ELIXIER – The Search Engine for Educational Media

Elixier is a joint-venture information service by public providers in the form of a shared pool of resources for teaching and learning materials, particularly for school instruction: Education servers run by the federal states, the German Education Server, FWU, the Contake database from Austria and the European MELT project contribute respectively.

Project description

Elixier is a service commonly offered by public information providers, in the form of a shared pool of resources for teaching and learning materials, particularly for school instruction. The service now comprises nearly 50,000 (as of 12/2012) educational media that have been manually selected and tested for their quality. Data from the pool of resources are daily updated via an XML interface that has been jointly defined by all parties. Searchable contents comprise texts (e.g. worksheets) or lesson units as well as images, audio and video material, and autodidactic materials (e.g. webquests and school software) accessible for download.

Matching records are displayed via search engine technology (Lucene). Lists of records can be specifically sorted by (state specific) providers, subject categories, school grade and type of learning resource of the educational media. A highly fine-grained browsing structure offers an alternative search strategy to support users, relating to school subject categorization and jointly developed by knowledgeable editors of the state education servers and subject to continuous further development.

Since the project was launched, the interface and a workflow have been defined and technically implemented. The fully automatised operation was preceded by a semi-automatised testing phase. Subsequently, ELIXIER lists of values were defined for some of the database fields, subject systematic categorisations were defined and mapping of lists to individual participating servers onto the respective ELIXIER values was implemented.

Current work in progress concerns the enablement of parallel work on data in the central ELIXIER database as well as a workflow for working with data from other sources.

Website: Elixier


Project Management

Dr. Christian Richter

Project Team

Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Information Centre for Education
5/2007 – 12/2016