Resources for Whom?

Both teachers and students can benefit from being able to quickly locate good supplementary materials on whatever topic they are currently dealing with.

But their specific needs may be quite different.

Teachers may be looking for materials to support the instruction which they will themselves be providing, while students may need more explanation in order for the materials to be useful. Also, among teachers, some may be looking more for pre-built lesson plans whereas others want just want some basic visual or interactive elements around which to build their own lessons, and among students there may be various levels of sophistication at which a given topic needs to be addressed.

For this reason, we really need more detailed evaluations than are provided by just like/dislike or the ubiquitous star system. On the other hand anecdotal descriptive reviews don’t easily support a ranking system for presenting the most useful items, and they can take as long to read as the item itself. Also, including too many components an evaluation questionnaire can provide a barrier to participation which results in less overall information being collected.

The (still evolving) evaluation system for this site is intended to strike a balance between the single overall rating and a much more detailed questionnaire and the ultimate goal is to come up with an algorithm which relates the weighting given to each review to the similarity between the reviewer and the user as identified from how well their ratings match on items both have reviewed as well as perhaps personal profile information should that ever be collected.

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