Searching Across a Section

Whether you are a student or an instructor, you may find that your sections become filled with useful but difficult-to-find items, especially if you are looking for something specific. The Section Search feature is designed to help you target the information you may need to find, especially when it comes time for an instructor create a quiz around a class discussion, or for a student to study for a test.

To access the Section Search

  1. From the DASHBOARD or the COURSES option on the main menu, select a section.
  2. Select the SEARCH tab located on the right side of the section tab options.
    section search tab with options as described
  3. Use the Search text box to enter a term or phrase you want to search all section content for.
    You must enter text in the search box to return results.
  4. Use the filtering drop-down lists, shown below, to narrow your search to specific types of content or to a particular class.
    search tab with filtering drop-down lists open as described
    The results list shows all the items that match your search criteria. To the left of each item in the list is an icon that identifies the type of content it is.
  5. Click an item from the results list. The item opens in a NEW TAB for viewing.
    • For Q&A matches, the Q&A tab opens showing the selected item so you can see the full discussion (question and responses) context.
    • For Notes, the Study Guide opens showing the selected item.
    • For Class Name matches, the Classroom opens, as if you had clicked on the class from the Class List page.
    • For Slides, the presentation opens in the classroom, showing the slide that matched your search criteria (or at the beginning if a location is not determined).
    • For Videos, the video opens in the classroom, at the location that matched your search criteria (or at the beginning if a location is not determined).
  6. When finished, close the new tab to return to your original Echo360 window and the search results.

How the Section Search works: The section search is effectively a text search, looking for items in the section that contain whatever text you entered into the search box. You MUST enter text into the search box to return results.

For questions, responses, class names, and notes, a text search is fairly straightforward. Items that contain text matching the search word or phrase are returned. (See also the note below regarding one known limitation.)

For videos and presentations, the text search is more complicated. Videos, for example, don't have text. What Echo360 does is search the text of closed captions applied to any videos, and returns all the different locations in the video where the captioning contains that text.

Presentation files often have text but not all of the text in a presentation can be "read".  Where the text in a presentation can be identified and matched, the slide containing the matching text is returned. However images containing text cannot be read and therefore those slides will not be returned. And sometimes it's difficult to know if the text in a slide is part of an image, or was typed onto the slide.

PDFs are also sometimes searchable and sometimes not. PDFs are often generated as pictures of text, meaning they cannot be read. However, depending on how the PDF was generated, it may be "readable" by the Echo360 search. This means that the Section Search may match search terms for some PDFs and not for others.

NOTE however there is a known limitation: text searches only return results where the text matches the beginning of a word. For example "you" will find all matches with "you" or "your" etc. A search for "our" will find "our" but not "your".

A future release of Echo360 is slated to address this text search issue, as well as include the ability for the section search to search content metadata (titles, descriptions, and tags).

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