each other about their weekend. Then have the listener try to verbalise or write their friend’s recount in their own words. Discuss how accurate this was.
  • Read the class a copy of a well known fairy tale. Have them write a short summary in their own words. Compare the versions that different students come up with.
  • Try out MyBib — a handy free online tool without ads that helps you create citations quickly and easily.
  • Give primary/elementary students a copy of Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Citation that matches their grade level (the guide covers grades 1 to 6). Choose one form of citation and create some examples as a class (e.g. a website or a book).
  • Make a list of things that are okay and not okay to do when researching, e.g. copy text from a website, use any image from Google images, paraphrase in your own words and cite your source, add a short quote and cite the source. 
  • Have students read a short article and then come up with a summary that would be considered plagiarism and one that would not be considered plagiarism. These could be shared with the class and the students asked to decide which one shows an example of plagiarism .
  • Older students could investigate the difference between paraphrasing and summarising . They could create a Venn diagram that compares the two.
  • Write a list of statements on the board that might be true or false ( e.g. The 1956 Olympics were held in Melbourne, Australia. The rhinoceros is the largest land animal in the world. The current marathon world record is 2 hours, 7 minutes). Have students research these statements and decide whether they’re true or false by sharing their citations.

Staying Organised

research skills year 5

  • Make a list of different ways you can take notes while researching — Google Docs, Google Keep, pen and paper etc. Discuss the pros and cons of each method.
  • Learn the keyboard shortcuts to help manage tabs (e.g. open new tab, reopen closed tab, go to next tab etc.). Perhaps students could all try out the shortcuts and share their favourite one with the class.
  • Find a collection of resources on a topic and add them to a Wakelet .
  • Listen to a short podcast or watch a brief video on a certain topic and sketchnote ideas. Sylvia Duckworth has some great tips about live sketchnoting
  • Learn how to use split screen to have one window open with your research, and another open with your notes (e.g. a Google spreadsheet, Google Doc, Microsoft Word or OneNote etc.) .

All teachers know it’s important to teach students to research well. Investing time in this process will also pay off throughout the year and the years to come. Students will be able to focus on analysing and synthesizing information, rather than the mechanics of the research process.

By trying out as many of these mini-lessons as possible throughout the year, you’ll be really helping your students to thrive in all areas of school, work, and life.

Also remember to model your own searches explicitly during class time. Talk out loud as you look things up and ask students for input. Learning together is the way to go!

You Might Also Enjoy Reading:

How To Evaluate Websites: A Guide For Teachers And Students

Five Tips for Teaching Students How to Research and Filter Information

Typing Tips: The How and Why of Teaching Students Keyboarding Skills

8 Ways Teachers And Schools Can Communicate With Parents

Learn how to teach research skills to primary students, middle school students, or high school students. 50 activities that could be done in just a few minutes a day. Lots of Google search tips and research tips for kids and teachers. Free PDF included! Kathleen Morris | Primary Tech

10 Replies to “50 Mini-Lessons For Teaching Students Research Skills”

Loving these ideas, thank you

This list is amazing. Thank you so much!

' src=

So glad it’s helpful, Alex! 🙂

Hi I am a student who really needed some help on how to reasearch thanks for the help.

' src=

So glad it helped! 🙂

seriously seriously grateful for your post. 🙂

' src=

So glad it’s helpful! Makes my day 🙂

How do you get the 50 mini lessons. I got the free one but am interested in the full version.

' src=

Hi Tracey, The link to the PDF with the 50 mini lessons is in the post. Here it is . Check out this post if you need more advice on teaching students how to research online. Hope that helps! Kathleen

Best wishes to you as you face your health battler. Hoping you’ve come out stronger and healthier from it. Your website is so helpful.

Comments are closed.

Join my VIP teacher email club!

research skills year 5

Finally, a guide for upper elementary teachers that will show you how to teach research reports in a step-by-step format!

If you are struggling with teaching the research report process, you are not alone. Seriously, we’ve all been there!

I spent several years avoiding research reports for my 5th grade writers or simply depending on the Library-Media Specialist to teach the research process.

One year, I decided to take the plunge and teach my students how to research a topic and write a research report.

The process was clunky at first, but I learned a lot about how students approach research and how to guide them from choosing a topic to completing their final copies.

Before we discuss the HOW , let’s talk about the WHY .

research reports for 5th grade and 6th grade

Why You Should Be Assigning Research Reports to Your 5th and 6th Grade Students

I have three main reasons for assigning research reports to my students.

First, the skill involved in finding reliable sources and citing sources is valuable.

Beginning in 5th grade, and possibly even before, students need to be able to discern the reliability of a source . They should be able to spot propaganda and distinguish between reputable sources and phony ones.

Teaching the procedure for citing sources is important because my 5th grade students need to grasp the reality of plagiarism and how to avoid it.

By providing information about the sources they used, students are consciously avoiding copying the work of authors and learning to give credit where credit is due.

Second, by taking notes and organizing their notes into an outline, students are exercising their ability to find main ideas and corresponding details.

Being able to organize ideas is crucial for young writers.

Third, when writing research reports, students are internalizing the writing process, including organizing, writing a rough draft, proofreading/editing, and writing a final draft.

When students write research reports about topics of interest, they are fine-tuning their reading and writing skills.

How to Teach Step-By-Step Research Reports

How to Teach Step-By-Step Research Reports in Grades 5 & 6

As a veteran upper elementary teacher, I know exactly what is going to happen when I tell my students that we are going to start research reports.

There will be a resounding groan followed by students voicing their displeasure. (It goes something like this…. “Mrs. Bazzit! That’s too haaaaaaard!” or “Ugh. That’s boring!” *Sigh*  I’ve heard it all, lol.)

This is when I put on my (somewhat fictional) excited teacher hat and help them to realize that the research report process will be fun and interesting.

Teach students how to choose a topic and cite their sources

Step 1: Help Students to Choose a Topic and Cite Sources for Research Reports

Students definitely get excited when they find out they are allowed to choose their own research topic. Providing choice leads to higher engagement and interest.

It’s best practice to provide a list of possible research topics to students, but also allow them to choose a different topic.

Be sure to make your research topics narrow to help students focus on sources. If students choose broad topics, the sources they find will overwhelm them with information.

Too Broad: American Revolution

Just Right: The Battle of Yorktown

Too Broad: Ocean Life

Just Right: Great White Shark

Too Broad: Important Women in History

Just Right: The Life of Abigail Adams

Be sure to discuss appropriate, reliable sources with students.

I suggest projecting several examples of internet sources on your technology board. Ask students to decide if the sources look reliable or unreliable.

While teaching students about citing sources, it’s a great time to discuss plagiarism and ways to avoid it.

Students should never copy the words of an author unless they are properly quoting the text.

In fact, I usually discourage students from quoting their sources in their research reports. In my experience, students will try to quote a great deal of text and will border on plagiarism.

I prefer to see students paraphrase from their sources because this skill helps them to refine their summarization skills.

Citing sources is not as hard as it sounds! I find that my students generally use books and internet sources, so those are the two types of citations that I focus on.

How to cite a book:

Author’s last name, First name. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Date.

How to cite an internet article:

Author’s last name, First name (if available). “Title of Article or Page.” Full http address, Date of access.

If you continue reading to the bottom of this post, I have created one free screencast for each of the five steps of the research process!

Teach students how to take notes on their research topics

Step 2: Research Reports: Take Notes

During this step, students will use their sources to take notes.

I do provide instruction and examples during this step because from experience, I know that students will think every piece of information from each source is important and they will copy long passages from each source.

I teach students that taking notes is an exercise in main idea and details. They should read the source, write down the main idea, and list several details to support the main idea.

I encourage my students NOT to copy information from the source but instead to put the information in their own words. They will be less likely to plagiarize if their notes already contain their own words.

Additionally, during this step, I ask students to write a one-sentence thesis statement. I teach students that a thesis statement tells the main point of their research reports.

Their entire research report will support the thesis statement, so the thesis statement is actually a great way to help students maintain a laser focus on their research topic.

Teach students how to make an outline for their research reports

Step 3: Make a Research Report Outline

Making an outline can be intimidating for students, especially if they’ve never used this organization format.

However, this valuable step will teach students to organize their notes into the order that will be used to write the rough draft of their reports.

Because making an outline is usually a new concept for my 5th graders, we do 2-3 examples together before I allow students to make their outlines for their research reports.

I recommend copying an outline template for students to have at their fingertips while creating their first outline.

Be sure to look over students’ outlines for organization, order, and accuracy before allowing them to move on to the next step (writing rough drafts).

Teach students how to write a rough draft of their research reports

Step 4: Write a Research Report Draft

During this step, each student will write a rough draft of his/her research report.

If they completed their outlines correctly, this step will be fairly simple.

Students will write their research reports in paragraph form.

One problem that is common among my students is that instead of writing in paragraphs, they write their sentences in list format.

I find that it’s helpful to write a paragraph in front of and with students to remind them that when writing a paragraph, the next sentence begins immediately after the prior sentence.

Once students’ rough drafts are completed, it’s time to proofread/edit!

To begin, I ask my students to read their drafts aloud to listen for their own mistakes.

Next, I ask my students to have two individuals look over their draft and suggest changes.

Teach students how to create final drafts of their research reports

Step 5: Research Reports – Students Will Write Their Final Drafts! 

It’s finally time to write final drafts!

After students have completed their rough drafts and made edits, I ask them to write final drafts.

Students’ final drafts should be as close to perfect as possible.

I prefer a typed final draft because students will have access to a spellchecker and other features that will make it easier to create their final draft.

Think of a creative way to display the finished product, because they will be SO proud of their research reports after all the hard work that went into creating them!

When grading the reports, use a rubric similar to the one shown in the image at the beginning of this section.

A detailed rubric will help students to clearly see their successes and areas of needed improvement.

Once students have completed their first research projects, I find that they have a much easier time with the other research topics assigned throughout the remainder of the school year.

If you are interested in a no-prep, step-by-step research report instructional unit, please click here to visit my Research Report Instructional Unit for 5th Grade and 6th Grade. 

Research Report Unit

This instructional unit will guide students step-by-step through the research process, including locating reliable sources, taking notes, creating an outline, writing a report, and making a “works cited” page.

I’d like to share a very special free resource with you. I created five screencast videos, one for each step of the research report process. These screencasts pair perfectly with my Research Report Instructional Unit for 5th Grade and 6th Grade! 

Research Report Step 1 Screencast

Research Report Step 2 Screencast

Research Report Step 3 Screencast

Research Report Step 4 Screencast

Research Report Step 5 Screencast

How to Teach Step-By-Step Research Reports

To keep this post for later, simply save this image to your teacher Pinterest board!

Hi, If i purchase your complete package on grade 5/6 writing does it come with your wonderful recordings on how to teach them? Thanks

Hi Gail! The recordings on this blog post can be used by anyone and I will leave them up 🙂 The writing bundle doesn’t come with any recordings but I did include step-by-step instructions for teachers. I hope this helps!

Thank you for sharing your information with everyone. I know how to write (I think, haha), but I wanted to really set my students up for success with their research and writing. Your directions and guides are just what I needed to jar my memory and help my students become original writers. Be blessed.

You are very welcome, Andrea! Thank you for this comment 🙂

Hi Andrea, I am a veteran teacher who has taught nothing but primary for 25 years. However, this is my first year in 5th. I’m so excited to have found your post. Can you direct me to how I can purchase your entire bundle for writing a 5-paragraph essay. Thanks, Sue

Sure, Susan, I can help with that! Here is the link for the 5th Grade Writing Bundle: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5th-Grade-Writing-Bundle-3611643

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Notify me of new posts by email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

You may also enjoy...

How to Teach the Civil War in Upper Elementary

How to Teach the Civil War in Upper Elementary

research skills year 5

Tips for Working with a Difficult Teaching Partner

Help! My Students Don't Like Social Studies Class!

Help! My Students Hate Social Studies Class!

Lost Colony of Roanoke

How to Teach the Lost Colony of Roanoke

research skills year 5

How to Teach Writing Using Paired Passages

research skills year 5

How to Use Google Resources in Upper Elementary – A Growing Post

What can i help you teach, find it here, let's connect, i'd love to connect with you.

Enter your first name and email address to join my exclusive VIP email club.

Copyright © 2020  | Thrive in Grade Five | All Rights Reserved

Quick Links

POWER Library

Teaching Research Skills to K-12 Students in The Classroom

students taking notes in the classroom

Research is at the core of knowledge. Nobody is born with an innate understanding of quantum physics. But through research , the knowledge can be obtained over time. That’s why teaching research skills to your students is crucial, especially during their early years.

But teaching research skills to students isn’t an easy task. Like a sport, it must be practiced in order to acquire the technique. Using these strategies, you can help your students develop safe and practical research skills to master the craft.

What Is Research?

By definition, it’s a systematic process that involves searching, collecting, and evaluating information to answer a question. Though the term is often associated with a formal method, research is also used informally in everyday life!

Whether you’re using it to write a thesis paper or to make a decision, all research follows a similar pattern.

  • Choose a topic : Think about general topics of interest. Do some preliminary research to make sure there’s enough information available for you to work with and to explore subtopics within your subject.
  • Develop a research question : Give your research a purpose; what are you hoping to solve or find?
  • Collect data : Find sources related to your topic that will help answer your research questions. 
  • Evaluate your data : Dissect the sources you found. Determine if they’re credible and which are most relevant.
  • Make your conclusion : Use your research to answer your question! 

Why Do We Need It?

Research helps us solve problems. Trying to answer a theoretical question? Research. Looking to buy a new car? Research. Curious about trending fashion items? Research! 

Sometimes it’s a conscious decision, like when writing an academic paper for school. Other times, we use research without even realizing it. If you’re trying to find a new place to eat in the area, your quick Google search of “food places near me” is research!

Whether you realize it or not, we use research multiple times a day, making it one of the most valuable lifelong skills to have. And it’s why — as educators —we should be teaching children research skills in their most primal years. 

Teaching Research Skills to Elementary Students

In elementary school, children are just beginning their academic journeys. They are learning the essentials: reading, writing, and comprehension. But even before they have fully grasped these concepts, you can start framing their minds to practice research.

According to curriculum writer and former elementary school teacher, Amy Lemons , attention to detail is an essential component of research. Doing puzzles, matching games, and other memory exercises can help equip students with this quality before they can read or write. 

Improving their attention to detail helps prepare them for the meticulous nature of research. Then, as their reading abilities develop, teachers can implement reading comprehension activities in their lesson plans to introduce other elements of research. 

One of the best strategies for teaching research skills to elementary students is practicing reading comprehension . It forces them to interact with the text; if they come across a question they can’t answer, they’ll need to go back into the text to find the information they need. 

Some activities could include completing compare/contrast charts, identifying facts or questioning the text, doing background research, and setting reading goals. Here are some ways you can use each activity:

  • How it translates : Step 3, collect data; Step 4, evaluate your data
  • Questioning the text : If students are unsure which are facts/not facts, encourage them to go back into the text to find their answers. 
  • How it translates : Step 3, collect data; Step 4, evaluate your data; Step 5, make your conclusion
  • How it translates : Step 1, choose your topic
  • How it translates : Step 2, develop a research question; Step 5, make your conclusion

Resources for Elementary Research

If you have access to laptops or tablets in the classroom, there are some free tools available through Pennsylvania’s POWER Kids to help with reading comprehension. Scholastic’s BookFlix and TrueFlix are 2 helpful resources that prompt readers with questions before, after, and while they read. 

  • BookFlix : A resource for students who are still new to reading. Students will follow along as a book is read aloud. As they listen or read, they will be prodded to answer questions and play interactive games to test and strengthen their understanding. 

research skills year 5

  • TrueFlix : A resource for students who are proficient in reading. In TrueFlix, students explore nonfiction topics. It’s less interactive than BookFlix because it doesn’t prompt the reader with games or questions as they read. (There are still options to watch a video or listen to the text if needed!)

research skills year 5

Teaching Research Skills to Middle School Students

By middle school, the concept of research should be familiar to students. The focus during this stage should be on credibility . As students begin to conduct research on their own, it’s important that they know how to determine if a source is trustworthy.

Before the internet, encyclopedias were the main tool that people used for research. Now, the internet is our first (and sometimes only) way of looking information up. 

Unlike encyclopedias which can be trusted, students must be wary of pulling information offline. The internet is flooded with unreliable and deceptive information. If they aren’t careful, they could end up using a source that has inaccurate information!

research skills year 5

How To Know If A Source Is Credible

In general, credible sources are going to come from online encyclopedias, academic journals, industry journals, and/or an academic database. If you come across an article that isn’t from one of those options, there are details that you can look for to determine if it can be trusted.

