1.1 Searching for resources

Title of Acitivity
1.1 Searching for resources
Difficulty Level: All

Description of Activity

Description of Activity: 

You can search the ODS portal for resources that can help you improve, enrich, or extend your teaching. The steps below suggest how you can increase the chance of finding relevant resources efficiently.

1. Formulate a search question: Decide what it is you are looking for, and identify the main characteristics of the resource(s) you hope to find. This generally concerns a statement of the learning content (topic), but also includes the characteristics of the learners (age, grade level), the language of the resources, their difficulty and context of use, and so on. All these aspects can be specified in the search engine and make it more likely to find good results.

2. Narrow the search outcomes: As ODS gives access to a vast collection of resources, your search is likely to return a long list of resources, much longer than you would care to look into. If so, you can filter your results by specifying additional search terms, for instance the topic, a range of student ages and grades and the language. A good search engine such as ODS will select for you and order the resources so that the results appearing first will more likely interest you. However it is up to you to select which resources you will inspect. Your criteria for that might be: the order in which the results were presented or the ‘look’ of the resource and its short description.

3. Evaluate the relevance and quality of a resource: Decide whether the resource(s) are of sufficient quality. You can check out the resource yourself, but you can also base your judgment on additional information such as the resource’s source, by following the “View Resource” option in the Summary Page of an open educational resource, the opinion of other users (in particular the ones you have ‘followed’ in the past and trust) by reading the Comments they added to the Summary Page of the resource, its quality ranking by viewing its Rate, or the presence of a quality certificate.  

4. Ask colleagues and networks: For the more complicated resources (such as modelling software, or a role-playing environment) you might also ask experienced colleagues or search the ODS communities and users

5. Try it out: the ODS portal provides direct access to resources, so it might be useful just to try out a few resources and see whether they match your needs.

6. Make your decision: you cannot use all resources but soon you will find resources and colleagues which are fitting your context.