For Educators / Learners
The scenarios are many—an educator compiling a syllabus or lesson plan, a student looking for a piece of information to complete a homework assignment, or a Ph.D. candidate conducting research for their thesis—but the outcome is often the same. In the current landscape of online search, individuals seeking educational content are spending far too much time sorting through pages and pages of content without satisfactory results.
This is the main problem LRMI set out to address.
If all educational content—or at least a critical mass—is described in a consistent and uniform manner, web searches will return more relevant results, and it will become easier for search engines to provide filters by which users can narrow down results even more precisely.
To see an example of how search engines are already applying this concept in the food industry, conduct a Google search and key in “Potato Salad Recipes.” Click on “Search tools,” and you’ll find the ability to narrow your search results based on cook time and calories. You may have also experienced this while shopping online.
It is the goal of the LRMI to define the parameters by which users might search and filter learning resources online—in other words, to decide what shows up when you do a search for “math book.” Once the LRMI framework is fully implemented by content creators/curators and by search engines, users will be able to narrow search results according to terms such as subject area, age range, type of resource, alignment to educational standards, etc.
Educational content, however, is a bit more complicated than recipes or shopping. That’s why the LRMI convened a Technical Working Group of experts in the fields of metadata and education, and an Advisory Group of open educational resources organizations and educational media publishers (textbooks, software, services).
Throughout the initiative, the LRMI sought input from the users who will be doing the searching. Through the LRMI Discussion Forum, users were able to provide feedback and guidance.