  • The author: Is the author an expert in their field? Do they write for a respected publication? If the answer is no, it may be good to explore other sources.
  • Citations: Does the article list its sources? Are the sources from other credible sites like encyclopedias, databases, or journals? No list of sources (or credible links) within the text is usually a red flag. 
  • Date: When was the article published? Is the information fresh or out-of-date? It depends on your topic, but a good rule of thumb is to look for sources that were published no later than 7-10 years ago. (The earlier the better!)
  • Bias: Is the author objective? If a source is biased, it loses credibility.

An easy way to remember what to look for is to utilize the CRAAP test . It stands for C urrency (date), R elevance (bias), A uthority (author), A ccuracy (citations), and P urpose (bias). They’re noted differently, but each word in this acronym is one of the details noted above. 

If your students can remember the CRAAP test, they will be able to determine if they’ve found a good source.

Resources for Middle School Research

To help middle school researchers find reliable sources, the database Gale is a good starting point. It has many components, each accessible on POWER Library’s site. Gale Litfinder , Gale E-books , or Gale Middle School are just a few of the many resources within Gale for middle school students.

research skills year 5

Teaching Research Skills To High Schoolers

The goal is that research becomes intuitive as students enter high school. With so much exposure and practice over the years, the hope is that they will feel comfortable using it in a formal, academic setting. 

In that case, the emphasis should be on expanding methodology and citing correctly; other facets of a thesis paper that students will have to use in college. Common examples are annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, and works cited/reference pages.

  • Annotated bibliography : This is a sheet that lists the sources that were used to conduct research. To qualify as annotated , each source must be accompanied by a short summary or evaluation. 
  • Literature review : A literature review takes the sources from the annotated bibliography and synthesizes the information in writing.
  • Works cited/reference pages : The page at the end of a research paper that lists the sources that were directly cited or referenced within the paper. 

Resources for High School Research

Many of the Gale resources listed for middle school research can also be used for high school research. The main difference is that there is a resource specific to older students: Gale High School . 

If you’re looking for some more resources to aid in the research process, POWER Library’s e-resources page allows you to browse by grade level and subject. Take a look at our previous blog post to see which additional databases we recommend.

Visit POWER Library’s list of e-resources to start your research!

Empowering students to develop research skills

February 8, 2021

This post is republished from   Into Practice ,  a biweekly communication of Harvard’s  Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning

Terence Capellini standing next to a human skeleton

Terence D. Capellini, Richard B Wolf Associate Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, empowers students to grow as researchers in his Building the Human Body course through a comprehensive, course-long collaborative project that works to understand the changes in the genome that make the human skeleton unique. For instance, of the many types of projects, some focus on the genetic basis of why human beings walk on two legs. This integrative “Evo-Devo” project demands high levels of understanding of biology and genetics that students gain in the first half of class, which is then applied hands-on in the second half of class. Students work in teams of 2-3 to collect their own morphology data by measuring skeletons at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and leverage statistics to understand patterns in their data. They then collect and analyze DNA sequences from humans and other animals to identify the DNA changes that may encode morphology. Throughout this course, students go from sometimes having “limited experience in genetics and/or morphology” to conducting their own independent research. This project culminates in a team presentation and a final research paper.

The benefits: Students develop the methodological skills required to collect and analyze morphological data. Using the UCSC Genome browser  and other tools, students sharpen their analytical skills to visualize genomics data and pinpoint meaningful genetic changes. Conducting this work in teams means students develop collaborative skills that model academic biology labs outside class, and some student projects have contributed to published papers in the field. “Every year, I have one student, if not two, join my lab to work on projects developed from class to try to get them published.”

“The beauty of this class is that the students are asking a question that’s never been asked before and they’re actually collecting data to get at an answer.”

The challenges:  Capellini observes that the most common challenge faced by students in the course is when “they have a really terrific question they want to explore, but the necessary background information is simply lacking. It is simply amazing how little we do know about human development, despite its hundreds of years of study.” Sometimes, for instance, students want to learn about the evolution, development, and genetics of a certain body part, but it is still somewhat a mystery to the field. In these cases, the teaching team (including co-instructor Dr. Neil Roach) tries to find datasets that are maximally relevant to the questions the students want to explore. Capellini also notes that the work in his class is demanding and hard, just by the nature of the work, but students “always step up and perform” and the teaching team does their best to “make it fun” and ensure they nurture students’ curiosities and questions.

Takeaways and best practices

  • Incorporate previous students’ work into the course. Capellini intentionally discusses findings from previous student groups in lectures. “They’re developing real findings and we share that when we explain the project for the next groups.” Capellini also invites students to share their own progress and findings as part of class discussion, which helps them participate as independent researchers and receive feedback from their peers.
  • Assign groups intentionally.  Maintaining flexibility allows the teaching team to be more responsive to students’ various needs and interests. Capellini will often place graduate students by themselves to enhance their workload and give them training directly relevant to their future thesis work. Undergraduates are able to self-select into groups or can be assigned based on shared interests. “If two people are enthusiastic about examining the knee, for instance, we’ll match them together.”
  • Consider using multiple types of assessments.  Capellini notes that exams and quizzes are administered in the first half of the course and scaffolded so that students can practice the skills they need to successfully apply course material in the final project. “Lots of the initial examples are hypothetical,” he explains, even grounded in fiction and pop culture references, “but [students] have to eventually apply the skills they learned in addressing the hypothetical example to their own real example and the data they generate” for the Evo-Devo project. This is coupled with a paper and a presentation treated like a conference talk.

Bottom line:  Capellini’s top advice for professors looking to help their own students grow as researchers is to ensure research projects are designed with intentionality and fully integrated into the syllabus. “You can’t simply tack it on at the end,” he underscores. “If you want this research project to be a substantive learning opportunity, it has to happen from Day 1.” That includes carving out time in class for students to work on it and make the connections they need to conduct research. “Listen to your students and learn about them personally” so you can tap into what they’re excited about. Have some fun in the course, and they’ll be motivated to do the work.

Resilient Educator logo

ChatGPT for Teachers

Trauma-informed practices in schools, teacher well-being, cultivating diversity, equity, & inclusion, integrating technology in the classroom, social-emotional development, covid-19 resources, invest in resilience: summer toolkit, civics & resilience, all toolkits, degree programs, trauma-informed professional development, teacher licensure & certification, how to become - career information, classroom management, instructional design, lifestyle & self-care, online higher ed teaching, current events, web research skills: teaching your students the fundamentals.

Web Research Skills: Teaching Your Students the Fundamentals

It is ironic that in the era of the Internet anyone should have any issues concerning basic research skills. The Internet, after all, is the richest, most versatile, and most complete information repository in the history of mankind. While the Internet has greatly increased choices for and the quality of research tools, it has also brought with it some challenges and impediments.

Simply put, the Internet is overwhelming people with information. Even so-called “information experts” and  research skills teacher are struggling to keep up with all the changes and the multi-faceted new choices. Information overload, therefore, is one of the most powerful reasons why some students are struggling with their research conducting abilities.

What about the student basics or fundamentals?

The biggest reason why some students are not doing well in the area of research abilities is probably because many of them have not acquired the fundamental or student basics necessary for doing any kind of research—whether on or off the Internet. Some of these important, but often overlooked, student basics (skills) include:

  • Good listening skills: Students today have to be as good at processing oral/spoken input as written communication. What is happening, however, is that more and more students are depending on/using spoken/oral communication (e.g., YouTube) and when they do turn to written communication, it usually involves newscasts and social media. The listening skills required for these tools are, simply put, different than those needed for serious academic communication.
  • Lack of focus: In this microwaving, fast-food society many people want things to happen too fast. Their attention is being pulled in too many directions. This is a problem when complicated subjects are being studied.
  • Lack of familiarity with databases: Some people don’t even realize that their local libraries have a place meant specifically for serious research (as opposed for the lighthearted research you can conduct with a search engine.
  • Poor writing skills: Many times it’s not the research that’s lacking but the ability to translate what students discover into coherent, well-organized extrapolations.

How are students currently doing with basic research?

The most recent Project Information Literacy Progress Report posits that about 84 percent of students have difficulty getting course-related research off the ground; they also express having difficulty figuring out the difference between scholarly sources and non-scholarly sources. As for the latter, the problem is that scholarly research can be found through search engines (such as Google) but, also, much of the material on these popular search engines is not suitable for scholarly work.

How can you help students develop better research skills?

Don’t assume students know how to use the Internet for scholarly research. Here are some tips to get started.

  • Take students by the hand and teach them about each specific research tool one at a time.
  • Give students written instructions on preferred research tools.
  • Encourage students to use databases as much as possible.
  • Make sure your school/program has classes on research skills development.
  • Work with other professionals in order to set up proactive research skills-building tools.
  • Before classes get going, test each student to see where he/she stands individually on research skills.
  • Stay abreast of the latest information/technology on the subject.
  • Work to enhance/increase the number of research skills development programs.
  • Encourage students to use resources beyond the Internet.

There are not enough of what we call a “research skills teacher.” Actually, every instructor needs to become a research skills teacher. Students can develop the skills they need but only if they are taught them at every stage of their education.

You may also like to read

  • How to Help Middle School Students Develop Research Skills
  • Five Free Websites for Students to Build Research Skills
  • Beyond the Test: How Teaching Soft Skills Helps Students Succeed
  • Essential Skills for the 21st Century: Teaching Students to Curate Content
  • 5 Methods to Teach Students How to do Research Papers
  • Building Math Skills in High School Students

Categorized as: Tips for Teachers and Classroom Resources

Tagged as: Engaging Activities

  • Master's in Education Technology & Learning D...
  • Online & Campus Master's in Secondary Educati...
  • Master's in Trauma-Informed Education and Car...

What are research skills?

Last updated

26 April 2023

Reviewed by

Broadly, it includes a range of talents required to:

Find useful information

Perform critical analysis

Form hypotheses

Solve problems

It also includes processes such as time management, communication, and reporting skills to achieve those ends.

Research requires a blend of conceptual and detail-oriented modes of thinking. It tests one's ability to transition between subjective motivations and objective assessments to ensure only correct data fits into a meaningfully useful framework.

As countless fields increasingly rely on data management and analysis, polishing your research skills is an important, near-universal way to improve your potential of getting hired and advancing in your career.

Make research less tedious

Dovetail streamlines research to help you uncover and share actionable insights

What are basic research skills?

Almost any research involves some proportion of the following fundamental skills:



Investigation and analysis

Creative thinking

What are primary research skills?

The following are some of the most universally important research skills that will help you in a wide range of positions:

Time management — From planning and organization to task prioritization and deadline management, time-management skills are highly in-demand workplace skills.

Problem-solving — Identifying issues, their causes, and key solutions are another essential suite of research skills.

Critical thinking — The ability to make connections between data points with clear reasoning is essential to navigate data and extract what's useful towards the original objective.

Communication — In any collaborative environment, team-building and active listening will help researchers convey findings more effectively through data summarizations and report writing.

What are the most important skills in research?

Detail-oriented procedures are essential to research, which allow researchers and their audience to probe deeper into a subject and make connections they otherwise may have missed with generic overviews.

Maintaining priorities is also essential so that details fit within an overarching strategy. Lastly, decision-making is crucial because that's the only way research is translated into meaningful action.

  • Why are research skills important?

Good research skills are crucial to learning more about a subject, then using that knowledge to improve an organization's capabilities. Synthesizing that research and conveying it clearly is also important, as employees seek to share useful insights and inspire effective actions.

Effective research skills are essential for those seeking to:

Analyze their target market

Investigate industry trends

Identify customer needs

Detect obstacles

Find solutions to those obstacles

Develop new products or services

Develop new, adaptive ways to meet demands

Discover more efficient ways of acquiring or using resources

Why do we need research skills?

Businesses and individuals alike need research skills to clarify their role in the marketplace, which of course, requires clarity on the market in which they function in. High-quality research helps people stay better prepared for challenges by identifying key factors involved in their day-to-day operations, along with those that might play a significant role in future goals.

  • Benefits of having research skills

Research skills increase the effectiveness of any role that's dependent on information. Both individually and organization-wide, good research simplifies what can otherwise be unwieldy amounts of data. It can help maintain order by organizing information and improving efficiency, both of which set the stage for improved revenue growth.

Those with highly effective research skills can help reveal both:

Opportunities for improvement

Brand-new or previously unseen opportunities

Research skills can then help identify how to best take advantage of available opportunities. With today's increasingly data-driven economy, it will also increase your potential of getting hired and help position organizations as thought leaders in their marketplace.

  • Research skills examples

Being necessarily broad, research skills encompass many sub-categories of skillsets required to extrapolate meaning and direction from dense informational resources. Identifying, interpreting, and applying research are several such subcategories—but to be specific, workplaces of almost any type have some need of:

Searching for information

Attention to detail

Taking notes


Communicating results

Time management

  • How to improve your research skills

Whether your research goals are to learn more about a subject or enhance workflows, you can improve research skills with this failsafe, four-step strategy:

Make an outline, and set your intention(s)

Know your sources

Learn to use advanced search techniques

Practice, practice, practice (and don't be afraid to adjust your approach)

These steps could manifest themselves in many ways, but what's most important is that it results in measurable progress toward the original goals that compelled you to research a subject.

  • Using research skills at work

Different research skills will be emphasized over others, depending on the nature of your trade. To use research most effectively, concentrate on improving research skills most relevant to your position—or, if working solo, the skills most likely have the strongest impact on your goals.

You might divide the necessary research skills into categories for short, medium, and long-term goals or according to each activity your position requires. That way, when a challenge arises in your workflow, it's clearer which specific research skill requires dedicated attention.

How can I learn research skills?

Learning research skills can be done with a simple three-point framework:

Clarify the objective — Before delving into potentially overwhelming amounts of data, take a moment to define the purpose of your research. If at any point you lose sight of the original objective, take another moment to ask how you could adjust your approach to better fit the original objective.

Scrutinize sources — Cross-reference data with other sources, paying close attention to each author's credentials and motivations.

Organize research — Establish and continually refine a data-organization system that works for you. This could be an index of resources or compiling data under different categories designed for easy access.

Which careers require research skills?

Especially in today's world, most careers require some, if not extensive, research. Developers, marketers, and others dealing in primarily digital properties especially require extensive research skills—but it's just as important in building and manufacturing industries, where research is crucial to construct products correctly and safely.

Engineering, legal, medical, and literally any other specialized field will require excellent research skills. Truly, almost any career path will involve some level of research skills; and even those requiring only minimal research skills will at least require research to find and compare open positions in the first place.

Get started today

Go from raw data to valuable insights with a flexible research platform

Editor’s picks

Last updated: 21 December 2023

Last updated: 16 December 2023

Last updated: 6 October 2023

Last updated: 25 November 2023

Last updated: 12 May 2023

Last updated: 15 February 2024

Last updated: 11 March 2024

Last updated: 12 December 2023

Last updated: 18 May 2023

Last updated: 6 March 2024

Last updated: 10 April 2023

Last updated: 20 December 2023

Latest articles

Related topics, log in or sign up.

Get started for free

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

Teaching ELA with Joy

Middle School ELA Resources

6 Ideas for Teaching Research Skills

By Joy Sexton Leave a Comment

The research process can be overwhelming for middle school students. Find 6 meaningful activities to help you teach research skills in ELA. www.TeachingELAwithJoy.com

When thinking about ideas for teaching research skills, teachers can easily become overwhelmed. That’s mainly because our standards list so many requirements for students to master! If your school requires a major research paper, you might need to start off with some smaller practice pieces. Do your students know how to paraphrase? Can they judge if a website is credible? Do they know how to compose an open-ended question? How about citing sources? Check out these activities that will help your students gain essential practice with research skills.

Ideas for Teaching Research Skills

1. Say It Your Way – One great place to start is getting students in the habit of paraphrasing. Choose an interesting topic and a short article to demonstrate. An online encyclopedia comes in handy here. We worked with information on a particular dinosaur. Project the article and with class participation, highlight 5 pieces of key information. This is the information students will be “taking notes” on. Then query the students how each piece of information could be stated in bulleted notes (without copying full sentences!). Model the bulleted note-taking as students complete their own copy. When the bulleted notes are complete, engage the class in composing new sentences that are paraphrased. Again, model writing this paragraph as students follow suit. Now the process of note-taking and paraphrasing should seem “doable” in their own research.

