What is this?
DiscoverEd is an experimental project from ccLearn which attempts to provide scalable search and discovery for educational resources on the web. Metadata, including the license and subject information available, are exposed in the result set. We are particularly interested in open educational resources (OER) and are collaborating with other OER projects to improve search and discovery capabilities for OER, using DiscoverEd and other available tools. Contact us if you are interested in this work.
DiscoverEd is a prototype intended to explore how structured data may be used to enhance the search experience; there are a number of known issues.
Read our white paper that describes the rationale for and design of DiscoverEd, as well as our thoughts regarding possible future enhancements that could make the tool, or other search tools like it, even more compelling.
DiscoverEd is also being discussed among participants of the OER search and discovery community. You can also find slides on Slideshare about DiscoverEd. If you are aware of any related resources, please post them to the OpenEd community site, and we will cross-post them to this FAQ as we can.
Where do the results come from?
Results come from institutional and third party repositories who have expended time and resources curating the metadata. These curators either create or aggregate educational resources and maintain information about them.
Curators include OER Commons, Connexions, the Open Courseware Consortium (OCWC), the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), among others. You can examine the current list of both feeds and curators here.
Read more about the ccLearn metadata specifications for DiscoverEd.
How do I use DiscoverEd?
Searching for educational resources
To the typical user, DiscoverEd works just like any search engine. Simply type your query into the search box and hit "Search." Multiple words are automatically joined with "and," thus only returning resources containing every word.
You can also refine your search after you have entered an initial query by clicking on the magnifying glass next to one of the terms you see beneath each result. For example, if a resource is listed which has a CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution) license, you can click on the magnifying glass and the search will re-run your same query, but this time it will limit the results to only those resources that have a CC BY license.
To refine your search using the subject tags, simply click on any tag and the search will re-run the original query and that tag. Note that there may be more subject tags available - look for the small "+" button on the left side: clicking the "+" will show all of the tags.
Incorporating DiscoverEd on your own site
You can always link to DiscoverEd from your own site. If you would like DiscoverEd to include resources from a curator that is not included, send us a note and we will endeavor to include the new resources.
You can also embed the DiscoverEd widget into your site so that users of your site can type search queries into the search box directly on your site.
We also encourage people to create customized user-interfaces for DiscoverEd. You may change the look, name, and feel of DiscoverEd however you would like. For the greatest degree of control, you might want to install your own instance of DiscoverEd. Contact us if you are interested.
How can I help?
If you're a producer or curator of educational resources and would like to be included in the search, contact Ahrash Bissell or Nathan Yergler. If you are using DiscoverEd, we want to hear from you. What works for you? What's broken? What can be improved?