One of the problems with allowing students to use the internet for research is that is is so unfocused. Valuable time is wasted with students accessing sites that are too difficult, too simplistic or usually not that relevant.
One method of tackling this is to teach the students how to search for information more effectively using google. This excellent guide will help you prepare some tips to drop into lessons when your class is using google.
However, if you wanted to narrow down the focus for their research, an alternative to posting a series of links into Moodle for example is to use Scoop.it. This is a very easy way of managing or curating ‘pages’ full of weblinks for a particular topic. They can be added to and built on over time and shared with students by through a single web address. The page you set up extracts text and images from each of the links which makes it more visually attractive for the students and allows them to further narrow down what they are looking for. Once a page is set up, scoop.it ‘intelligently’ suggests other links which can be added to your page by ‘reading’ the pages you have already posted.
It can be used within lessons or for a homework resource. You coud even get the students signing up and creating their own pages. It is free to sign up and use here.