Tech Sharecase-10 January 2014

10 01 2014

We had a great turnout today for the brainstorming session for methods for teaching Bearcat Search effectively in different teaching contexts. Thanks to everyone who came for your contributions.

We covered a lot of topics related to Bearcat Search, such as:

  • conveying to students what can be (and maybe more importantly, what can’t be) found in Bearcat Search
  • comparing it to Google
  • better ways to offer help and documentation about Bearcat Search (and where to place a link to documentation)
  • naming issues (is it still worth calling it Bearcat Search if it you are getting it to via the “Articles” search box on the library home page?)
  • how the use of quotes to force a phrase search affects the relevancy and ranking algorithms
  • dealing with the flood of newspapers articles
  • whether advanced searches are generally advisable (probably not)
  • if the “Articles” search is ever being used in internal pages on the library site that feature the yellow search bar
  • how to contribute to our shared understanding of Bearcat Search by adding content, questions, comments to the page about Bearcat Search in the Library Services Wiki

We ended up talking about a lot of usability and design issues as well:

  • the bento box display of search results that some libraries, such as North Carolina State University, present to users who run searches in the single search box on the library home page
  • how we can use our credit courses as sites for usability testing
  • ways to tweak the layout of the yellow search bar

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One response to “Tech Sharecase-10 January 2014”

11 01 2014
Lisa Ellis (15:14:17) :

To add to what we discussed about Bearcat:

Discussed the importance of teaching transferable knowledge of databases and encouraging users to consider refining their initial search.

While Bearcat (Summon) is not a federated search tool, it functions in a similar manner as federated search tools that “search across databases” since it consults a “searchable index” which by definition is a “database” and has other algorithm enhancements.




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