2. Surprising Facts – A fun way for students to dive into research is to give them a topic and simply task them with finding facts that are surprising . This activity works great with partners. Topics could tie in with a current class novel or story (such as “elephant” from The Giver) or even an author. Surprising facts about Gary Paulsen, Kwame Alexander, or Edgar Alan Poe make an interesting class discussion! Students enjoy sharing their findings. I devised a free handout where students can record the topic, their surprising facts, and the website(s) they used. Grab it in Google Docs and copy to your drive by clicking the link: https://bit.ly/3Nah9UB

Help your students build strong research skills with this short practice activity. Grab the engaging free handout in Google Drive. Great for middle school ELA classrooms! TeachingELAwithJoy.com

3. Give Credit Where It’s Due – Most students understand that sources need to be cited. However, many remain unclear on the process. A demonstration using a citation generator will help. I like www.bibme.org , but if you google “citation generator” you’ll find a slew of them. I open a few tabs in advance with animal websites. To demonstrate, grab the URLs and insert into the generator. Cut and paste the citations to a blank document. Then you can show students how to indent and alphabetize. For practice, give students a list of several websites. You could also include a magazine article and a book. With a partner, have them construct the works cited using a generator, indenting and alphabetizing correctly.

4. Support an Opinion – Students love to voice their opinions , but need practice supporting them with facts . Lucky for us, there are loads of argument topics available free online. You can offer several topic choices, and students choose one and respond with their opinion. Next, have them locate 2-3 important facts or statistics that specifically support their opinion. Make sure to emphasize that the information will need to be paraphrased. And since sources were used, a Works Cited should also be added.

5. Good Question! – One purpose of research is to answer a question, so students need practice in formulating good questions . An open-ended question, one that requires more than just one answer, is the goal. Start by demonstrating the difference between an open-ended question and a “thin”  or “skinny” question (not open-ended). One way is to project an image of a violin on your whiteboard. Then type or write out these questions: 1. How many strings does a violin have? 2. How is a violin made? Ask students which is the open-ended question and why. Then project another image. Ask for volunteers to formulate a thin question, and then an open-ended question.  Once they understand this concept, let all students practice composing both thin and open-ended questions. This activity works well in groups. Each student contributes a topic.

Help students write open-ended questions for their research! This lesson addresses research state standards and will get students thinking! Perfect for middle school minds. TeachingELAwithJoy.com

6. Format is Key – A sure-fire way to get students excited about a research project is offering engaging formats for presentation. PowerPoint is well known by most students, but take time to demonstrate some other great options. Canva allows students to create awesome Infographics! Or how about a tri-fold brochure in Publisher? Students can make up a quick template with custom headings. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and let students experiment with the possibilities. My students have enjoyed a Q & A format, using a template I created with PowerPoint. Even students who prefer typing their report in paragraphs can easily design a poster. Along with the paragraphs, just add images, captions, topic, and headings.

I hope I have broadened your ideas for teaching research skills. I think you’ll agree that students need time and mini-lessons to get comfortable with the procedures we require. A quick graphic organizer coupled with a short activity can help solidify the skills they’ll need.

Here’s another post I wrote that will give you more helpful ideas for teaching research skills: 10 Ideas to Make Teaching Research Easier

Join the Newsletter

research skills year 5

Reader Interactions

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Notify me of new posts by email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

research skills year 5

Top Nav Breadcrumb

  • Ask a question

SharingPYP Blog

Approaches to learning: supporting research skills among learners through the language of instruction

This article talks about the insights gathered  (through a Visible Thinking Routine)  from Grade 2 – 5  English  learners  when  they expressed the ir  struggles  conducting  research  in  their  homeroom .    

  T hese reflec tions unearthed  how language can be a barrier and how teachers can collaboratively play a role in bridging these gaps for  learner s , for them  to overcome these challenges with simple  research  strategies .  

Approaches to learning: supporting research skills among learners new to the language of instruction

By Lamiya   Bharmal  

“ I was curious to know  if teachers’ thinking is visible to students and if students’ thinking is visible to teachers  and this  was the catalyst for my research. “

The PYP Approaches to  l earning, focuses on skills that students can develop to help them “learn how to learn”. One of the skills is Research skills and this connects with the subject I teach – Information Literacy.   

Passionate about teaching and learning, I enrolled for a Making Thinking Visible course. I gained some fresh insight on how to develop my students’ research skills.  I was curious to know  if teachers’ thinking is visible to students and if students’ thinking is visible to teachers  and this  was the catalyst for my research.   

This article talks about the insights gathered when Grade 2 – 5 students reflected on the challenges they face when assigned research tasks. Students’ voices unearthed how we as teachers can collaboratively play a role in bridging some gaps with simple strategies to support all learners  when they are seeking information .  

We can support EAL  (English as an additional language)  students in different ways. Learners are comfortable when paired to complete tasks using  G oogle translate to research in their home language  and  to then present their findings with simplified expectations.   

This served as a provocation to ‘Generate’ a response from  all the  students to express what their struggles and challenges were. Their responses were documented on sticky notes.  

It surprised me that ALL students had struggles and that ALL were able to express their struggles. Their notes just showed the support that each student required from us and how.  

When seeking permission from students to read their notes aloud, I initially experienced resistance from some EAL students and from the ‘not so confident’ students when having inhibitions and reservations of disclosing their struggles. Through modeling the expectation of respect when reading aloud from the few confident  students  who gave permission to share their work, the other EAL and ‘not so confident’ students realised the impact this could have on their learning and that they were not the only ones who had struggles/challenges. This  turnaround in resistance  was an “aha” moment for me .  

Having ‘Generated’ a response from students I now ‘Sorted’ these into groups. This was valuable in moving their learning forward  through  creating a culture of learning for ALL students and in how they could support one another as many had common struggles.  

“ While sorting their struggles, the role that language plays when conducting any research became evident. “

While sorting their struggles, the role that language plays when conducting any research became evident.  It hinges on how students access and interpret information. This was validated as the teachers echoed the same notion.  

We then ‘Connected’ with learners’ homeroom  unit of inquiry  to extend and ‘Elaborate’ on simple strategies we could apply.   

Some simple strategies that we brainstormed and suggested  -   

W hen looking for information and even for images  In a search, include words such as the following after the search term, ‘ for kids/primary children/junior/easy/beginners/simple/basic or a specific age 8-9 ’ , at the end  after the search term .  The results are more child friendly.  

Ask an adult for meanings, look for meanings through the dictionary/phonetic dictionary, when you right click on the word you can explore  its  meaning  or  alternatively look for synonyms to help you find  the  word that fits best.   

Read or watch  video clips  not once but twice ,  and reread or re-watch a couple more times if necessary.  

To read the words you come across the first time – sound it out, decode/break the word into parts before you pronounce/sound the whole word, for example  –   com – pre – hend   for comprehend.   

Choose a quiet space or what works best for you, read  aloud  or read a bit slowly.    

Pay careful attention to  what you use as a keyword ,   and   the  correct spelling.   

Change the way you use a keyword search  by  refram ing  the question differently.   

Reframe questions by using synonyms/different words.  

Skim and scan   –  use a highlighter when you come across important relevant information.   

Next  to encourage  students to  empathise  with how language impacts the way we access information, I made a word  using  shapes  instead of letters   –  a triangle represented C, a square represented A and a circle represented T, alphabet. Students were then asked to read this.  

Students were perplexed and  reflected  on how difficult reading in another language is, and  this helped them  to  empathise  with the EAL learners. Finding representations and translating information for EAL learners now made  more  sense to them.  

F eedback by teachers  included  “Are students able to synthesize information when conducting research from various sources?”   

Here I wanted students to know the meaning of the word  ‘ synthesize ’ . To simplify  this,  I first asked 5 students about the places they visited during their holidays. These 5 students represented 5  different  websites. I later asked one student to create a report when combining all that he gathered through these 5 students (5 websites). When this report was read aloud the 5 students then pointed out if their peer had forgotten to include the most important information or misinterpreted the information. This way each student was able to comprehend the concept of synthesizing.  

“ Research skills can be learned and taught  and  improved as we practice and  are  developed  as  learners advance in age and in their levels of understanding . “

To conclude we brainstormed solutions for each of their struggles. We looked at possible strategies and steps to keep in mind when gathering information.

First step – Keyword strategies in the search box to include exactly what you are looking for with better spellings which will give better results.  

Second step  –   taking notes of the information found   

Third step – Paraphrasing and Synthesising  when making meaning  from  the information.  

Concept map strategies  are also useful in organizing the information students find.

It was great to see students taking ownership of the way they could get better at  information gathering  research.  

Research skills can be learned and taught  and  improved as we practice and  are  developed  as  learners advance in age and in their levels of understanding .  By   focus ing  on language and its connection to  information gathering , we can enhance students’ ‘Learning how to  l earn’ to  improve  research skills.  

Approaches to learning: supporting research skills among learners new to the language of instruction

Lamiya   Bharmal   has been   a PYP Librarian and Information Literacy teacher  working at  Stonehill International School in Bangalore, India for 8 years.  She  has  taught in IB PYP schools and  n ational curriculum schools since 2001  and has  been a homeroom teacher  and primary librarian  for an equal number of years . As the  PYP emphasizes student voice, choice, ownership,  reflection  and  r esearch skills,  she aims  to equip learners to research independently and take ownership of their learning

feedback , research , well-being

24 Responses to Approaches to learning: supporting research skills among learners through the language of instruction

' src=

Ms Lamia, I liked your process of identifying shortfall and expressing them on a sticknote.

I obeserve two things, number one identifying their own weakness and voiceout which helps the child to overcome their fear and secondly it’s a wonderful literacy activity on it’s own.

' src=

A well articulated article by Ms. Lamiya. This is so true to allow students to take ownership of research. At the same time not to forget our responsibility of mentoring and guiding them to explore different possibilities to unpack through research their own chosen topic. The exemplars are good reference for teachers and librarians for collaboration on multiple aspect of research along with ATL skills. Appreciate Ms. Lamiya sharing her absolutely empirical experience and best practice. Thanks for a very informative and useful article.

' src=

Lamiya, Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with this amazing research which gives a very clear explanation of how we can encourage and inspire children carry our research at a very early age. I particularly resonated with the part about children’s struggle and how your tackled it using thinking strategies. Good learning for both students and teachers. Mina

' src=

Thanks Parimala for this feedback. Yes this shortfall was experienced by ALL students. As the article suggests there is a connection of language being a barrier for students to research better.

Thank you Anil for your feedback

Thank you Mina, I appreciate your feedback

' src=

Dear Lamiya, A nicely written article that addresses the ATLs in a specific way. Interesting to read the thought process of the children. The tips are well appreciated, thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work Regards Sharayu

Dear Lamiya, an interesting read, the mindset of children has been well looked into. Thanks for the tips, it will help us even when we try to build these skills in the Early Years class. Well done

' src=

Lamiya, yes, you are right; focusing on connection with language and other transdisciplinary concepts and ideas are important.

Information gathering, evaluating resources, inferencing, and providing evidence with writing are skills that need to be practised when interacting with complex information as students grow each year.

' src=

I like how you used the sticky notes and were able to match struggles with solutions. It was a cool way to map out strategies. I like to use sticky notes as a writing technique for plot structure and character development so the same “sticky” technique for organizing thoughts gets reinforced in different subjects and can become a habit for those students who connect with that technique.

' src=

Hello Ms.Lamiya, Awesome blog post. Lot of insights on the struggles the students face while researching. After reading your article, I wondered if it is only the EAL students who struggle or do all the students have some kind of struggle which might not be visible to the teacher. Thank you for this thought provoking blog post that made me think how best, we as educators can empower the student’s learning and research.

Dear Vicki, Thank you for your feedback. This was a whole circle complete for students to be able to come up with strategies to match their struggles.

Dear Sharayu, Thank you for your feedback. I think the Making Thinking Visible PD really helped me to gain this fresh insight

Thank you Sharayu for your feedback

Dear Heeru,

Thank you for your feedback. Yes language is important in gathering information and we need to provide learners with linguistic tools with which to learn as we are all language teachers as well.

Thanks Vinita for your feedback, In reply to your question – ALL students were facing struggles not only EAL which is why many times you will come across ALL written in capital letters

Thanks Vicki for your feedback. This was a whole circle complete for students to be able to come up with strategies to match their struggles. It served its purpose when students were able to reflect and to match this thus taking ownership as part of their learning.

Thanks Vicki for your feedback. A circle complete for students to be able to come up with strategies to match their struggles. It served its purpose when students were able to reflect and to match this, thus taking ownership of their learning.

' src=

Very lucid and insightful writing. I like the way you have brought out the the often ignored link between language competency and it’s consequent impact on effective research skills. On another level you could write an entire article that focuses on this critical aspect

Thank you Sapna for your encouraging words.

' src=

Excellent article Lamiya. You have given students a voice into the many ways they struggle with research. Once those struggles were identified you helped the students overcome their issues and gave them creative solutions. Very helpful article.

Thank you Sheryl for this valuable feedback, especially when it comes from someone who has been witness to this process.

' src=

I am a beginner in IB PYP. Reading this article gave me a good insight upon how ti build research skills in our learners. Moreover, I found that the pointers will help me to remember when I am actually implementing it in my classroom.

' src=

Hello Lamiya.. My PYPC just shared this article with me today – evening time. It is a very useful and insightful article both for IB or non IB school librarians. I read all the comments and I found a nice comment from a name who I look up too; Madam Heruu Bojwani. warm hi from Jakarta

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

About the IB

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a global leader in international education—developing inquiring, knowledgeable, confident, and caring young people. With more than 7,700 programmes being offered worldwide, across over 5,600 schools in 159 countries, an IB education is designed to develop well-rounded individuals who can respond to today’s challenges with optimism and an open mind. For over 50 years, our four programmes provide a solid, consistent framework and the flexibility to tailor students’ education according to their culture and context. To find out more, please visit www.ibo.org.

Stephanie Blog

The correct way to do your research: 5 tips for students.

Mastering the art of research is a fundamental skill that underpins academic success across all disciplines. Whether you’re embarking on a simple essay or delving into a complex thesis, the ability to conduct thorough and effective research is invaluable. Yet, many students find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available, struggling to sift through data, discern credible sources, and organize their findings cohesively. This challenge underscores the need for a structured approach to research, one that simplifies the process while enhancing the quality of the outcomes.

Recognizing the critical role research plays in academic achievement, this article aims to demystify the process, offering five key tips to guide students toward more productive and less stressful research experiences. These strategies are designed to not only streamline your research process but also improve the caliber of your work, potentially transforming the daunting task of starting to dissertation writing help into a more manageable and even enjoyable endeavor. By applying these tips, students can develop a robust framework for research that supports academic growth and fosters confidence in their ability to tackle complex topics.

Tip 1: Define Your Research Question Clearly

A well-defined research question is the cornerstone of any successful research endeavor. It guides the direction of your study, helping to focus your efforts on finding relevant information. Start by identifying the main topic or issue you wish to explore, then narrow it down to a specific question that is both clear and concise. This question should be specific enough to provide direction but broad enough to allow for comprehensive exploration. Examples of effective research questions include “What impact does daily technology use have on teenagers’ social skills?” or “How do renewable energy sources affect global economic policies?”

Tip 2: Use Reliable Sources

The credibility of your research largely depends on the sources you choose. To ensure your work is grounded in reliable information, prioritize sources that are peer-reviewed, such as academic journals, books published by reputable publishers, and websites with authoritative domain extensions (e.g., .edu, .gov). Utilize academic databases like JSTOR, PubMed, and Google Scholar to find scholarly articles. Additionally, learning to assess the author’s credentials, the publication date and the presence of citations can help you determine the reliability of your sources.

Tip 3: Organize Your Research Efficiently

An organized research process is key to managing the wealth of information you’ll encounter. Digital tools and software, such as citation management software like Zotero or EndNote, can be incredibly helpful for keeping track of sources, notes, and bibliographies. Creating a structured outline early on, based on your preliminary findings, can guide your research and writing process, ensuring that you cover all necessary aspects of your topic systematically. This approach not only saves time but also helps maintain a clear focus throughout your project.

Tip 4: Take Effective Notes

Effective note-taking is crucial for capturing important information and ideas from your sources. Develop a system that works for you, whether it’s digital note-taking apps, traditional notebooks, or annotated bibliographies. Focus on summarizing key points in your own words, which aids comprehension and helps avoid unintentional plagiarism. Be sure to record bibliographic details for each source, making it easier to cite them correctly in your work. Highlighting or color-coding can also be useful for categorizing notes by theme or relevance.

By adhering to these foundational tips, students can enhance their research skills, leading to more insightful, well-supported academic papers. The next steps will delve into evaluating and synthesizing information, rounding out the comprehensive guide to conducting effective research.

Tip 5: Evaluate and Synthesize Information

Critical evaluation is essential to differentiate between information that genuinely supports your research question and data that is irrelevant or biased. Assess each source’s purpose, its context, and the evidence it presents. Look for patterns and relationships between the information gathered from various sources. Synthesizing this information involves integrating ideas from multiple sources to construct a comprehensive understanding of your topic. This step is crucial for developing a well-argued thesis or research paper that reflects a deep understanding of the subject matter.

