Survey shows educators’ concerns regarding online search

Publisher awareness of the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) has nearly doubled between 2012 and 2013 (from 46.6% to 85.9%), according to results of a recent survey just released by the LRMI. The report, “Ease and Discoverability: Educators and Publishers on the Search for Educational Content,” depicts results of two February 2013 surveys, which individually targeted educators and publishers and were a follow up to surveys conducted in April 2012. Data from all surveys are included in the report, demonstrating respondents’ experiences, opinions, and frustrations when searching for and tagging educational resources online.

Insights gathered from the surveys will further inform the ongoing implementation of the LRMI, a project co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers and Creative Commons to create and encourage implementation of a metadata markup standard for educational resources. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the LRMI has developed a common metadata framework for describing educational content and products on the web, so students, educators, and parents can more efficiently search for quality resources.

Key findings from the educator survey include:

  • Roughly four in ten educators (40.2%) assign students projects involving Internet searches at least several times a month.
  • In both surveys, nearly half of responding educators (43.7% in 2013 and 46.8% in 2012) search for instructional resources online several times a week, and nearly one-third of responding educators (30.5% in 2013) search for instructional resources daily.
  • The number one frustration when searching for instructional resources, expressed by roughly two-thirds of responding educators in both 2013 (64.8%) and 2012 (66%) is having too many irrelevant results, followed closely by searches being too time consuming and results that do not indicate specifics.
  • In both surveys, nearly nine out of ten educators (86.6% in 2013 and 87.6% in 2012) said their level of satisfaction would improve if search engines offered the ability to filter results by standard instructional criteria such as grade level, subject area, media type, and other criteria.

To learn more about the LRMI, visit