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Quality Learning and Teaching Resources for Engineering
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Help Contents

  1. SearchLT Details
    1. Aims of SearchLT
    2. Resource Details in SearchLT
    3. Types of resources available in SearchLT
  2. Searching Methods
    1. Browsing
    2. Word search
    3. Interpreting Results

SearchLT Details

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Aims of SearchLT

The SearchLT-Engineering online database is designed to provide access to a wide range of computer-based learning and teaching resources for engineering in higher education.

Resource Details in SearchLT

For each resource, we have made records which provide relevant information for anyone who may wish to use the resource. Record fields include information about general aspects of the resource such as cost, medium and copy right details. There are also several fields with information about the educational style of the resource. For further details about records please refer to the interpreting results section.

Types of resources available in SearchLT

All resources chosen for SearchLT have specific pedagogical intent and are of relevance to engineering lecturers and students. Materials which would NOT normally be included in SearchLT are:-

  • Departmental or industrial home pages.
  • Simple collections of pointers to other resources.
  • Research articles and discursive texts which add to someones existing knowledge of a subject but are not structured learning resources.
  • Information resources which contain only data or factual information (e.g. a directory, bibliographic database, encyclopedia, etc).
The materials for SearchLT have been obtained from a number of sources including recommendations by lecturers, review articles from magazines and obtaining information about what software has won special educational awards. In addition, a study has been done of UK university engineering courses to find out what the core subjects are and make sure that they are adequately covered by SearchLT.

Searching for resources is a continuous process and we are constantly looking for new ones. If you are aware of anything which may be suitable for our database please Suggest a Resource

Searching Methods

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SearchLT supports two different methods of searching for resources.


This option utilises a subject classification system and the user will click on subject headings to narrow down the search until appropriate resources are found. To browse for resources, go to the browse page and click on one of the engineering subject classifications, e.g civil engineering. Browsing is particularly useful for people who are not familiar enough with the database to construct word searches

Word Search

This option is available by clicking Search on the top menu bar. The procedure for using this feature is:

  1. Type words to look for in search box (see hints for details on word selection and search).
  2. Underneath the search box, select options from:-
    • look for records which contain one of the words
    • look for records which contain all of the words.
    • look for records which contain all of the words as a phrase.
  3. The search can be started now by clicking the search button. Alternatively, some options can be chosen in order to refine the search first.
  4. The search can be refined by selecting the types of resources required eg price range, level of material etc using the menus.
  5. The engineering subject areas can also be chosen by clicking the appropriate boxes. For example if thermodynamics from a chemical engineering perspective is required, the user could type thermodynamics in the search box and tic the box next to chemical engineering before beginning the search.
Several useful hints for searching are:-
  • It is recommended that the user tries to use the most general words possible otherwise some resources can be missed.
  • The default option will return any resource which has one of the words entered in the search box. The resources containing all the words will be returned first.
  • It is possible to find all words that share a common stem using * as a wild card. For example typing rob* would retrieve records containing the words robots, robot, robotics and robert.
  • Hyphenated words are treated as two separate words so records conatining 'computer-based' will be returned when a search for 'computer' or 'based' is used.
  • When using a search, a record will be returned if any of the following fields contain the word: Title, URL, Alternative URL, Alternative title, General description and Educational description.

Interpreting Results

After performing a search, the resources found will be displayed in order of relevance (based on the number of times the word appears in the record) along with a resource description. The user can go to the URL directly of view the record details. The fields in the record are:-
  • General Description:- The description explains what the resource consists of and the main subjects covered.
  • Educational Description:- This field explains the main educational features of the resource and aims to give an indication of how the resource might be useful for teaching and learning.
  • Technical Requirements:- Explains what is required in order to use the resource (e.g technical specifications of the users computer).
  • Cost:- Gives the cost of the resource per student based on a class size of about 30.
  • Awards:- Details of educational awards which the resource has won.
  • Main URL:- This is the URL location which can be used to obtain the resource
  • Copyright:- Details about how the resource can be used
  • Language:- Languages which the resource is written in. At the moment all SearchLt resources have an English edition.
  • Reference to reviews:- Links to reviews which have been written about the resource
  • Version
  • Publication Date
  • Modification Date :- When the resource was last modified
  • Medium :- The type of resource e.g Web page or CD-ROM.
  • Country of Origin
  • Contact Details:- Details of who to contact, should the user have questions about the resource.
  • Educational resource type:- The style of the resource for example simulation, explanation or assessment.
  • Educational level:- The entries in this range from foundation to advanced. Foundation is for students who are doing a preliminary year or A-Level. Introductory is for first year in an English university and Advanced is for final year or post graduates.
  • Time to use resource:- Estimation of how long it should take to use the resource.
  • Interactivity type:- Gives an indication of how much of the users time is spent interacting through input and feedback. This ranges from highly interactive to expositive.
  • Intended end user:- Can be Student which means that it is suitable for independent learning or Tutor, which means the lecturer will have to provide support or Author which means that it could be used to create learning resources.
  • Tutor support documentation:- Ranges from minimal (e.g one side of A4) to extensive (e.g a complete teachers manual)

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Quality Learning and Teaching Resources for Engineering 

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