Searching for objects

In order to use objects saved in edu-sharing, we have got to find them first  . For this  edu-sharing offers different search functions depending on the context .

The search can, depending your configuration, help you find and use different content such as:

  • documents, media & metadata enriched Web Links stored in edu-sharing 
  • Content of connected sources, such as YouTube or the German Digital Library 
  • Courses in connected learning environments such as Moodle 
  • Course templates for reuse in a connected LMS 
  • Tools for use in courses or learning groups, for example ONLYOFFICE, Etherpad

The edu-sharing search engine offers the most extensive features such as the advanced search options. The edu-sharing search can be used to offer a public OER search engine.

If learning platforms like Moodle or portals were connected to the edu-sharing repository, the search-engine  is to used to select objects to use them in learning and working scenarios (in courses of learning management systems, wiki articles ...).

The workspace view of the repository offers a simple one field search.

on this page:

Searching objects by means of the search engine

typical course of an edu-sharing search

  1. The search term is entered in a single-field search on the home screen of the search engine. If external sources have been connected you can pick the sources you would like to search in below the search field.
  2. In the next screen, the results of the search query are displayed.
    If you would like to use more search criteria you can use the advanced search in this view. If the search is opened from a connected system (LMS, Wiki, ...), objects can be selected to be used in the external system (E.g. In a course).
  3. For a closer look at the results a detail view can be opened for each result.

typical course of the edu-sharing search (single field, advanced search, detail view)


Basic Search

To start a search, enter a keyword into the search box of the search pane and click on "Search" button. A search term must be at least 3 characters long.

The repository search now browses the meta data of objects with the corresponding access rights.

For objects that allow indexing (Office, Open Office and PDF documents), a full-text search will be performed within actual content of the objects.

If your search engine is connected to more than one content pool select which sources to search in by means of a checkmark. Only objects meeting ALL used search criteria will be displayed in the results list.

selecting the sources of content

You will be directed to the result list.


Please note that not all content sources offer the same metadata for the description of their objects. Therefore, the selection of advanced search options can differ when you switch between the tabs of the content sources. The result list of a search contains all the objects that match your search. The results are grouped in tabs according to the sources of content and sorted by quality.


If your search engine is connected to more than one content pool you can switch between the results by means of tabs above the results list.


tabs for results from different sources

Displaying search results

The results of a search are displayed in a result list within the search view. Here you can narrow down your search focus by means of the advanced search.  

  1. search field
  2. advanced search options
  3. List of keywords used in the results list. You can use this list to browse the results list.
  4. result list


elements of the extended search


To have a look at one of the results, click on the name of the object or on its thumbnail in the results list. Click on the "more" button to view the meta data of an object.

search results with button for more results

In the meta data view you are able to display the object and download it or even edit it depending on your access permissions. In order to return to the results list click on the “back to start” button.

detail view with "back to start" button

The result of the search shows 30 objects on a page. If more objects are found, they are displayed on multiple pages.

The buttons to "scroll" between the sides of search results can be found at the bottom of the page.


Using the advanced seach

If your search delivers a large number of results, you have the opportunity to refine your search. There are two possibilities:

  1. In order to narrow down the scope of your search enter an additional search term an click the “search” button. Only objects meeting ALL used search criteria will be displayed in the results list. In order to expand the search scope delete the unwanted search term and restart the search by means of the “search” button.
  2. Use the advanced search on the left side of the result list. Please note that the advanced search must be slid in on some devices by clicking a button.

button for the advanced search fields on mobile devices

The filter options of the advanced search allow for a more targeted and detailed research. This way the search results will be more precise and accurate. To access the advanced search, click on the "Advanced Search" button on the right "look" of the button. The number and selection of the search fields in the advanced search can vary from system to system, depending on the configuration. Basically, the advanced search offers 3 types of fields:

  1. „drop-down“ boxes – These search fields can be opened by clicking the field. Drop-down boxes are available for search fields for which there are few options.
  2. Lists – These search fields offer a selection of possible options at a glance. Lists are used for search fields offering only a few options.
  3. Suggestion lists – These search fields can be identified by the "..." button on the right side of the field. They support the user input with suggestions. For example, entering the letter "A", opens a box with a list of all the options of the search field that begin with the letter "A". The more characters you enter, the smaller the selection of proposed options will become. Alternatively, you can access the list of all possible options of the search bar by pressing the "..." button on the right side of the field. Select the options



example of advanced search options



Please note that, not all content sources use the same metadata for the description of their objects. Therefore, the selection of search advanced search criteria can differ when you switch between the tabs of the content sources.


Configure your search using the desired search fields and click the "Search" button to begin the search process. Please note that only objects that meet ALL the search criteria will be found.

All the objects that match your search appearvin the result list  . If you are using "suggestion lists" your filter option appears below the search field.

To extend the focus of your search when using a "suggestion box", click on the x button in front of the search terms below the search field. The filter criterion disappears. Press the "Apply" button.
When using "drop-down" boxes click on the downward pointing triangle on the right side of the field (2 times). The filter criterion will disappear from the field. Click the "Apply" button.

using the advanced search


starting a new search

To end a search or start a completely new search, click the "X" button on the right side of the single-field search. You will be redirected to the home screen of the search.

Alternatively, you can use the "Back to Start" button above and below the result list.

Searching objects in the workspace

To search for an object in the workspace, enter the search term in the search box and click the "Search" button.


search filed of the workspace 

Keywords are searched in the metadata (for example, title and description) of the stored objects. For documents containing text, (for example, Office, OpenOffice and PDF) the search-engine will also scan the actual content of the documents for the search term.
The search results appear in the content area.


Limiting the search focus to a folder

To restrict the search to a specific folder and its subfolders, select the folder in the navigation pane, by clicking on it / touch. The selected folder will be highlighted.

selected folder( „Dokumente" )

Open search results in their source folder

In order to jump to the root folder of a found object, open the context menu of the object. To do so move the mouse over the row of the desired object in the content area. The button for the context menu will appear (3 points) left of the title of the object. Users of mobile devices can simply tap on  the row of the object in the content area.

button for the context menu

Tap / click on the button to open the context menu and select "open path".

The content opens the root folder of the selected object.