Incorporating Feedback and Revising

Once you’ve drafted your research paper, seeking feedback is a valuable step in refining your work. Share your draft with peers, mentors, or educators who can offer constructive criticism. Be open to suggestions and willing to revise your work based on this feedback. This iterative process of writing, receiving feedback, and revising helps enhance the clarity, coherence, and overall impact of your research.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical research practices are fundamental to maintaining the integrity of your academic work. This includes properly citing all sources to avoid plagiarism, ensuring the confidentiality and privacy of any participants if conducting original research, and being honest about the limitations of your study. Understanding and adhering to these ethical guidelines is crucial for building trust and credibility in your academic endeavors.

The Role of Technology in Research

Technology plays an increasingly significant role in the research process. From digital libraries and academic databases to specialized research software and plagiarism detection tools, leveraging technology can streamline the research process, enhance the quality of your work, and ensure its originality. Familiarize yourself with the technological tools available in your field of study to take full advantage of these resources.

Mastering the art of research is a journey that involves continuous learning, practice, and refinement. By defining clear research questions, utilizing reliable sources, organizing your research efficiently, taking effective notes, and critically evaluating and synthesizing information, you can elevate the quality of your academic work. Remember, incorporating feedback, adhering to ethical guidelines, and leveraging technology are also key components of successful research. For students seeking additional support, turning to the best paper writing service can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of academic writing and research. Ultimately, developing strong research skills is an investment in your academic success and a valuable asset in your future career.

Recent Posts

  • How 3D CAD Software Is Revolutionizing Engineering Education
  • A Complete Guide to E-Commerce SEO in 2024
  • Key Steps Involved in Integration of Redux with React-Based Application
  • Luxury and Exclusivity: Renting a VIP Car in Dubai
  • Bright Ideas: Innovative Startup Projects for Business Students

Recent Comments

Explore Jobs

  • Jobs Near Me
  • Remote Jobs
  • Full Time Jobs
  • Part Time Jobs
  • Entry Level Jobs
  • Work From Home Jobs

Find Specific Jobs

  • $15 Per Hour Jobs
  • $20 Per Hour Jobs
  • Hiring Immediately Jobs
  • High School Jobs
  • H1b Visa Jobs

Explore Careers

  • Business And Financial
  • Architecture And Engineering
  • Computer And Mathematical

Explore Professions

  • What They Do
  • Certifications
  • Demographics

Best Companies

  • Health Care
  • Fortune 500

Explore Companies

  • CEO And Executies
  • Resume Builder
  • Career Advice
  • Explore Majors
  • Questions And Answers
  • Interview Questions

The Most Important Research Skills (With Examples)

  • What Are Hard Skills?
  • What Are Technical Skills?
  • What Are What Are Life Skills?
  • What Are Social Media Skills Resume?
  • What Are Administrative Skills?
  • What Are Analytical Skills?
  • What Are Research Skills?
  • What Are Transferable Skills?
  • What Are Microsoft Office Skills?
  • What Are Clerical Skills?
  • What Are Computer Skills?
  • What Are Core Competencies?
  • What Are Collaboration Skills?
  • What Are Conflict Resolution Skills?
  • What Are Mathematical Skills?
  • How To Delegate

Find a Job You Really Want In

Research skills are the ability to find out accurate information on a topic. They include being able to determine the data you need, find and interpret those findings, and then explain that to others. Being able to do effective research is a beneficial skill in any profession, as data and research inform how businesses operate.

Whether you’re unsure of your research skills or are looking for ways to further improve them, then this article will cover important research skills and how to become even better at research.

Key Takeaways

Having strong research skills can help you understand your competitors, develop new processes, and build your professional skills in addition to aiding you in finding new customers and saving your company money.

Some of the most valuable research skills you can have include goal setting, data collection, and analyzing information from multiple sources.

You can and should put your research skills on your resume and highlight them in your job interviews.

The Most Important Research Skills

What are research skills?

Why are research skills important, 12 of the most important research skills, how to improve your research skills, highlighting your research skills in a job interview, how to include research skills on your resume, resume examples showcasing research skills, research skills faqs.

  • Sign Up For More Advice and Jobs

Research skills are the necessary tools to be able to find, compile, and interpret information in order to answer a question. Of course, there are several aspects to this. Researchers typically have to decide how to go about researching a problem — which for most people is internet research.

In addition, you need to be able to interpret the reliability of a source, put the information you find together in an organized and logical way, and be able to present your findings to others. That means that they’re comprised of both hard skills — knowing your subject and what’s true and what isn’t — and soft skills. You need to be able to interpret sources and communicate clearly.

Research skills are useful in any industry, and have applications in innovation, product development, competitor research, and many other areas. In addition, the skills used in researching aren’t only useful for research. Being able to interpret information is a necessary skill, as is being able to clearly explain your reasoning.

Research skills are used to:

Do competitor research. Knowing what your biggest competitors are up to is an essential part of any business. Researching what works for your competitors, what they’re doing better than you, and where you can improve your standing with the lowest resource expenditure are all essential if a company wants to remain functional.

Develop new processes and products. You don’t have to be involved in research and development to make improvements in how your team gets things done. Researching new processes that make your job (and those of your team) more efficient will be valued by any sensible employer.

Foster self-improvement. Folks who have a knack and passion for research are never content with doing things the same way they’ve always been done. Organizations need independent thinkers who will seek out their own answers and improve their skills as a matter of course. These employees will also pick up new technologies more easily.

Manage customer relationships. Being able to conduct research on your customer base is positively vital in virtually every industry. It’s hard to move products or sell services if you don’t know what people are interested in. Researching your customer base’s interests, needs, and pain points is a valuable responsibility.

Save money. Whether your company is launching a new product or just looking for ways to scale back its current spending, research is crucial for finding wasted resources and redirecting them to more deserving ends. Anyone who proactively researches ways that the company can save money will be highly appreciated by their employer.

Solve problems. Problem solving is a major part of a lot of careers, and research skills are instrumental in making sure your solution is effective. Finding out the cause of the problem and determining an effective solution both require accurate information, and research is the best way to obtain that — be it via the internet or by observation.

Determine reliable information. Being able to tell whether or not the information you receive seems accurate is a very valuable skill. While research skills won’t always guarantee that you’ll be able to tell the reliability of the information at first glance, it’ll prevent you from being too trusting. And it’ll give the tools to double-check .

Experienced researchers know that worthwhile investigation involves a variety of skills. Consider which research skills come naturally to you, and which you could work on more.

Data collection . When thinking about the research process, data collection is often the first thing that comes to mind. It is the nuts and bolts of research. How data is collected can be flexible.

For some purposes, simply gathering facts and information on the internet can fulfill your need. Others may require more direct and crowd-sourced research. Having experience in various methods of data collection can make your resume more impressive to recruiters.

Data collection methods include: Observation Interviews Questionnaires Experimentation Conducting focus groups

Analysis of information from different sources. Putting all your eggs in one source basket usually results in error and disappointment. One of the skills that good researchers always incorporate into their process is an abundance of sources. It’s also best practice to consider the reliability of these sources.

Are you reading about U.S. history on a conspiracy theorist’s blog post? Taking facts for a presentation from an anonymous Twitter account?

If you can’t determine the validity of the sources you’re using, it can compromise all of your research. That doesn’t mean just disregard anything on the internet but double-check your findings. In fact, quadruple-check. You can make your research even stronger by turning to references outside of the internet.

Examples of reliable information sources include: Published books Encyclopedias Magazines Databases Scholarly journals Newspapers Library catalogs

Finding information on the internet. While it can be beneficial to consulate alternative sources, strong internet research skills drive modern-day research.

One of the great things about the internet is how much information it contains, however, this comes with digging through a lot of garbage to get to the facts you need. The ability to efficiently use the vast database of knowledge that is on the internet without getting lost in the junk is very valuable to employers.

Internet research skills include: Source checking Searching relevant questions Exploring deeper than the first options Avoiding distraction Giving credit Organizing findings

Interviewing. Some research endeavors may require a more hands-on approach than just consulting internet sources. Being prepared with strong interviewing skills can be very helpful in the research process.

Interviews can be a useful research tactic to gain first-hand information and being able to manage a successful interview can greatly improve your research skills.

Interviewing skills involves: A plan of action Specific, pointed questions Respectfulness Considering the interview setting Actively Listening Taking notes Gratitude for participation

Report writing. Possessing skills in report writing can assist you in job and scholarly research. The overall purpose of a report in any context is to convey particular information to its audience.

Effective report writing is largely dependent on communication. Your boss, professor , or general reader should walk away completely understanding your findings and conclusions.

Report writing skills involve: Proper format Including a summary Focusing on your initial goal Creating an outline Proofreading Directness

Critical thinking. Critical thinking skills can aid you greatly throughout the research process, and as an employee in general. Critical thinking refers to your data analysis skills. When you’re in the throes of research, you need to be able to analyze your results and make logical decisions about your findings.

Critical thinking skills involve: Observation Analysis Assessing issues Problem-solving Creativity Communication

Planning and scheduling. Research is a work project like any other, and that means it requires a little forethought before starting. Creating a detailed outline map for the points you want to touch on in your research produces more organized results.

It also makes it much easier to manage your time. Planning and scheduling skills are important to employers because they indicate a prepared employee.

Planning and scheduling skills include: Setting objectives Identifying tasks Prioritizing Delegating if needed Vision Communication Clarity Time-management

Note-taking. Research involves sifting through and taking in lots of information. Taking exhaustive notes ensures that you will not neglect any findings later and allows you to communicate these results to your co-workers. Being able to take good notes helps summarize research.

Examples of note-taking skills include: Focus Organization Using short-hand Keeping your objective in mind Neatness Highlighting important points Reviewing notes afterward

Communication skills. Effective research requires being able to understand and process the information you receive, either written or spoken. That means that you need strong reading comprehension and writing skills — two major aspects of communication — as well as excellent listening skills.

Most research also involves showcasing your findings. This can be via a presentation. , report, chart, or Q&A. Whatever the case, you need to be able to communicate your findings in a way that educates your audience.

Communication skills include: Reading comprehension Writing Listening skills Presenting to an audience Creating graphs or charts Explaining in layman’s terms

Time management. We’re, unfortunately, only given 24 measly hours in a day. The ability to effectively manage this time is extremely powerful in a professional context. Hiring managers seek candidates who can accomplish goals in a given timeframe.

Strong time management skills mean that you can organize a plan for how to break down larger tasks in a project and complete them by a deadline. Developing your time management skills can greatly improve the productivity of your research.

Time management skills include: Scheduling Creating task outlines Strategic thinking Stress-management Delegation Communication Utilizing resources Setting realistic expectations Meeting deadlines

Using your network. While this doesn’t seem immediately relevant to research skills, remember that there are a lot of experts out there. Knowing what people’s areas of expertise and asking for help can be tremendously beneficial — especially if it’s a subject you’re unfamiliar with.

Your coworkers are going to have different areas of expertise than you do, and your network of people will as well. You may even know someone who knows someone who’s knowledgeable in the area you’re researching. Most people are happy to share their expertise, as it’s usually also an area of interest to them.

Networking involves: Remembering people’s areas of expertise Being willing to ask for help Communication Returning favors Making use of advice Asking for specific assistance

Attention to detail. Research is inherently precise. That means that you need to be attentive to the details, both in terms of the information you’re gathering, but also in where you got it from. Making errors in statistics can have a major impact on the interpretation of the data, not to mention that it’ll reflect poorly on you.

There are proper procedures for citing sources that you should follow. That means that your sources will be properly credited, preventing accusations of plagiarism. In addition, it means that others can make use of your research by returning to the original sources.

Attention to detail includes: Double checking statistics Taking notes Keeping track of your sources Staying organized Making sure graphs are accurate and representative Properly citing sources

As with many professional skills, research skills serve us in our day to day life. Any time you search for information on the internet, you’re doing research. That means that you’re practicing it outside of work as well. If you want to continue improving your research skills, both for professional and personal use, here are some tips to try.

Differentiate between source quality. A researcher is only as good as their worst source. Start paying attention to the quality of the sources you use, and be suspicious of everything your read until you check out the attributions and works cited.

Be critical and ask yourself about the author’s bias, where the author’s research aligns with the larger body of verified research in the field, and what publication sponsored or published the research.

Use multiple resources. When you can verify information from a multitude of sources, it becomes more and more credible. To bolster your faith in one source, see if you can find another source that agrees with it.

Don’t fall victim to confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is when a researcher expects a certain outcome and then goes to find data that supports this hypothesis. It can even go so far as disregarding anything that challenges the researcher’s initial hunch. Be prepared for surprising answers and keep an open mind.

Be open to the idea that you might not find a definitive answer. It’s best to be honest and say that you found no definitive answer instead of just confirming what you think your boss or coworkers expect or want to hear. Experts and good researchers are willing to say that they don’t know.

Stay organized. Being able to cite sources accurately and present all your findings is just as important as conducting the research itself. Start practicing good organizational skills , both on your devices and for any physical products you’re using.

Get specific as you go. There’s nothing wrong with starting your research in a general way. After all, it’s important to become familiar with the terminology and basic gist of the researcher’s findings before you dig down into all the minutia.

A job interview is itself a test of your research skills. You can expect questions on what you know about the company, the role, and your field or industry more generally. In order to give expert answers on all these topics, research is crucial.

Start by researching the company . Look into how they communicate with the public through social media, what their mission statement is, and how they describe their culture.

Pay close attention to the tone of their website. Is it hyper professional or more casual and fun-loving? All of these elements will help decide how best to sell yourself at the interview.

Next, research the role. Go beyond the job description and reach out to current employees working at your desired company and in your potential department. If you can find out what specific problems your future team is or will be facing, you’re sure to impress hiring managers and recruiters with your ability to research all the facts.

Finally, take time to research the job responsibilities you’re not as comfortable with. If you’re applying for a job that represents increased difficulty or entirely new tasks, it helps to come into the interview with at least a basic knowledge of what you’ll need to learn.

Research projects require dedication. Being committed is a valuable skill for hiring managers. Whether you’ve had research experience throughout education or a former job, including it properly can boost the success of your resume .

Consider how extensive your research background is. If you’ve worked on multiple, in-depth research projects, it might be best to include it as its own section. If you have less research experience, include it in the skills section .

Focus on your specific role in the research, as opposed to just the research itself. Try to quantify accomplishments to the best of your abilities. If you were put in charge of competitor research, for example, list that as one of the tasks you had in your career.

If it was a particular project, such as tracking the sale of women’s clothing at a tee-shirt company, you can say that you “directed analysis into women’s clothing sales statistics for a market research project.”

Ascertain how directly research skills relate to the job you’re applying for. How strongly you highlight your research skills should depend on the nature of the job the resume is for. If research looks to be a strong component of it, then showcase all of your experience.

If research looks to be tangential, then be sure to mention it — it’s a valuable skill — but don’t put it front and center.

Example #1: Academic Research

Simon Marks 767 Brighton Blvd. | Brooklyn, NY, 27368 | (683)-262-8883 | [email protected] Diligent and hardworking recent graduate seeking a position to develop professional experience and utilize research skills. B.A. in Biological Sciences from New York University. PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Lixus Publishing , Brooklyn, NY Office Assistant- September 2018-present Scheduling and updating meetings Managing emails and phone calls Reading entries Worked on a science fiction campaign by researching target demographic Organizing calendars Promoted to office assistant after one year internship Mitch’s Burgers and Fries , Brooklyn, NY Restaurant Manager , June 2014-June 2018 Managed a team of five employees Responsible for coordinating the weekly schedule Hired and trained two employees Kept track of inventory Dealt with vendors Provided customer service Promoted to restaurant manager after two years as a waiter Awarded a $2.00/hr wage increase SKILLS Writing Scientific Research Data analysis Critical thinking Planning Communication RESEARCH Worked on an ecosystem biology project with responsibilities for algae collection and research (2019) Lead a group of freshmen in a research project looking into cell biology (2018) EDUCATION New York University Bachelors in Biological Sciences, September 2016-May 2020

Example #2: Professional Research

Angela Nichols 1111 Keller Dr. | San Francisco, CA | (663)-124-8827 |[email protected] Experienced and enthusiastic marketer with 7 years of professional experience. Seeking a position to apply my marketing and research knowledge. Skills in working on a team and flexibility. EXPERIENCE Apples amp; Oranges Marketing, San Francisco, CA Associate Marketer – April 2017-May 2020 Discuss marketing goals with clients Provide customer service Lead campaigns associated with women’s health Coordinating with a marketing team Quickly solving issues in service and managing conflict Awarded with two raises totaling $10,000 over three years Prestigious Marketing Company, San Francisco, CA Marketer – May 2014-April 2017 Working directly with clients Conducting market research into television streaming preferences Developing marketing campaigns related to television streaming services Report writing Analyzing campaign success statistics Promoted to Marketer from Junior Marketer after the first year Timberlake Public Relations, San Francisco, CA Public Relations Intern – September 2013–May 2014 Working cohesively with a large group of co-workers and supervisors Note-taking during meetings Running errands Managing email accounts Assisting in brainstorming Meeting work deadlines EDUCATION Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA Bachelor of Arts in Marketing with a minor in Communications – September 2009 – May 2013 SKILLS Marketing Market research Record-keeping Teamwork Presentation. Flexibility

What research skills are important?

