Background research can be helpful for beginning in-depth research projects like presentations or papers, but it can also be helpful for gaining a better understanding of ideas, themes, and concepts related to your coursework. For example, suppose your psychology instructor is talking about famous psychology experiments. She makes a reference to the Milgram Experiment, but you are not familiar with this one. From what she says, it sounds really important. You make a note to find out more about it after class. This is where your background research begins. You may be inclined to jump right to Google or even Wikipedia for this information. These can both be great resources for finding basic or general info, or to find quick answers like what movies won Oscars in 2019. However since you are learning how to enhance your understanding of academic information and improve your academic research skills, you should utilize the specialized academic sources that are available to you.
Give it a try!