Archive for April, 2010

Open University Courses in OCW Search

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

And then there were three: In addition to MIT and Stanford Engineering Everywhere, now the UK’s Open University LearningSpace OpenCourseWare is included in OCW Search.

The Open University courses also include OCW Search’s first ever non-English content. For example, want to learn Spanish? The Open University has three Spanish courses adding to the our collection of Spanish courses.

This completes our top 2 poll winners. Please (please!) vote in the poll on the right hand side of the blog for which OpenCourseWare you’d like added to OCW Search. Your votes guided the development so far and will always do.

Use OCW Search from Your Browser

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

You can now use OCW Search right from your browser’s search box. Modern browsers, like Firefox, have a search box built in, and you can add more search engines to the list, and now OCW Search contains some code to tell your browser that OCW Search is a search engine that you can add to this search box. The search box is usually found in the top right of your browser’s window

The screenshot below shows how my search box looks like when I visit OCW Search in Firefox. I have expanded it by clicking on the down arrow next to the Google logo:

Adding the OCW Search engine to Firefox

By choosing the Add "OCW Search" option, Firefox will install OCW Search as a new search engine for me. Then I simply type my OCW searches and will be taken directly to the search results on OCW Search.

Any questions or comments please contact me.

Even in OCW Search: Stanford Engineering Everywhere

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

As of now, OCW Search includes the courses released by the Stanford Engineering Department, under the Stanford Engineering Everywhere. Stanford is thus the second OCW collection to be added to OCW Search.

As part of this update, OCW Search’s advanced operators have a new member: searching by institution. The operator is institution:, similar to the current collection. To see it in action, try the following searches:

One day of OCW Search

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Thank you everyone for the amazing response in the past 24 hours since launch. I’m humbled by your feedback and comments.

Your feedback is being assimilated and I’m putting together the plan for what to do next. First up, there is the poll for choosing which university’s courses to add next; the poll is on the right hand side side bar. Right now Stanford is in the lead, which is fine, unless you want another university’s OpenCourseWare courses to join OCW Search sooner. Remember this is just for prioritization: I want to add all OCW courses possible, and this poll is about choosing who goes first.

Secondly, a lot of people metioned advanced search and filtering tools. Absolutely yes and yes. The trick here is not the technology to do this, but how to make it user friendly so you actually use it. Some people have very helpfully given me links to search engines that implement these advanced tools well and I’m happy to see more. You never know where the big learning breakthrough will come from!

Thirdly, please help spread the word about OCW Search! Here are buttons for StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious. Plesae use thumb-up and bookmark OCW Search if you find it useful, and please submit it to your favorite sites. Thanks!




Finally, some real cool searches from the first day:

OCW Search is Live!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

We’re now in public beta testing!

What is OCW Search?

OCW Search is a search engine for OpenCourseWare courses.

What is OCW?

OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an MIT-started initiative where universities release their course materials freely online. OCW Search indexes these courses so you can find the lectures that talk about topics you are interested in very quickly.

Why Build OCW Search?

It is relatively straightforward to find courses that talk about general topics you are interested in. OCW Search helps you find lectures within these courses, allowing you to start reading and learning from these courses quicker.

Which University Courses are in the Index? Why is a Course Not Found?

In this initial beta release, only courses from MIT are indexed. Not all of them are indexable for various reasons; for example, some of them do not have text we can extract because they’ve released only images.

OCW Search is not yet indexing textbooks – just courses for now. Textbooks are planned.

Please help us by voting in the poll in sidebar on the right hand side. We want to know which universities you want us to add to OCW Search.

Getting in Touch/Feedback

Please see the Contact Page.