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Report: Teachers Want Metadata Tags on Resources, Don't Know if They've Used Tagged Material

Nearly six in 10 education publishers currently describe or tag their material with metadata, and 56 percent of those who don't have plans to begin doing so within the next year, according to a recent survey by the Learning Resources Metadata Initiative (LRMI).

The advantage of tagging resources with metadata most commonly cited by educators who responded to the survey was more productive searches, at 60 percent. Access to resources they did not previously know about and faster searches came in second and third, at 36 percent each.

Other key findings of the LRMI Survey Report include:

  • 83.8 percent of educators and 72 percent of publishers surveyed said that content or subject area is the most helpful search criteria;
  • Grade level was the second most helpful search criteria according to both educators and publishers, at rates of 71 and 56 percent, respectively;
  • Resource type (60 percent), standards alignment (57 percent) and intended user (56 percent) rounded out the top five most helpful search criteria, according to survey respondents;
  • Search results with incorrectly or inappropriately tagged resources was the most common worry educators told researchers they had, at 60 percent;
  • A lack of training about searching for tagged resources and restrictive searches that don't turn up untagged resources were the second and third most commonly cited concerns, at 55 and 54 percent, respectively;
  • Nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, of educators surveyed said they were unaware if resources they had used recently were tagged or not. Seventeen percent said recently used resources were tagged and 19 percent said they were not;
  • Sixty-six percent of surveyed educators said publishers should tag their resources and 78 percent said they should say they do in promotional materials;
  • Google was far and away the most popular search environment educators reported using to find educational resources at 96 percent. That rate was down, however, from 98.8 percent in the 2013 survey;
  • Educators indicated that the Library of Congress was the second most commonly used search environment at 49 percent, and publishers' sites were a close third at 487 percent; and
  • Eighty-four percent of educators who responded said that adding standard educational search criteria to search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo would improve their satisfaction with search results.

To see the full report, with interviews of educators and findings of the publisher survey, visit lrmi.net.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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