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Relevance criteria used by teachers in selecting oral history materials

Katy Newton Lawley, Dagobert Soergel, Xiaoli Huang

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


User-centered perspectives of relevance acknowledge the task-specific nature of relevance assessment, but we understand little about the retrieval and assessment tasks of teachers, a professional population with an important purpose. We observed eight school teachers throughout a collaborative process of designing lesson plans and searching for appropriate oral history materials and found an array of relevance criteria that pertain specifically to teaching. The objectives implied in their criteria correspond to the teaching objectives described in lesson plans and teacher interviews, including connecting with students, representing diversity, and teaching tolerance. Our findings suggest user-oriented design approaches that support retrieval of instructional materials in line with the needs and knowledge of teachers.

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