Goal-setting and data collection are important research skills. Additional important research skills include:

Using different sources to analyze information.

Finding information on the internet.

Interviewing sources.

Writing reports.

Critical thinking.

Planning and scheduling.


Managing time.

How do you develop good research skills?

You develop good research skills by learning how to find information from multiple high-quality sources, by being wary of confirmation bias, and by starting broad and getting more specific as you go.

When you learn how to tell a reliable source from an unreliable one and get in the habit of finding multiple sources that back up a claim, you’ll have better quality research.

In addition, when you learn how to keep an open mind about what you’ll find, you’ll avoid falling into the trap of confirmation bias, and by staying organized and narrowing your focus as you go (rather than before you start), you’ll be able to gather quality information more efficiently.

What is the importance of research?

The importance of research is that it informs most decisions and strategies in a business. Whether it’s deciding which products to offer or creating a marketing strategy, research should be used in every part of a company.

Because of this, employers want employees who have strong research skills. They know that you’ll be able to put them to work bettering yourself and the organization as a whole.

Should you put research skills on your resume?

Yes, you should include research skills on your resume as they are an important professional skill. Where you include your research skills on your resume will depend on whether you have a lot of experience in research from a previous job or as part of getting your degree, or if you’ve just cultivated them on your own.

If your research skills are based on experience, you could put them down under the tasks you were expected to perform at the job in question. If not, then you should likely list it in your skills section.

University of the People – The Best Research Skills for Success

Association of Internet Research Specialists — What are Research Skills and Why Are They Important?

MasterClass — How to Improve Your Research Skills: 6 Research Tips

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

' src=

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

Recent Job Searches

  • Registered Nurse Jobs Resume Location
  • Truck Driver Jobs Resume Location
  • Call Center Representative Jobs Resume Location
  • Customer Service Representative Jobs Resume
  • Delivery Driver Jobs Resume Location
  • Warehouse Worker Jobs Resume Location
  • Account Executive Jobs Resume Location
  • Sales Associate Jobs Resume Location
  • Licensed Practical Nurse Jobs Resume Location
  • Company Driver Jobs Resume

Related posts

research skills year 5

What Is A Visual Learner?

research skills year 5

Master’s In Communication Jobs [15 Best-Paying + Entry-Level Jobs You Can Do With A Communications Degree]

research skills year 5

How To Showcase Leadership Skills On Your Resume (With Examples)

research skills year 5

How To Start A Conversation: (55+ Examples For Every Situation + Tips)

  • Career Advice >
  • Hard Skills >
  • Research Skills

Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons
  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Humanities LibreTexts

5.1: Research Skills

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 165715

  • Ann Inoshita, Karyl Garland, Kate Sims, Jeanne K. Tsutsui Keuma, and Tasha Williams
  • University of Hawaii via University of Hawaiʻi OER

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to achieve the following:

  • Use all the steps of the research process to write an informed essay or report.
  • Generate a suitable area of focus for research-based academic writing.
  • Distinguish which sources are credible and appropriate for a college paper.
  • Cite quoted, paraphrased, or summarized material in order to appropriately give others credit for their original words, ideas, and overall content.
  • Cite resources ethically (without plagiarism).
  • Use a style guide to create an academic, properly formatted essay or report.
  • 5.1.1: Introduction The skills needed for good research-based writing involve reading the work of experts, assimilating that information with one’s own brilliant (and evolving) ideas, possibly mirroring some of the writing that suits each individual student, and becoming a clear, creative, and confident writer in his or her own right.
  • 5.1.2: The Research Process To succeed in college, students need to develop solid research skills that will benefit them throughout and beyond their academic career. They must focus, in and out of class, on doing the following: (1) Identifying an area of focus, (2) Identifying the audience, (3) Using campus library resources to find information, (4) Determining if information is scholarly and credible, and (5) Citing sources accurately, avoiding plagiarism, and creating a final written composition using the appropriate sty
  • 5.1.3: Citing Sources Every publisher, profession, and academic discipline has its own style guide, which provides standards, expectations, and guidelines for formatting written work, for documenting research, whether read or conducted, and for citing outside sources that help inform readers and other potential writers. Publishers and professors expect written work (i.e., essays and reports) to meet the standards set in these style guides.

Thumbnail: Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

  • Open access
  • Published: 29 April 2024

Perceptions of and preparedness for cross-cultural care: a survey of final-year medical students in Ireland

  • Lesley O’Brien 1 ,
  • Nicola Wassall 1 ,
  • Danielle Cadoret 1 ,
  • Aleksandra Petrović 1 ,
  • Patrick O’Donnell 1 &
  • Siobhán Neville 1  

BMC Medical Education volume  24 , Article number:  472 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

161 Accesses

1 Altmetric

Metrics details

Migration is increasing globally, and societies are becoming more diverse and multi-ethnic. Medical school curricula should prepare students to provide high-quality care to all individuals in the communities they serve. Previous research from North America and Asia has assessed the effectiveness of medical cultural competency training, and student preparedness for delivery of cross-cultural care. However, student preparedness has not been explored in the European context. The aim of this study was to investigate how prepared final-year medical students in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) feel to provide care to patients from other countries, cultures, and ethnicities. In addition, this study aims to explore students’ experiences and perceptions of cross-cultural care.

Final-year medical students attending all six medical schools within the ROI were invited to participate in this study. A modified version of the Harvard Cross-Cultural Care Survey (CCCS) was used to assess their preparedness, skill, training/education, and attitudes. The data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 28.0, and Fisher’s Exact Test was employed to compare differences within self-identified ethnicity groups and gender.

Whilst most respondents felt prepared to care for patients in general (80.5%), many felt unprepared to care for specific ethnic patient cohorts, including patients from a minority ethnic background (50.7%) and the Irish Traveller Community (46.8%). Only 20.8% of final-year students felt they had received training in cross-cultural care during their time in medical school. Most respondents agreed that they should be assessed specifically on skills in cultural competence whilst in medical school (83.2%).


A large proportion of final-year medical students surveyed in Ireland feel inadequately prepared to care for ethnically diverse patients. Similarly, they report feeling unskilled in core areas of cross-cultural care, and a majority agree that they should be assessed on aspects of cultural competency. This study explores shortcomings in cultural competency training and confidence amongst Irish medical students. These findings have implications for future research and curricular change, with opportunities for the development of relevant educational initiatives in Irish medical schools.

Peer Review reports

Patient-centred care is linked to improved health outcomes for patients and represents a pillar of quality in healthcare delivery [ 1 ]. However, providing patient-centred care becomes more complex with increasing diversity of patient populations. Miscommunication and misunderstandings in the clinical setting can lead to patient dissatisfaction, reduced adherence to treatment regimens and poor health outcomes [ 2 ]. Cross-cultural competence is an important factor in the ability of clinicians to deliver appropriate care to patients from different sociocultural backgrounds [ 1 ]. There have been multiple definitions of cross-cultural competence developed in the literature, and for the purpose of this study cross-cultural competence can be taken to mean a shared knowledge from collective experiences of diverse groups and the integration of behaviours and attitudes by healthcare professionals to empower them to engage effectively and collaboratively with patients from these diverse backgrounds [ 3 ]. Healthcare providers skilled in cross-cultural care can improve quality of care for minority ethnic groups and help eliminate health disparities by improving communication with patients, building trust, and overcoming gaps in understanding [ 2 ]. Therefore, it can be argued that cross-cultural competence is an essential skill for clinicians and should be included in medical school curricula.

To provide appropriate cross-cultural care, clinicians must engage in effective communication with, and provide high quality care to, patients from diverse sociocultural backgrounds [ 4 ]. Whilst there is no accepted definition of cultural competence, Betancourt et al . [ 5 ] described cultural competence training as specific efforts to enhance knowledge of sociocultural factors, health beliefs and behaviours held by patients, with an aim to develop skills to manage these factors in the delivery of equitable health care. Ultimately, training should help clinicians understand the impact of sociocultural factors on a patient’s health. However, there is variability in the methods, timing, and quality of this training [ 6 ]. Some institutions prioritise theory over practical skills, and many fail to address bias and disparities in healthcare [ 6 ]. Cross-cultural training requires standardisation to consistently produce culturally competent clinicians.

There has been a drive to improve cross-cultural care training in medicine, as studies in various countries have shown that both medical students and practising clinicians feel unprepared to deliver patient-centred, cross-cultural care [ 1 , 2 , 6 ]. Using the Cross-Cultural Care Survey (CCCS), a tool developed and validated for assessing cultural competency in medicine, Green et. al. [ 6 ] reported that final year Harvard medical students felt they lacked experience with diverse patient populations and experienced dismissive attitudes towards cross-cultural training from educators. As a result, they felt unprepared in many facets of delivering cross-cultural care. Medical students in Taiwan reported no improvement in preparedness to deliver cross-cultural care or address health inequities, as they progressed from preclinical to clinical training [ 7 ]. In Pakistan, researchers found that there was little difference between medical school year groups in their preparedness to care for patients with cultural customs and/or beliefs with the potential to affect clinical care [ 8 ]. In Switzerland, Casillas et al. [ 2 ] surveyed a group of healthcare providers, which included physicians and clinical nurses, and found that participants felt least prepared to care for patients whose religious beliefs affect treatment, and working in a department that provided some form of cross-cultural training was associated with higher levels of preparedness. Hudelson et al. [ 9 ] assessed the communication skills of both healthcare providers and local medical students when caring for migrant patients, which found that medical students scored lower than their qualified colleagues in clinical skills, intercultural communication skills and general intercultural skills.

There have been several studies conducted in the United Kingdom (UK) examining the cultural awareness of medical students and delivery of cultural competency training [ 10 ]. Studies show that UK medical students wish to be more aware of cultural differences in their patient population, and some students had not encountered any form of cultural competency training in their clinical curricula [ 11 , 12 ]. They recommended the incorporation of cultural competency training in both clinical and didactic material [ 12 ].

In the Irish context, the health of the Irish Traveller community raises particular equity concerns. This minority ethnic group faces higher mortality rates and lower average life expectancies than the general population, likely due to factors including discrimination, and access to health and social services [ 13 ]. This group was formally recognised as an indigenous ethnic minority in 2017 [ 14 ]. Diversity in Ireland has also been increasing, which adds to the complexity of delivering patient-centred care. From 2011 to 2016, the non-White-Irish population increased at a rate three times that of the White Irish ethnic majority. Preliminary results for the 2022 census revealed a population increase of 361,671, and estimated net immigration of 190,330 [ 15 ]. More recently, over 60,000 Ukrainian refugees arrived in Ireland in less than a year, with many requiring access to health services [ 16 ]. Despite these big changes, there is no research we can find that examines the preparedness of medical students in Ireland to provide cross-cultural care . The Health Service Executive (HSE), Ireland’s public health and social care service, recommends that academic institutions should integrate cultural competency training into undergraduate and postgraduate medical programmes [ 17 ]. Ireland’s changing demographics necessitate effective cross-cultural training in medicine to ensure all patients receive high quality care. Varying degrees of cross-cultural training have been employed by Irish medical institutions to provide students with skills required to navigate cross-cultural consultations. It is important to gauge the effectiveness of this training, particularly as there is no national standard in this area.

The aim of this study is to examine whether final-year medical students in Ireland feel prepared to provide high-quality care to patients from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Furthermore, this study aims to explore how these students have encountered this concept in their training thus far. In addition, we sought to explore the perceptions of students regarding ethnicity and health and identify potential areas to build on in medical school curricula. Researching the student perspective can provide medical educators with information on where students are receiving training in cross-cultural care, where students are finding greatest engagement, and areas of cross-cultural care in which students feel underprepared. Teaching basic skills required for navigating cross-cultural care consultations early in a medical student’s education establishes a foundation to build upon throughout their career and aid in the delivery of equitable healthcare for all patient cohorts.

Population and recruitment

We recruited final-year medical students, due to graduate in 2022, from both undergraduate and graduate-entry programmes in all six medical schools within the ROI: National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Cork (UCC), University College Dublin (UCD), and University of Limerick (UL). We used social media channels to distribute the survey, posting to final year medical student groups on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms. We included a prize draw as an incentive to participate. Ethical approval was granted by the University of Limerick Faculty of Education and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee.

Design and procedure

The Harvard cross-cultural care survey (CCCS) is a validated tool developed in the United States to assess cross-cultural competence in medicine and was adapted for the Irish context [ 6 ]. For example, questions were included regarding the Irish Traveller population. This cross-sectional survey design was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data on four elements of cross-cultural care: i) preparedness, ii) skill, iii) training and education, and iv) attitudes. Information was collected on the medical training received by each participant, in addition to experiences outside of medical school. We assessed students during their final semester of medical school from January to June 2022. The survey was created using the online survey platform Qualtrics in line with the Harvard cross-cultural care survey layout. It was distributed via social media channels, and in addition, posters with a QR code link to the survey were placed in communal student settings in Irish hospitals.

Survey responses were stored and analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 28.0. All components of the survey, including demographics, preparedness, skill, training and education, and attitudes were examined using frequency analyses. Fisher’s exact test was used to investigate statistically significant differences between gender and ethnicity groups, in reported preparedness and skill. Fisher’s Exact Test was chosen to provide accurate p values for low frequency samples in this study.

Participants were asked initially to disclose whether they were a final year medical student from the outset. Those who responded “no” were filtered out from the participation in the survey. Demographic data collected were analysed to investigate for gender and ethnicity difference in responses without cross-analysing two variables, e.g. institute and ethnicity or gender and ethnicity, to ensure confidentiality. Following completion of the survey, participants were offered the chance to participate in the prize draw. If accepted, participants were taken to a separate survey in which they were asked to include their email for a chance to win. No names were collected to protect confidentiality.

Pilot study

A pilot study of recently qualified doctors was carried out in 2021 to further refine the CCCS for the Irish context. The survey was distributed to recent graduates from six medical schools in the ROI via social media. The pilot study was completed by 49 participants. The reliability of the survey was tested using data collected from the pilot study. Cronbach’s alpha for the subscales within the survey were (α = 0.705–0.887) indicating acceptable reliability.

A total of 105 survey responses were collected from final-year medical students across the six medical schools in the ROI. Twenty-eight responses were excluded—four were not final year medical students and twenty-four were incomplete. There was a target population of approximately 1200 students, however the true number of students viewing the survey link is not known, therefore an exact response rate cannot be calculated.


NUIG returned the most responses, (Table  1 (demographics), N  = 77). There was a higher proportion of female to male participants (75.3% and 24.7%, respectively). 57 participants self-identified as “ethnic majority” (74%), 19 self-identified as “ethnic minority”, (24.7%), and one did not disclose their self-identified ethnicity (1.3%).


Participants were asked to evaluate their perceived level of preparedness to care for patients in the contexts presented in Table  2 (Preparedness). 80.5% of participants felt prepared to care for patients in general. 50.7% felt prepared to care for patients from ethnic minorities, and 46.8% felt prepared to care for Irish Travellers specifically. Participants felt unprepared to care for new migrant patients (62.4%), patients with limited English proficiency (57.2%), and patients whose religious beliefs may affect clinical care (57.2%). There were statistically significant differences when comparing ethnicity groups. Ethnic minority participants felt more prepared to care for patients from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds (68.42% vs 43.86%, p  <  0.05 ), patients with limited English proficiency (26.32% vs 22.81%, p  <  0.05 ), and new migrant patients (26.32% vs 17.54%, p  <  0.05 ) when compared to those who did not identify this way. There were no statistically significant differences between gender groups.

Participants were *similarly prepared* to care for other minoritised patient communities, including those who identify as LGBTQIA + (54.6%) and those with disabilities (48.1%), as compared to patients from minority ethnic backgrounds (50.7%).

