These days, just about everyone conducts online searches to find quick answers to most questions. But the real question is: How to do smarter online searches that can save time and learn from previous searches?
Savvy online searches enable us to, for example, save links to favorite sites, make journals of summaries and tips, and document answers to frequently asked questions. For the last four years, I have used my online platform, SASSavvy.com, to mentor university and remote students as they learn to make savvy online searches. I utilized technology to help standardize and automate the process of building an online knowledge base.
Students can access answers by navigating the technical content by categories or by entering keyword searches. This method returns information and links to solutions, videos, presentations, examples, and discussions that compare and contrast similar approaches. For answers they cannot find within the wiki, students can search the frequently asked questions section. If students still cannot find the answer, they can make an entry in the discussion forum or send an e-mail asking for support. The question then is added to the frequently asked questions section as a continuous improvement process. This virtual classroom-type of environment helps to assure learners are part of a global network of students with a common mission. In addition, monthly online training sessions help learners reinforce their understanding, as well as answer questions live.