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Approaches to Teaching & Learning Information Retrieval (SIGs ED, HCI, DL)

Efthimis Efthimiadis, Jamie Callan and Ray Larson

(Submission #36)


The explosion of the web has made search an integral part of our daily lives. We search for almost any conceivable topic. Web search engines have made search easily approachable to almost everyone. Yet, for information professionals it is more important than ever before to know “how search works” in order to be more effective in their work. Search Engines or Information Retrieval systems often appear to searchers as “black boxes.” There is some sort of magic that happens between typing some keywords in a query box and getting back results. This approach contributes to the development of inadequate conceptual models of search.

The panel brings LIS and CS educators involved in teaching “information retrieval” to discuss experiential learning approaches to teaching IR.

Efthimiadis (UW) will be presenting the IR-Toolbox, an interactive system developed for teaching IR processes to LIS students. Ray Larson (UCB) will be discussing his approach of using open source IR engines to create a mini-TREC competition environment in class. Jamie Callan (CMU) will be talking about the Lemur Toolkit system.

Following the panel presentation of the experiential teaching methods, an interactive session with the audience will follow. The discussion session will focus on the audience’s needs and experiences while learning or teaching information retrieval.

More detailed description is provided in the attached file.

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