Searching Educational Information on the Internet and on the German Education Server

Initially, the project aimed to deliver a general overview of the subject area of "searching for educational information" and empirical insights into user-group related information needs and the respective information services they use. These insights would provide the basis for a user-oriented perspective and based on Web Information Retrieval approaches, the project would analyse the specific search conduct applied to searching the internet, and the German Education Server (Eduserver) in particular.

Project description

The project "Searching educational information on the internet and on the German Education Server – An information scientific analysis of user conduct focusing on demands for an optimisation of retrieval functionalities" initially aimed to deliver a general overview of the subject area of searching for educational information and empirical insights into user-group specific needs for information and their respective use of information services.

On the one hand, the German Education Server competes with other information and web-based services with a similar thematic focus while on the other hand, it also competes with universal search engines. The Eduserver specifies its services for target groups as diverse as primary and secondary school students, teachers, parents, trainers, trainees, higher education students, scientists and target groups in further education. These distinct groups assumingly have their own needs for information, and they are likely to differ with regard to their retrieval and media competencies. We need to gain insights into the shares held by the user groups, their respective thematic and content-specific needs and the objectives they have in mind when conducting their search queries. Further remaining questions concern the search service providers used on the internet, and types of search engines and their evaluation.

Answers to these questions are fundamental to a quantitative overview of the thematic area of searching for educational information on the internet. Pertinent insights can possibly be gained from questioning and observing users. Both of these methods should be used in order to tap the above-mentioned questions, by assistance from Eduserver users. Online surveys should deliver answers to questions of selection and selection criteria regarding the information services that are used in the context of searching for educational information, the intensity of their use and the subjective assessment of these services, as well as insights into thematic priorities and pragmatic contexts of searching for educational information, taking socio-demographic aspects of the target groups into account. Logfile analyses of the Eduserver, in documenting the interactive conduct of users, would provide for a specific classification of educational search queries. A follow-up project was launched in February 2012.


University of Hildesheim, Fachbereich III: Faculty of Information- and Communication Science, Institute for Applied Linguistics (Professor Dr. Joachim Griesbaum)



Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Information Centre for Education
12/2009 – 11/2011