Findoo - Search engine

Findoo is not for searching but for finding!

It searches for learning content on different learning management systems (LMS) simultaneously and tracks down useful learning content based on the meaning of terms. The search results are used for research or to create learning courses from existing learning units.

Two schematic learning platforms, each containing three learning courses.
Contents which are found with the help of Findoo (green) compared to the common search (red). Only the results of a lexical search are marked.
Content found with the help of Findoo (green) compared to the common search (red). The focus is on the semantic connections.

Why is a system like Findoo important?

Digital learning applications are numerous and diverse, making it difficult to share learning content between platforms. The different needs and preferences of teachers and learners are often not all covered by one learning platform, so content is spread across different web applications.

Accordingly, in order for a learner to find all the information on a topic, they must individually search the learning platforms accessible to them using all the relevant search terms. Additionally, the platforms typically require a login before a learner can access the courses. For this reason, general search engines such as Google cannot be used for the search.

As an example, let’s say that different authors have published content on the subject of "music" in two different learning systems, as in the figure 1.

When searching in LMS 1, a learner using the term "Beethoven" will find "Course 2: Ludwig van Beethoven" and "Course 3: Beethoven's Works", but not "Course 2: Ludwig van Beethoven" from LMS 2. Those who know the composer Ludwig van Beethoven will quickly realize here that "Course 1: The Viennese Classic" is also missing from the overview. Since Beethoven is a composer of the Viennese Classical period, this course could be relevant for a learner.

Teachers struggle with similar problems when creating or extending courses from existing material. Not only do they have to search through the collections of learning courses, but also laboriously copy the information from one course to the other.

How does Findoo solve the above problems?

Findoo has an ontology-based semantic search and a curation editor.

The search engine can work in multiple LMS at the same time and select suitable content independently of the platform. To access restricted content, Findoo performs an automated login with previously stored user data. Using the previously described example, the advantage can be explained with the help of Figure 2. 

The ontology used by Findoo contains semantic information that, for example, connects the term "Beethoven" with terms such as "Viennese Classicism". These contexts of the search query are considered when selecting learning courses and units. For the two LMS in the example, this means that all three relevant courses of each LMS can be found, as can be seen in Figure 3.

The search results can be used by learners for research, but also by teachers to compile new courses. For curation, the search results are intuitively clicked together using drag and drop. Based on already selected content, Findoo suggests further, suitable learning units. After creation, the learning course can be inserted into one or more learning management systems.


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