Improving search results under DISCOVER

Tommy.V.531 Posts: 5 🔍
edited February 13 in Development

The Discover tool is in need of some tweaking.

My academic section is called AWO. Typing those 3 letters into Discover yields results including *every instance* of AWO, AW, or WO appearing anywhere in a course title or description at our university. Worse, it doesn't sort by accuracy. This means students typing in the name of their academy get 845 results, of which only a couple dozen relevant. They must then navigate through 43(!) pages of results to find their courses.

I see 4 solutions:
- sort results by accuracy
- allow boolean operators
- set the engine to allow only full matches
- allow links to unenrolled modules for students to follow and enroll

If one of these solutions is already built into the settings, please let us know. If it isn't: why not?

Brightspace is a brilliant tool, but this UI deficiency mars the experience.

Best Answers

  • brad.r.503
    brad.r.503 Posts: 35
    Answer ✓

    The issue you're describing with the Discover tool in Brightspace is a common challenge with search functions in many systems, where the balance between comprehensiveness and precision can sometimes lead to less than optimal search results. Here are the steps and considerations for each of the solutions you've proposed:

    1. Sort Results by Accuracy:
      • Check if there is an option to sort by relevance or accuracy in the Discover tool settings. This would typically order the results based on how closely they match the search query.
      • If this setting isn't readily available, it may require administrative access to adjust the search algorithm settings or may not be available in the current version of the tool.
    2. Allow Boolean Operators:
      • Boolean operators can indeed refine search results significantly. Look for any advanced search options or settings within the Discover tool that might allow for Boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT.
      • If Boolean operators are not supported, it may be worth providing this feedback to the Brightspace development team or your institution's LMS administrator for future updates.
    3. Set the Engine to Allow Only Full Matches:
      • Again, this would typically be a feature that needs to be enabled in the backend by someone with administrative access. Check if there are any settings that allow you to specify full matches only.
      • If this feature is not available, it's a valid point of feedback for the Brightspace developers or your LMS support team.
    4. Allow Links to Unenrolled Modules for Students to Follow and Enroll:
      • This is a feature that could potentially be managed by your Brightspace administrators. They could create direct links to specific courses or modules within course descriptions or through a centralized enrollment page.
      • Explore if there's an option to generate such direct links within the existing system. If not, consider reaching out to the support team to see if they can implement this.

    If none of these solutions are currently built into Brightspace, or if they are not accessible to you, here are a few steps to consider:

    • Contact Support: Reach out to Brightspace support or your institution's LMS administrator to discuss the issue and potential solutions. They may be able to adjust the search settings or provide a workaround.
    • Gather Feedback: Collect examples and detailed feedback from students and faculty who are affected by this issue. Concrete examples can be more persuasive when requesting changes or improvements.
    • Provide Training: In the meantime, offer training or guidance for students on how to best use the current system to find their courses, such as using additional keywords or navigating through the search results more effectively.
    • Request a Feature Update: If the functionality you're looking for isn't available, consider submitting a feature request to Brightspace. User feedback can be a powerful driver for product enhancements.

    Remember that while Brightspace does offer many customizable features, some changes may require vendor support and may not be immediately actionable on the user or administrator level. However, clearly communicating these needs to the Brightspace team can help them prioritize such features in future updates.

  • Paul.P.783
    Paul.P.783 Posts: 13
    Answer ✓

    Hi @Tommy.V.531,

    We love that you’re reaching out to the Brightspace Community with this question! 

    Discover allows learners to search for active courses by entering terms that match course titles and descriptions. Searching indexes up to 4KB of data (approximately 4000 characters or 550 words) from the description of each course and activity be sure you are using the additional filters available such as Semester, Program, and Sort found under "Browse All Content" adjacent to the search bar.

    We really value feedback like this from our clients and would be grateful for you to add your comments or vote to a Product Idea Exchange Submission very similar to the ideas you set forth and can be found within our Product Idea Exchange. You can access it through the Quick Links widget found on the main homepage of the Community. 

    Kind Regards,