Participants were asked to evaluate their perceived level of skill in relation to the contexts presented in Table  3 (Skill). A high proportion of participants reported being skilled in adapting communication styles to fit a patient’s needs (80.5%) and building rapport with patients from ethnic backgrounds different to their own (76.6%). Participants reported a higher level of skill in identifying a patient’s understanding of spoken English (64.9%) compared to written English (42.9%). Participants reported being unskilled in working effectively with a medical interpreter (45.5%) and identifying religious beliefs and cultural customs that may affect clinical care (44.2%). Ethnic minority participants reported greater skill in identifying how well a patient understands verbal English than their ethnic majority counterparts (78.95% vs 59.65%, p  <  0.05 ). There were no statistically significant differences observed between gender groups.

Training and education

Participants were asked to evaluate how their educational experiences have prepared them to care for ethnic minority patients (Fig.  1 ). Participants identified experiences prior to, or outside of, the formal medical curriculum as the most useful in preparing them (36.8% “strongly agree”, 42.1% “somewhat agree”), followed by clinical electives (13.3% “strongly agree”, 40% “somewhat agree”) and formal clinical years (10.4% “strongly agree”, 41.6% “somewhat agree”). The pre-clinical education period (usually the first half of medical school training) was where a minority of students surveyed gained educational experience relevant to this topic, (6.5% “strongly agree”, 9.1% “somewhat agree”).

figure 1

Training and Education: Experience. Participants were asked to self-evaluate the usefulness of the educational experiences presented above in preparing them to care for ethnic minority patients using a 5-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. % N  = percentage frequency of number of total participants, ( N  = 77)

Participants were asked to identify whether they had been exposed to various aspects of cross-cultural training whilst in their medical school (Fig.  2 ). Participants agreed they had practical experience caring for diverse patient populations during this time (16.9% “strongly agree”, 36.4% “somewhat agree”). A minority of participants felt they had not encountered diverse patient populations (22.1% “somewhat disagree”, 14.3% “strongly disagree”). Few agreed they had undergone cross-cultural training (9.1% “strongly agree”, 11.7% “somewhat agree”). A small majority agreed they had encountered positive attitudes to cross-cultural care amongst senior clinicians on placement, (16.9% “strongly agree”, 39% “somewhat agree”). A similar proportion encountered negative or dismissive attitudes amongst senior clinicians, (9.1% “strongly agree”, 33.8% “somewhat agree”). A majority of participants reported encountering positive attitudes towards cross-cultural care amongst their student peers (33.8% “strongly agree”, 32.5% “somewhat agree”). There were no statistically significant differences between gender or ethnic groups.

figure 2

Training and Education: Exposure. Participants were asked to self-evaluate whether they had been exposed to the scenarios presented above using a 5-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. % N  = percentage frequency of number of total participants, ( N  = 77)

Participants were asked to evaluate how they felt their medical school had incorporated and prioritised the teaching of cross-cultural care. Many disagreed that their respective schools had incorporated cross-cultural issues into teaching (Fig.  3 A) (36.4% “somewhat disagree”, 23.4% “strongly disagree”). Similarly, they disagreed that their medical school had made the care of ethnic minority patients a priority for medical education (Fig.  3 B) (36.4% “somewhat disagree”, 40.3% “strongly disagree”).

figure 3

Student Perceptions on Current Cross-Cultural Training in Medical School. Participant perceptions were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. A Participants were asked whether their medical school had incorporated cross-cultural issues into teaching and clinical care. Strongly disagree (23.4%), somewhat disagree (36.4%), neither agree nor disagree (10.4%), somewhat agree (22.1%), strongly agree (7.8%). B Participants were asked whether they felt their medical school makes learning about the care of ethnic minority patients a priority. Strongly disagree (40.3%), somewhat disagree (36.4%), neither agree nor disagree (7.8%), somewhat agree (9.1%), strongly agree (6.5%). % N  = percentage frequency of total participants, where N  = 77. No statistically significant differences were identified between ethnic groups or gender groups

Participant attitudes towards cross-cultural care were assessed. The majority of participants agreed that it is important to have clinical experience with diverse patient populations (Fig.  4 A) (93.5%). Furthermore, 83.2% of participants agreed that students should be assessed for their skills in cultural competence (Fig.  4 B).

figure 4

Participant attitudes to cross-cultural care were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. A Participants were asked whether they felt it is important for medical students to have clinical experiences with a diverse mix of ethnic minority patients. “Strongly disagree” (0%), “somewhat disagree” (1.3%), “neither agree nor disagree” (5.2%), “somewhat agree” (9.1%), “strongly agree” (84.4%). B Participants were asked whether during medical school, students should be assessed for skills in cultural competence. “Strongly disagree” (5.2%), “somewhat disagree” (9.1%), “neither agree nor disagree” (2.6%), “somewhat agree” (37.75%), “strongly agree” (45.5%). Total number participants, ( N  = 77)

Finally, participants were invited to share ideas of how cross-cultural care may be further incorporated into their learning. Fourteen respondents put forward their thoughts on ways to deliver effective cross-cultural care within their curriculum. These may be considered under three broader categories—the method of delivery, the resources used, and the content delivered. Respondents felt methods of delivery should include specified lectures and/or modules on cross-cultural care, clinical sessions with patients from diverse backgrounds, and opportunities for involvement in community initiatives delivering care to minority populations. Respondents highlighted the need for learning resources that are inclusive of diverse patient populations. Finally, respondents highlighted a need for specific training in key content areas, including unconscious bias and working with medical interpreters.

This is one of the first studies in a European context to evaluate medical students’ preparedness to care for diverse patient populations using a validated survey tool and identifies areas of need to equip students to provide high-quality cross-cultural care. Previous studies have provided limited insight into the medical student perspective on aspects of cross-cultural training, usually as part of wider studies focusing on the perceptions of clinicians or schools delivering training [ 9 , 12 ].

The self-reported preparedness points to a specific lack of experience engaging with patients from diverse backgrounds. With a majority of respondents reporting proficiency in cross-cultural skills assessed in this survey, this may reflect an under-confidence in self-reported preparedness of Irish medical students. The difference in preparedness between self-identified ethnic groups, whereby ethnic minority students reported greater preparedness in cross-cultural care, may be due to a shared experience of being minoritised in society and finding a commonality between being from cultures outside of the ethnic majority. Other studies have found similar results, with participants that identify as ethnic minority or even sexual minority reporting greater preparedness to care for patients from different cultural backgrounds and different sexual orientations [ 8 , 18 ]. It may suggest that these experiences may be collected, shared, and taught in cross-cultural education, so that future clinicians are able to better understand their diverse patients and ultimately deliver better care.

Preparedness to care for LGBTQIA + patients and patients with disabilities were included in the survey, as these groups also often face barriers to care. While few survey respondents felt prepared to care for these communities, the figures were similar to those collected in the USA and Taiwan [ 6 , 7 ]. This suggests an area to improve upon when cultivating student preparedness to care for other diverse populations, populations that are often neglected or discriminated against in the health care setting despite a potentially shared culture or ethnicity [ 18 ].

The Skills section highlighted specific areas of student concern, which can direct the development of future medical curricula on cross-cultural training. Participants in this study identified areas where they felt least skilled in delivering cross-cultural care, including identifying religious or cultural beliefs affecting clinical care and working effectively with a medical interpreter. They highlighted experiences outside the formal medical curriculum as most preparatory in building their cross-cultural competence. Research indicates that the informal or “hidden” curriculum, where students encounter a variety of patient populations and learn through direct observation, immersion, and interaction with these diverse groups, plays a crucial role in developing their cultural competence. This unintentional learning process is essential in enhancing their ability to effectively work across different cultural contexts [ 19 ]. This suggests that schools should offer and encourage elective opportunities or volunteering placements within diverse communities, as they are a rich source of cross-cultural education. Unfortunately, medical schools in Ireland are often limited by geographical location and availability of clinical placements. However, this may be an area schools can improve upon as the Irish population continues to diversify rapidly.

Despite varying cross-cultural training programs implemented in Irish medical schools, many participants in this survey felt they had not received training in cross-cultural care during their time in medical school, nor was it felt to be a priority in their curriculum. Further reinforcement of these programmes should be implemented across all years of medical school, via both theoretical and practical means. As per participant suggestions put forth in this survey, lectures, small group sessions, involvement in local community programmes, and dedicated cross-cultural clinical sessions could be implemented to enhance cultural competency. A cultural humility approach has been shown to be beneficial, which incorporates self-reflection in cross-cultural training [ 12 ]. A scoping review by Brottman et al . [ 19 ], revealed eleven cross-cultural educational methods to cultivate cultural competence, whilst Liu et al . [ 20 ], demonstrated the ways in which the hidden curriculum can influence cross-cultural competence. From these studies, multiple methods of cultivating cross-cultural competence can be utilised, and there is no method has been proven superior to another [ 19 ].

The majority of participants agreed that they should be assessed for skills in cultural competence during medical school training. Schools may look to assess this in Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) stations. There have been previous calls for greater use of objective measures of assessment of cultural competence in the literature to date [ 6 , 8 , 11 ]. A recent review by Deliz. et al. [ 21 ] found that the most commonly adopted assessment modality of cross-cultural care training in medical schools were pre- and post-training self-assessment surveys, but other forms of assessment included objective measures, namely knowledge-based tests and standardised patient encounters. It is unknown whether the medical schools listed in our study have implemented objective assessments for cultural competence among their student population.

The Attitudes section suggests that survey participants have encountered negative or dismissive attitudes towards cross-cultural care in clinical settings. This follows findings from UK studies, which revealed that ethnic minority students specifically felt isolated and subject to stereotyping by clinicians whilst on placement [ 12 , 22 ]. This suggests that clinical staff should also be exposed to cross-cultural training as role models for future health care professionals [ 19 ]. Fortunately, positive attitudes greatly outweighed negative attitudes amongst the participants’ own peer groups.

One limitation of this study was the low number of responses received, which may have been impacted by our method of recruitment and timing of our data collection. Our data were collected through indirect social media channels, therefore the number of medical students that had the potential to interact with our survey was unknown. There was a low response rate from some institutions compared to others, namely TCD, RCSI, and UCC, again likely due to method of recruitment, thus the data cannot be taken to represent all undergraduate and graduate medicine courses in the ROI. The data collection took place in the latter half of the final year, a time when student anxiety regarding final exams is high. This may have impacted the rate of participation observed in our study. While there is no public data available regarding the ethnic makeup of the medical student population in Ireland, our survey received responses representing self-identified majority and self-identified minority student perspectives. Though this may not reflect the national average, this response ratio ensured representation from both cohorts. The interpretation of data inferred from ethnicity differences cannot be overstated due to the low total number of responses. Also, it should be noted that this study asked students to self-identify as ethnic minority or majority, which may inherently pose difficulty for some.

Students engaging in a survey on cross-cultural care are likely interested in this area of medical education, which may influence the responses. This survey asked students to self-report their feelings of preparedness and skill and may not be a true reflection of their abilities. Students may feel unprepared at this stage of their career due to “imposter syndrome” or anxiety about entering the workforce, which may create a negative self-perception bias [ 23 ]. There is limited data published regarding how the schools represented in this survey implement their training in cross-cultural care. Finally, this survey tool relies on participant recall, introducing potential for recall bias as observed in similar studies [ 7 ]. Suggestions for further research include repeating this survey with alternative recruitment methods to boost response rates and collect data representative of all ROI medical institutions, assessing students’ preparedness for diverse patient populations during different stages of their medical education. The preparedness of medical students to care for patients with disabilities and/or patients from LGBTQIA + communities should be further explored. Finally, it would be advisable to assess non-hospital consultant doctors’ (NCHDs) preparedness to care for diverse patient populations in Ireland.

This was the first study assessing the perceptions of final-year medical students across Irish universities in their preparedness, skill, and attitudes towards cross-cultural care. This survey has helped to clarify the student perspective on current cross-cultural training employed by medical schools, with students reporting an unpreparedness to care for diverse patient cohorts. It highlights areas in which students do not feel adequately trained to deliver cross-cultural care. Most students have a positive perception of cross-cultural competence and feel it is important to incorporate cross-cultural competence into their education to ensure the delivery of equitable health care to diverse patient cohorts. Students expressed how they hoped to see more cross-cultural competency training, including further lectures, modules, and clinical sessions added to their curriculum. This survey has highlighted areas of medical education that students desire further training in to develop their skills in cross-cultural competence.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets generated and analysed during the current study are not publicly available due to the potential for individual privacy to be compromised but are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request.


Cross-Cultural Care Survey

Health Service Executive

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual + 

Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor

National University of Ireland, Galway

Observed Structured Clinical Exam

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Trinity College Dublin

University College Cork

University College Dublin

United Kingdom

University of Limerick

United States of America

Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in, A. Crossing the quality chasm: a new health system for the 21st century. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US). Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved; 2001.

Google Scholar  

Casillas A, et al. Is the front line prepared for the changing faces of patients? Predictors of cross-cultural preparedness among clinical nurses and resident physicians in Lausanne, Switzerland. Teach Learn Med. 2015;27(4):379–86. https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2015.1077127 .

Article   Google Scholar  

Castillo RJ, Guo KL. A framework for cultural competence in health care organizations. Health Care Manag (Frederick). 2011;30(3):205–14. https://doi.org/10.1097/HCM.0b013e318225dfe6 . PMID: 21808172.

Betancourt JR, Cervantes MC. Cross-cultural medical education in the United States: key principles and experiences. Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2009;25(9):471–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1607-551x(09)70553-4 .

Betancourt JR, et al. Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public Health Rep. 2003;118(4):293–302. https://doi.org/10.1093/phr/118.4.293 .

Green AR, et al. Measuring medical students’ preparedness and skills to provide cross-cultural care. Health Equity. 2017;1(1):15–22. https://doi.org/10.1089/heq.2016.0011 .

Lu PY, et al. Assessing Asian medical students’ readiness for diversity: localizing measures of cross-cultural care competence. Teach Learn Med. 2021;33(3):220–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2020.1830097 .

Amanullah FS, et al. Assessing medical students’ perception of cross-cultural competence at a private University in Karachi. BMC Med Educ. 2022;22(1):534. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-022-03588-0 .

Hudelson P, Perron NJ, Perneger T. Self-assessment of intercultural communication skills: a survey of physicians and medical students in Geneva, Switzerland. BMC Med Educ. 2011;11:63. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-11-63 .

Dogra N, Reitmanova S, Carter-Pokras O. Teaching cultural diversity: current status in U.K., U.S., and Canadian medical schools. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S164-8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-009-1202-7 .

Stretch NDD. Developing a questionnaire to assess student awareness of the need to be culturally aware in clinical practice. Med Teach. 2001;23(1):59–64. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159002005613 .

Nazar M, et al. Decolonising medical curricula through diversity education: lessons from students. Med Teach. 2015;37(4):385–93. https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159x.2014.947938 .

Health, D.o. All Ireland traveller health study: our Geels - summary of findings. All-Ireland Traveller Health Study. Department of Health; 2010. https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b9c48a-all-ireland-traveller-health-study/ .

Haynes A, Joyce S, Schweppe J. The significance of the declaration of ethnic minority status for Irish travellers. Natl Pap. 2021;49(2):270–88. https://doi.org/10.1017/nps.2020.28 .

CSO, C.S.O. Census of population 2022 - preliminary results. 2022.

CSO, C.S.O. Arrivals from Ukraine in Ireland series 4. 2022.

HSE, N.S.I.O. Second national intercultural health strategy 2018–2023. 2018.

Badat A, Moodley S, Paruk L. Preparedness of final year medical students in caring for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients with mental illness. S Afr J Psychiatr. 2023;29:1998. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v29i0.1998 .

Brottman MR, Char DM, Hattori RA, Heeb R, Taff SD. Toward cultural competency in health care: a scoping review of the diversity and inclusion education literature. Acad Med. 2020;95(5):803–13. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000002995 . PMID: 31567169.

Liu J, Li S. An ethnographic investigation of medical students’ cultural competence development in clinical placements. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2023;28(3):705–39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-022-10179-7 .

Deliz JR, et al. Cultural competency interventions during medical school: a scoping review and narrative synthesis. J Gen Intern Med. 2020;35(2):568–77. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-019-05417-5 .

Morrison N, Machado M, Blackburn C. Student perspectives on barriers to performance for black and minority ethnic graduate-entry medical students: a qualitative study in a West Midlands medical school. BMJ Open. 2019;9(11):e032493. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032493 .

Khan M. Imposter syndrome—a particular problem for medical students. BMJ. 2021;375:n3048. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n3048 .

Download references


The authors would like to thank Alisha Jaffer for her contribution to the conception and early development of this project, and Seoidín McKittrick for her time and expertise in analysing our pilot study dataset. Finally, the authors would like to thank the final-year medical students in NUIG, RCSI, TCD, UCC, UCD, and UL who shared the survey with their peers, and all the participants who completed the survey.

No funding was required for this study.

