Activity 2 : Search for references

Time: 20 minutes

In this activity, you will have the opportunity to use the ObjectSpot widget for a particular task and additionally be able to rate the results of your search.

The ObjectSpot widget:

Initially, you are requested to carry out a specific search for Open Educational Resources (OER) using a term or subject related word of your choice. Be aware that most widgets and search engines use metadata to “discover” relevant resources for you so choosing a relevant term is very important. Some examples are illustrated in Table 2:

I'm looking for references about...

Specific search term might be...


Personal Learning Environment

General referencing information

Introduction to referencing systems

Education OER

Basic study skills

Table 2: Some ideas for appropriate search terms

This activity focuses on searching for specific references so in order to maximize the results you will need to select/deselect certain databases from the ObjectSpot search.


Step 1:

Think of a topic of interest and make a note of some relevant search terms.


Step 2:

Click the Options button to reveal the Settings part of the ObjectSpot widget.


Step 3:

Select only the following databases (that connect to bibliographic repositories)

  • BibSonomy
  • CiteULike
  • Connotea
  • CiteSeerX
  • DBLP


Step 4:

Type one of your search terms into the Search box of the ObjectSpot widget - it is just above the text: 'meet your favorite learning object words ' then click on the Search button

Note: Sometimes it takes awhile for the search to complete. A series of messages will appear whilst the search takes place. ObjectSpot may also query your spellings.


Step 5:

Click on the Close button on the Options window to reveal the results of your search. Consider how relevant they are to your enquiry.

Note: If your search does not reveal any results - think about the relevance of the bibliographic databases that were selected to your key words. You may need to be a little more discerning in your choice of database as well as using more appropriate key word search terms.


Step 6:

Repeat the Search but deselect all databases except Google Scholar.


Step 7:

Compare the results you have found with your previous search and assess which databases are, therefore, relevant to the subject area of your search.

Now read the discussion

Last modified: Friday, 10 Oct 2014, 11:17