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SaL-Web: A tool to support search as learning processes

Search engines are the most utilized tools to access information on the Web and they are widely used to support learning activities. Usually though, they are optimized for acquiring factual knowledge and work well for certain basic kinds of search, but they do not support searching as learning tasks (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001; Marchionini, 2006). Search engines do not attempt to promote and facilitate learning tasks such as understanding, application or synthesis, since they do not offer mechanisms to support iteration, reflection and analysis of results by the searcher.

A different approach which supports a scientific investigation of search results, for example by exposing students to multiple cultural and social visions on the same topic, would help them develop flexible thinking skills and critical thinking ability. Reading search results under a variety of perspectives would promote and encourage critical thinking and creative learning (Rieh et al., 2016).

Inspired by the (largely manual) work of search engine comparison by the Digital Methods Initiative (Rogers, 2013), SaL-Web is a search tool that allows the visualization of search results with a semantic added value in order to facilitate comparisons and further analysis (Taibi et al., 2016). More details about the current release of the system are provided in Fulantelli et al. (2016).

The work will concern the collaboration with the researchers of the SaL-Web team to design and develop new functionalities

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Supervisor  - Ivana Marenzi   marenziL3S.de




Anderson L and Krathwohl D. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing. New York: Longman.


Marchionini G. (2006) .Exploratory search: From finding to understanding. Communications of the ACM. 2006; 49(4): 41–46


Rieh, S. Y., Collins-Thompson, K., Hansen, P., & Lee, H. J. (2016). Towards searching as a learning process: A review of current perspectives and future directions. Journal of Information Science, 42(1), 19-34.


Taibi, D., Rogers, R., Marenzi, I., Nejdl, W., Ijaz Ahmad, Q.A., and Fulantelli, G. (2016). Search as research practices on the web: the SaR-Web platform for cross-language engine results analysis. In Proc. of the 8th ACM Conference on Web Science (WebSci '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 367-369.


Fulantelli Giovanni, Marenzi Ivana, Ijaz Asim, Taibi Davide (2016). SaR-Web – A tool to support search as learning processes. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop Search as Learning (SAL) 2016 held in conjunction with the ACM SIGIR2016 conference. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1145/12345.67890 http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1647/


Rogers, R. (2013). Digital methods. Cambridge: MIT Press.