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

School of Medicine, University of Limerick, Limerick, Republic of Ireland

Lesley O’Brien, Nicola Wassall, Danielle Cadoret, Aleksandra Petrović, Patrick O’Donnell & Siobhán Neville

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar


All authors contributed to the conceptualisation and design of the study. L’OB, NW, DC, and AP contributed to participant recruitment and data collection. LO’B performed statistical analysis of the results. PO’D and SN contributed to participant recruitment, and supervision of the study. LO’B and NW wrote a draft paper, which has been reviewed and revised critically by all authors. All authors approved the final version to be published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Authors’ information

LO’B is an NCHD Intern at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. NW is a Foundation Doctor FY1 at North Devon District Hospital. DC is a General Surgery Prelim/Interventional Radiology PGY1 at Corewell Health, Michigan State University. AP is a final year medical student at the School of Medicine, University of Limerick. PO’D is a General Practitioner and Associate Professor of General Practice at the School of Medicine, University of Limerick. SN is a Consultant General Paediatrician at University Hospital Limerick, and Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the School of Medicine, University of Limerick.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lesley O’Brien .

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate.

Informed consent was obtained from all students prior to their participation in the study once they had read and agreed to the terms of the ethical consent form. All methods were performed in accordance with the regulations and guidelines provided by the University of Limerick Faculty of Education and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee. Approval to conduct this study was also granted by the University of Limerick Faculty of Education and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee. Data collected included identifiers such as participant’s medical school, gender identity, and whether a participant identified as ethnic minority. Data was analysed only to investigate potential gender differences or ethnic identity differences, without cross matching two identifiers to ensure participants identities remained anonymous. Data collected is retained for 7 years in a password protected file in accordance with Irish and European Data Protection Law.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's note.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Supplementary material 1., rights and permissions.

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ . The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ ) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article.

O’Brien, L., Wassall, N., Cadoret, D. et al. Perceptions of and preparedness for cross-cultural care: a survey of final-year medical students in Ireland. BMC Med Educ 24 , 472 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-024-05392-4

Download citation

Received : 20 August 2023

Accepted : 04 April 2024

Published : 29 April 2024

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-024-05392-4

Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Cross-cultural care
  • Cultural competency
  • Medical education

BMC Medical Education

ISSN: 1472-6920

research skills year 5

  • Quantum Research

Get started with Qiskit SDK 1.0 at the 2024 IBM Quantum Challenge

This year’s challenge starts on 5 june, and is about qiskit sdk 1.0 and working toward utility-scale quantum experiments..

Get started with Qiskit 1.0 at the 2024 IBM Quantum Challenge

Brian Ingmanson

Vishal Sharathchandra Bajpe

Share this blog

2024 IBM Quantum Challenge June 5-14, 2024 Sign up here

Earlier this year, we debuted the first stable release of the Qiskit SDK, the IBM software for programming utility-scale quantum computers. Now, we challenge you to put it to work.

We’re excited to introduce the 2024 IBM Quantum Challenge. This annual coding challenge is an educational event focused on teaching the world how quantum computational scientists use Qiskit. This year’s challenge is about Qiskit 1.0 and working toward utility-scale quantum experiments.

Read the Qiskit 1.0 release summary

It will begin on 5 June and run until 14 June — Sign up here .

As with previous challenges, the 2024 IBM Quantum Challenge is tailored for anyone to join, regardless of their experience — whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned veteran, there is something here for you. It consists of a series of Jupyter notebooks that contain tutorial material, code examples, and auto-graded coding challenges. We call each of these notebooks a “lab.” While the first lab can be completed by beginners, the final labs will test your Qiskit knowledge. This is, after all, a challenge!

This year’s challenge will showcase the new features of Qiskit 1.0, while demonstrating the differences from previous versions. We hope it will help you better understand what it means to do utility-scale experiments with Qiskit — those with 100 or more qubits — and practice the steps to get there. And, to add a fun twist, the labs follow a mystery story in the world of the birds that inspired the nomenclature of IBM’s quantum hardware.

For the first time in history, quantum computers are demonstrating the ability to solve problems at a scale beyond brute force classical simulation. Read more about how to harness these capabilities here .

This challenge is also an opportunity to get a sneak peek at some of the new cutting-edge features and developments in the quantum stack. That includes new integrations with AI — the Qiskit code assistant powered by IBM watsonx TM .

We’re also making some changes to accommodate our ever-growing quantum community. Events like this typically attract thousands of users running the same circuits multiple times, making queue times much longer than normal. Therefore, we will not be requiring hardware use as part of the Quantum Challenge. The labs in this year’s Challenge will focus on helping people to build intuition and make progress without waiting to run on real hardware.

However, as always, you are encouraged to run any of the code here on any of our devices which you have access to — such as those available through the IBM Quantum Open, Pay-as-you-go, or Premium Plans . That’s the beauty of IBM’s offerings, you can easily transition your code from testing straight to running on actual hardware.

The workflow you'll learn in this challenge is a shift away from IBM Quantum Lab , which will be sunset on 15 May, to focus on utility-scale workloads. We will offer tutorial content and hands-on support to assist you with this new workflow.

Organize a Challenge party

Finally, we encourage participants to host or attend a Challenge Party. In recent years we’ve seen an exciting increase in the number of local Challenge get-togethers held by Qiskit community members. This year, IBM will host one in New York City, while some of our partners will host events as well. More details will be released closer to the start date.

We’re thrilled to have you join us on this adventure. Until then, get ready by learning all about Qiskit 1.0 and quantum computing on the IBM Quantum Learning Platform . Make sure to check your email as we get closer to 5 June — and note that the official communications will come from  [email protected] .

Sign up here → https://challenges.quantum.ibm.com/2024

Build skills in quantum computing

Keep exploring.

The era of quantum utility must also be the era of responsible quantum computing

The era of quantum utility must also be the era of responsible quantum computing

Applications are now open to intern with IBM Quantum for summer 2024

IBM Quantum internship applications are now closed for summer 2024

Build utility-scale quantum applications with the updated Open Plan and IBM Quantum Credits

Build utility-scale quantum applications with the updated Open Plan and IBM Quantum Credits

Announcing the winners of the 2023 IBM Quantum Open Science Prize

Announcing the winners of the 2023 IBM Quantum Open Science Prize

U.S. flag

An official website of the Department of Health & Human Services

  • Search All AHRQ Sites
  • Email Updates

Patient Safety Network

1. Use quotes to search for an exact match of a phrase.

2. Put a minus sign just before words you don't want.

3. Enter any important keywords in any order to find entries where all these terms appear.

  • The PSNet Collection
  • All Content
  • Perspectives
  • Current Weekly Issue
  • Past Weekly Issues
  • Curated Libraries
  • Clinical Areas
  • Patient Safety 101
  • The Fundamentals
  • Training and Education
  • Continuing Education
  • WebM&M: Case Studies
  • Training Catalog
  • Submit a Case
  • Improvement Resources
  • Innovations
  • Submit an Innovation
  • About PSNet
  • Editorial Team
  • Technical Expert Panel

Technology as a Tool for Improving Patient Safety

Introduction .

In the past several decades, technological advances have opened new possibilities for improving patient safety. Using technology to digitize healthcare processes has the potential to increase standardization and efficiency of clinical workflows and to reduce errors and cost across all healthcare settings. 1 However, if technological approaches are designed or implemented poorly, the burden on clinicians can increase. For example, overburdened clinicians can experience alert fatigue and fail to respond to notifications. This can lead to more medical errors. As a testament to the significance of this topic in recent years, several government agencies [(e.g. the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS)] have developed resources to help healthcare organizations integrate technology, such as the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) guides developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). 2,3,4  However, there is some evidence that these resources have not been widely used.5 Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) started requiring hospitals to use the SAFER guides as part of the FY 2022 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems (IPPS), which should raise awareness and uptake of the guides. 6

During 2022, research into technological approaches was a major theme of articles on PSNet. Researchers reviewed all relevant articles on PSNet and consulted with Dr. A Jay Holmgren, PhD, and Dr. Susan McBride, PhD, subject matter experts in health IT and its role in patient safety. Key topics and themes are highlighted below.  

Clinical Decision Support  

The most prominent focus in the 2022 research on technology, based on the number of articles published on PSNet, was related to clinical decision support (CDS) tools. CDS provides clinicians, patients, and other individuals with relevant data (e.g. patient-specific information), purposefully filtered and delivered through a variety of formats and channels, to improve and enhance care. 7   

Computerized Patient Order Entry  

One of the main applications of CDS is in computerized patient order entry (CPOE), which is the process used by clinicians to enter and send treatment instructions via a computer application. 8 While the change from paper to electronic order entry itself can reduce errors (e.g., due to unclear handwriting or manual copy errors), research in 2022 showed that there is room for improvement in order entry systems, as well as some promising novel approaches. 

Two studies looked at the frequency of and reasons for medication errors in the absence of CDS and CPOE and demonstrated that there was a clear patient safety need. One study found that most medication errors occurred during the ordering or prescribing stage, and both this study and the other study found that the most common medication error was incorrect dose. Ongoing research, such as the AHRQ Medication Safety Measure Development project, aims to develop and validate measure specifications for wrong-patient, wrong-dose, wrong-medication, wrong-route, and wrong-frequency medication orders within EHR systems, in order to better understand and capture health IT safety events.9 Errors of this type could be avoided or at least reduced through the use of effective CPOE and CDS systems. However, even when CPOE and CDS are in place, errors can still occur and even be caused by the systems themselves. One study reviewed duplicate medication orders and found that 20% of duplicate orders resulted from technological issues, including alerts being overridden, alerts not firing, and automation issues (e.g., prefilled fields). A case study last year Illustrated one of the technological issues, in this case a manual keystroke error, that can lead to a safety event. A pharmacist mistakenly set the start date for a medication to the following year rather than the following day , which the CPOE system failed to flag. The authors recommended various alerts and coding changes in the system to prevent this particular error in the future.  

There were also studies in 2022 that showed successful outcomes of well-implemented CPOE systems. One in-depth pre-post, mixed-methods study showed that a fully implemented CPOE system significantly reduced specific serious and commonly occurring prescribing and procedural errors. The authors also presented evidence that it was cost-effective and detailed implementation lessons learned drawn from the qualitative data collected for the study. A specific CPOE function that demonstrated statistically significant improvement in 2022 was automatic deprescribing of medication orders and communication of the relevant information to pharmacies. Deprescribing is the planned and supervised process of dose reduction or stopping of a medication that is no longer beneficial or could be causing harm. That study showed an immediate and sustained 78% increase in successful discontinuations after implementation of the software. A second study on the same functionality determined that currently only one third to one half of medications are e-prescribed, and the study proposed that e-prescribing should be expanded to increase the impact of the deprescribing software. It should be noted, however, that the systems were not perfect and that a small percentage of medications were unintentionally cancelled. Finally, an algorithm to detect patients in need of follow-up after test results was developed and implemented in another study . The algorithm showed some process improvements, but outcome measures were not reported. 


Usability of CDS systems was a large focus of research in 2022. Poorly designed systems that do not fit into existing workflows lead to frustrated users and increase the potential for errors. For example, if users are required to enter data in multiple places or prompted to enter data that are not available to them, they could find ways to work around the system or even cease to use it, increasing the potential for patient safety errors. The documentation burden is already very high on U.S. clinicians, 10 so it is important that novel technological approaches do not add to this burden but, if possible, alleviate it by offering a high level of usability and interoperability.  

One study used human-factored design in creating a CDS to diagnose pulmonary embolism in the Emergency Department and then surveyed clinician users about their experiences using the tool. Despite respondents giving the tool high usability ratings and reporting that the CDS was valuable, actual use of the tool was low. Based on the feedback from users, the authors proposed some changes to increase uptake, but both users and authors mentioned the challenges that arise when trying to change the existing workflow of clinicians without increasing their burden. Another study gathered qualitative feedback from clinicians on a theoretical CDS system for diagnosing neurological issues in the Emergency Department. In this study too, many clinicians saw the potential value in the CDS tool but had concerns about workflow integration and whether it would impact their ability to make clinical decisions. Finally, one study developed a dashboard to display various risk factors for multiple hospital-acquired infections and gathered feedback from users. The users generally found the dashboard useful and easy to learn, and they also provided valuable feedback on color scales, location, and types of data displayed. All of these studies show that attention to end user needs and preferences is necessary for successful implementation of CDS.  However, the recent market consolidation in Electronic Health Record vendors may have an impact on the amount of user feedback gathered and integrated into CDS systems. Larger vendors may have more resources to devote to improving the usability and design of CDS, or their near monopolies in the market may not provide an incentive to innovate further. 11 More research is needed as this trend continues.  

Alerts and Alarms 

Alerts and alarms are an important part of most CDS systems, as they can prompt clinicians with important and timely information during the treatment process. However, these alerts and alarms must be accurate and useful to elicit an appropriate response. The tradeoff between increased safety due to alerts and clinician alert fatigue is an important balance to strike. 12

Many studies in 2022 looked at clinician responses to medication-related alerts, including override and modification rates. Several of the studies found a high alert override rate but questioned the validity of using override rates alone as a marker of CDS effectiveness and usability. For example, one study looked at drug allergy alerts and found that although 44.8% of alerts were overridden, only 9.3% of those were inappropriately overridden, and very few overrides led to an adverse allergic reaction. A study on “do not give” alerts found that clinicians modified their orders to comply with alert recommendations after 78% of alerts but only cancelled orders after 26% of alerts. A scoping review looked at drug-drug interaction alerts and found similar results, including high override rates and the need for more data on why alerts are overridden. These findings are supported by another study that found that the underlying drug value sets triggering drug-drug interaction alerts are often inconsistent, leading to many inappropriate alerts that are then appropriately overridden by clinicians. These studies suggest that while a certain number of overrides should be expected, the underlying criteria for alert systems should be designed and regularly reviewed with specificity and sensitivity in mind. This will increase the frequency of appropriate alerts that foster indicated clinical action and reduce alert fatigue. 

There also seems to be variability in the effectiveness of alert systems across sites. One study looked at an alert to add an item to the problem list if a clinician placed an order for a medication that was not indicated based on the patient’s chart. The study found about 90% accuracy in alerts across two sites but a wide difference in the frequency of appropriate action between the sites (83% and 47%). This suggests that contextual factors at each site, such as culture and organizational processes, may impact success as much as the technology itself.  

A different study looked at the psychology of dismissing alerts using log data and found that dismissing alerts becomes habitual and that the habit is self-reinforcing over time. Furthermore, nearly three quarters of alerts were dismissed within 3 seconds. This indicates how challenging it can be to change or disrupt alert habits once they are formed. 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning  

In recent years, one of the largest areas of burgeoning technology in healthcare has been artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI and machine learning use algorithms to absorb large amounts of historical and real-time data and then predict outcomes and recommend treatment options as new data are entered by clinicians. Research in 2022 showed that these techniques are starting to be integrated into EHR and CDS systems, but challenges remain. A full discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of this review. Here we limit the discussion to several patient-safety-focused resources posted on PSNet in 2022.  

One of the promising aspects of AI is its ability to improve CDS processes and clinician workflow overall. For example, one study last year looked at using machine learning to improve and filter CDS alerts. They found that the software could reduce alert volume by 54% while maintaining high precision. Reducing alert volume has the potential to alleviate alert fatigue and habitual overriding. Another topic explored in a scoping review was the use of AI to reduce adverse drug events. While only a few studies reviewed implementation in a clinical setting (most evaluated algorithm technical performance), several promising uses were found for AI systems that predict risk of an adverse drug event, which would facilitate early detection and mitigate negative effects.  

Despite enthusiasm for and promising applications of AI, implementation is slow. One of the challenges facing implementation is the variable quality of the systems. For example, a commonly used sepsis detection model was recently found to have very low sensitivity. 13 Algorithms also drift over time as new data are integrated, and this can affect performance, particularly during and after large disturbances like the COVID-19 pandemic. 14 There is also emerging research about the impact of AI algorithms on racial and ethnic biases in healthcare; at the time of publication of this essay, an AHRQ EPC was conducting a review of evidence on the topic. 15  These examples highlight the fact that AI is not a “set it and forget it” application; it requires monitoring and customization from a dedicated resource to ensure that the algorithms perform well over time. A related challenge is the lack of a strong business case for using high-quality AI. Because of this, many health systems choose to use out-of-the-box AI algorithms, which may be of poor quality overall (or are unsuited to particular settings) and may also be “black box” algorithms (i.e., not customizable by the health system because the vendor will not allow access to the underlying code). 16 The variable quality and the lack of transparency may cause mistrust by clinicians and overall aversion to AI interventions.  

In an attempt to address these concerns, one article in 2022 detailed best practices for AI implementation in health systems, focusing on the business case. Best practices include using AI to address a priority problem for the health system rather than treating it as an end itself. Additionally, testing the AI using the health system’s patients and data to demonstrate applicability and accuracy for that setting, confirming that the AI can provide a return on investment, and ensuring that the AI can be implemented easily and efficiently are also important. Another white paper described a human-factors and ergonomics framework for developing AI in order to improve the implementation within healthcare systems, teams, and workflows. The federal government and international organizations have also published AI guidelines, focusing on increasing trustworthiness (National Artificial Intelligence Initiative) 17 and ensuring ethical governance (World Health Organization). 18   

Conclusion and Next Steps 

As highlighted in this review, the scope and complexity of technology and its application in healthcare can be intimidating for healthcare systems to approach and implement. Researchers last year thus created a framework that health systems can use to assess their digital maturity and guide their plans for further integration.  

The field would benefit from more research in several areas in upcoming years. First and foremost, high-quality prospective outcome studies are needed to validate the effectiveness of the new technologies. Second, more work is needed on system usability, how the systems are integrated into workflows, and how they affect the documentation burden placed on clinicians. For CDS specifically, more focus is needed on patient-centered CDS (PC CDS), which supports patient-centered care by helping clinicians and patients make the best decisions given each individual’s circumstances and preferences. 19 AHRQ is already leading efforts in this field with their CDS Innovation Collaborative project. 20 Finally, as it becomes more common to incorporate EHR scribes to ease the documentation burden, research on their impact on patient safety will be needed, especially in relation to new technological approaches. For example, when a scribe encounters a CDS alert, do they alert the clinician in all cases? 

In addition to the approaches mentioned in this article, other emerging technologies in early stages of development hold theoretical promise for improving patient safety. One prominent example is “computer vision,” which uses cameras and AI to gather and process data on what physically happens in healthcare settings beyond what is captured in EHR data, 21 including being able to detect immediately that a patient fell in their room. 22  

As technology continues to expand and improve, researchers, clinicians, and health systems must be mindful of potential stumbling blocks that could impede progress and threaten patient safety. However, technology presents a wide array of opportunities to make healthcare more integrated, efficient, and safe.  

  • Cohen CC, Powell K, Dick AW, et al. The Association Between Nursing Home Information Technology Maturity and Urinary Tract Infection Among Long-Term Residents . J Appl Gerontol . 2022;41(7):1695-1701. doi: 10.1177/07334648221082024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9232878/
  • https://www.healthit.gov/topic/safety/safer-guides
  • https://cds.ahrq.gov/cdsconnect/repository
  • https://www.cms.gov/about-cms/obrhi
  • McBride S, Makar E, Ross A, et al. Determining awareness of the SAFER guides among nurse informaticists. J Inform Nurs. 2021;6(4). https://library.ania.org/ania/articles/713/view
  • Sittig DF, Sengstack P, Singh H. Guidelines for US hospitals and clinicians on assessment of electronic health record safety using SAFER guides. J ama . 2022;327:719-720.
  • https://library.ahima.org/doc?oid=300027#.Y-6RhXbMKHt
  • https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-computerized-provider-order-entry#:~:text=Computerized%20provider%20order%20entry%20(CPOE,paper%2C%20fax%2C%20or%20telephone
  • https://digital.ahrq.gov/2018-year-review/research-spotlights/leveragin…
  • Holmgren AJ, Downing NL, Bates DW, et al. Assessment of electronic health record use between US and non-US health systems. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181:251-259. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.7071
  • Holmgren AJ, Apathy NC. Trends in US hospital electronic health record vendor market concentration, 2012–2021. J Gen Intern Med. 2022. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-022-07917-3#citeas
  • Co Z, Holmgren AJ, Classen DC, et al. The tradeoffs between safety and alert fatigue: data from a national evaluation of hospital medication-related clinical decision support. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2020;27:1252-1258. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32620948/
  • Wong A, Otles E, Donnelly JP, et al. External validation of a widely implemented proprietary sepsis prediction model in hospitalized patients. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181:1065-1070. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2781307
  • Parikh RB, Zhang Y, Kolla L, et al. Performance drift in a mortality prediction algorithm among patients with cancer during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022;30:348-354. https://academic.oup.com/jamia/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jamia/ocac221/6835770?login=false
  • https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/products/racial-disparities-health…
  • https://www.statnews.com/2022/05/24/market-failure-preventing-efficient-diffusion-health-care-ai-software/
  • https://www.ai.gov/strategic-pillars/advancing-trustworthy-ai/
  • Ethics and governance of artificial intelligence for health (WHO guidance). Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240029200
  • Dullabh P, Sandberg SF, Heaney-Huls K, et al. Challenges and opportunities for advancing patient-centered clinical decision support: findings from a horizon scan. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022: 29(7):1233-1243. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocac059. PMID: 35534996; PMCID: PMC9196686.
  • https://cds.ahrq.gov/cdsic
  • Yeung S, Downing NL, Fei-Fei L, et al. Bedside computer vision: moving artificial intelligence from driver assistance to patient safety. N Engl J Med. 2018;387:1271-1273. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMp1716891
  • Espinosa R, Ponce H, Gutiérrez S, et al. A vision-based approach for fall detection using multiple cameras and convolutional neural networks: a case study using the UP-Fall detection dataset. Comput Biol Med. 2019;115:103520. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2019.103520

This project was funded under contract number 75Q80119C00004 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The authors are solely responsible for this report’s contents, findings, and conclusions, which do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. Readers should not interpret any statement in this report as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. None of the authors has any affiliation or financial involvement that conflicts with the material presented in this report. View AHRQ Disclaimers


Perspectives on Safety

Annual Perspective

Patient Safety Innovations

Suicide Prevention in an Emergency Department Population: ED-SAFE

WebM&M Cases

The Retrievals. August 9, 2023

Agent of change. August 1, 2018

Amid lack of accountability for bias in maternity care, a California family seeks justice. August 16, 2023

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An Update on the Quality of American Health Care Through the Patient's Lens. April 12, 2006

Improving patient safety by shifting power from health professionals to patients. October 25, 2023

Patient Safety Primers

Discharge Planning and Transitions of Care

Medicines-related harm in the elderly post-hospital discharge. March 27, 2019

Emergency department crowding: the canary in the health care system. November 3, 2021

Advancing Patient Safety: Reviews From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Making Healthcare Safer III Report. September 2, 2020

Exploring Alternatives To Malpractice Litigation. January 15, 2014

Making Healthcare Safer III. March 18, 2020

Special Section: Patient Safety. May 24, 2006

The Science of Simulation in Healthcare: Defining and Developing Clinical Expertise. November 19, 2008

Compendium of Strategies to Prevent HAIs in Acute Care Hospitals 2014. September 1, 2014

Quality, Safety, and Noninterpretive Skills. November 11, 2015

Patient Safety. November 21, 2018

Ambulatory Safety Nets to Reduce Missed and Delayed Diagnoses of Cancer

Remote response team and customized alert settings help improve management of sepsis.

Using sociotechnical theory to understand medication safety work in primary care and prescribers' use of clinical decision support: a qualitative study. May 24, 2023

Human factors and safety analysis methods used in the design and redesign of electronic medication management systems: a systematic review. May 17, 2023

Journal Article

Reducing hospital harm: establishing a command centre to foster situational awareness.

The potential for leveraging machine learning to filter medication alerts. May 4, 2022

Improving the specificity of drug-drug interaction alerts: can it be done? April 6, 2022

A qualitative study of prescribing errors among multi-professional prescribers within an e-prescribing system. December 23, 2020

The tradeoffs between safety and alert fatigue: data from a national evaluation of hospital medication-related clinical decision support. July 29, 2020

Assessment of health information technology-related outpatient diagnostic delays in the US Veterans Affairs health care system: a qualitative study of aggregated root cause analysis data. July 22, 2020

Reducing drug prescription errors and adverse drug events by application of a probabilistic, machine-learning based clinical decision support system in an inpatient setting. August 21, 2019

Improving medication-related clinical decision support. March 7, 2018

The frequency of inappropriate nonformulary medication alert overrides in the inpatient setting. April 6, 2016

The effect of provider characteristics on the responses to medication-related decision support alerts. July 15, 2015

Best practices: an electronic drug alert program to improve safety in an accountable care environment. July 1, 2015

Impact of computerized physician order entry alerts on prescribing in older patients. March 25, 2015

Differences of reasons for alert overrides on contraindicated co-prescriptions by admitting department. December 17, 2014

Patient Safety Network

Connect With Us


Sign up for Email Updates

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your email address below.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857 Telephone: (301) 427-1364

  • Accessibility
  • Disclaimers
  • Electronic Policies
  • HHS Digital Strategy
  • HHS Nondiscrimination Notice
  • Inspector General
  • Plain Writing Act
  • Privacy Policy
  • Viewers & Players
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • The White House
  • Don't have an account? Sign up to PSNet

Submit Your Innovations

Please select your preferred way to submit an innovation.

Continue as a Guest

Track and save your innovation

in My Innovations

Edit your innovation as a draft

Continue Logged In

Please select your preferred way to submit an innovation. Note that even if you have an account, you can still choose to submit an innovation as a guest.

Continue logged in

New users to the psnet site.

Access to quizzes and start earning

CME, CEU, or Trainee Certification.

Get email alerts when new content

matching your topics of interest

in My Innovations.


  1. 50 Mini-Lessons For Teaching Students Research Skills

    It outlines a five-step approach to break down the research process into manageable chunks. This post shares ideas for mini-lessons that could be carried out in the classroom throughout the year to help build students' skills in the five areas of: clarify, search, delve, evaluate, and cite. It also includes ideas for learning about staying ...

  2. How to Teach Step-By-Step Research Reports in Grades 5 & 6

    Step 4: Write a Research Report Draft. During this step, each student will write a rough draft of his/her research report. If they completed their outlines correctly, this step will be fairly simple. Students will write their research reports in paragraph form.

  3. Teaching Research Skills to Elementary School Children

    5. Take notes and compile information. The complexity of note-taking skills will depend on the students' grade level, but even kids in the younger grades can learn to take pencil to paper and record the most important pieces of information they gather. The better they get at finding quality sources, the easier the note-taking will become.

  4. Strategies for Teaching Research Skills to K-12 Students

    How it translates: Step 1, choose your topic. Setting reading goals: As a class, come up with 3-5 questions related to your book's topic before you start reading. After you read, use the text to answer the questions. How it translates: Step 2, develop a research question; Step 5, make your conclusion.

  5. Internet Research Lesson Pack

    5 - 6 years old . Year 1 . 6 - 7 years old . Year 2 . 7 - 8 years old . Year 3 . 8 - 9 years old ... internet research skills . research project . how to research powerpoint . internet research . internet scavenger hunt . ontario curriculum ...

  6. Research Skills Grades K

    Research Skills Grades K - 5 Primary students need to understand the basics of research in grades K-5. They need to know basic Internet skills, such as how to operate a computer, understand computer terminology, use Word or Google docs to share their learning. They will also need to know important safety guidelines for accessing

  7. Empowering students to develop research skills

    Empowering students to develop research skills. February 8, 2021. This post is republished from Into Practice, a biweekly communication of Harvard's Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning. Terence D. Capellini, Richard B Wolf Associate Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, empowers students to grow as researchers in his Building the Human Body course through a comprehensive ...

  8. Research Skills

    Year 6. Literacy. Interpreting, analysing, evaluating. EN3-3A. Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies. English. Stage 3. A. Communicate through speaking, listening, reading, writing, viewing and representing.

  9. Internet Research Lesson Pack

    A lesson aimed at guiding pupils through the process of researching a topic on the internet. Good to use just before pupils start a project. Includes reference sheet for books and a poster. Find more researching the internet resources in this collection. Internet Research Lesson Pack contains: Internet Research Lesson Pack Poster A3 [PDF ...

  10. Web Research Skills: Teaching Your Students the Fundamentals

    Here are some tips to get started. Take students by the hand and teach them about each specific research tool one at a time. Give students written instructions on preferred research tools. Encourage students to use databases as much as possible. Make sure your school/program has classes on research skills development.

  11. Research Skills

    Research Skills - Note Taking. English. Reading. Reading and Comprehension Strategies. Download. 60 mins | Suitable for years: 3 - 4. A 60 minute lesson in which students will take appropriate notes from an informative text.

  12. Research Skills Worksheets

    A set of 6 worksheets to help students identify key facts, details and vocabulary when researching information. Research skills can be difficult for students to master. This teaching resource includes three informative texts. After reading each text, students must identify the main idea and the subject-specific vocabulary.

  13. What Are Research Skills? Types, Benefits, & Examples

    Research skills are practically any skill used to investigate or analyze information relevant to a topic of interest.. Broadly, it includes a range of talents required to: Find useful information. Perform critical analysis. Form hypotheses. Solve problems. It also includes processes such as time management, communication, and reporting skills to achieve those ends.

  14. 6 Ideas for Teaching Research Skills

    2. Surprising Facts - A fun way for students to dive into research is to give them a topic and simply task them with finding facts that are surprising. This activity works great with partners. Topics could tie in with a current class novel or story (such as "elephant" from The Giver) or even an author.

  15. Approaches to learning: supporting research skills among learners

    One of the skills is Research skills and this connects with the subject I teach - Information Literacy. ... Thanks for the tips, it will help us even when we try to build these skills in the Early Years class. Well done. Heeru Bhojwani 9 March 2021 at 3:42 am # Lamiya, yes, you are right; focusing on connection with language and other ...

  16. The Correct Way to Do Your Research: 5 Tips for Students

    By adhering to these foundational tips, students can enhance their research skills, leading to more insightful, well-supported academic papers. The next steps will delve into evaluating and synthesizing information, rounding out the comprehensive guide to conducting effective research. Tip 5: Evaluate and Synthesize Information

  17. How to Improve Your Research Skills: 6 Research Tips

    Here are a few research practices and tips to help you hone your research and writing skills: 1. Start broad, then dive into the specifics. Researching is a big task, so it can be overwhelming to know where to start—there's nothing wrong with a basic internet search to get you started. Online resources like Google and Wikipedia, while not ...

  18. Research Skills: What They Are and Why They're Important

    Critical thinking. Critical thinking refers to a person's ability to think rationally and analyze and interpret information and make connections. This skill is important in research because it allows individuals to better gather and evaluate data and establish significance. Common critical thinking skills include: Open-mindedness.

  19. Research Project Worksheet / Worksheets (teacher made)

    Naomi.D7739@Twinkl 5 years ago Helpful. Thank you for your feedback. sus1239955 - Verified member since 2017 . Reviewed on 16 February 2024 . Helpful. ... research skills . research template . biography template . factfile template . animal fact file . factfile . biography ...

  20. The Most Important Research Skills (With Examples)

    Promoted to office assistant after one year internship; Mitch's Burgers and Fries, Brooklyn, NY Restaurant Manager, June 2014-June 2018. Managed a team of five employees; ... You develop good research skills by learning how to find information from multiple high-quality sources, by being wary of confirmation bias, and by starting broad and ...

  21. PDF Five Essential Skills for Every Undergraduate Researcher

    erans of research; and, when appropriate, take the occasional risk. Studying these different types of decision-making pro-cesses (Bennis et al 2010, 191) can help students develop the skills in exercising judgment that undergraduate researchers require. Eventually the skills should become second nature. communication

  22. 5.1: Research Skills

    5.1.1: Introduction. The skills needed for good research-based writing involve reading the work of experts, assimilating that information with one's own brilliant (and evolving) ideas, possibly mirroring some of the writing that suits each individual student, and becoming a clear, creative, and confident writer in his or her own right.

  23. Perceptions of and preparedness for cross-cultural care: a survey of

    Preparedness. Participants were asked to evaluate their perceived level of preparedness to care for patients in the contexts presented in Table 2 (Preparedness). 80.5% of participants felt prepared to care for patients in general. 50.7% felt prepared to care for patients from ethnic minorities, and 46.8% felt prepared to care for Irish Travellers specifically.

  24. Get ready for the 2024 IBM Quantum Challenge

    This year's challenge from June 5-14 is about Qiskit 1.0. ... Build skills in quantum computing Browse courses and tutorials. Keep exploring View all blogs. ... Research. Enablement. Announcing the winners of the 2023 IBM Quantum Open Science Prize. 6 Sep 2023 • Daniella Garcia Almeida.

  25. Technology as a Tool for Improving Patient Safety

    In the past several decades, technological advances have opened new possibilities for improving patient safety. Using technology to digitize healthcare processes has the potential to increase standardization and efficiency of clinical workflows and to reduce errors and cost across all healthcare settings.1 However, if technological approaches are designed or implemented poorly, the burden on ...