One of the biggest pain points of eLearning development is not being able to quickly issues. The answer to almost all your eLearning questions are in Google, but you need to know how to find them. This post will go over how to find the eLearning problems with Google search. You can apply these tips to whatever information you are using, this is not just for eLearning.
After researching this topic, I found that no matter how much you think you know about Google, you don’t know anything about Google. So, my fellow developers, let’s learn some Google search hacks that will make your eLearning development a whole lot easier. Here we go!
#1 Search Phrases or the Exact Order of Words
Quotes are a great way to search for a specific group of words. Put quotes around a phrase like “Responsive Adobe Captivate Templates” and be amazed.
Scenario: You are looking for premium Responsive Adobe Captivate Templates for faster development.
Search Solution: “Responsive Adobe Captivate Templates”
#2 Search All the Pages in a Site
Find pages within sites using “site:[website URL]” and then your search phrase. This can be particularly valuable when you are searching certain sites.
Scenario: You want to find an eLearningBrothers.com article about Lectora tips but when you search Lectora Tips in Google, you can’t find the tip you are looking for.
Search Solution: site:elearningbrothers.com Lectora Tips
#3 Ask Google to Search a Specific Author
There are great eLearning authors in the industry and sometimes authors aren’t publishing to just one site. How can you ask Google to search the web for their work? You can search “author:[name]” to find a specific author.
Scenario: Let’s say one of your favorite authors is Connie Malamed (she’s one of our favorites too), and you want to see all of her published works all on the web.
Search Solution: author: Connie Malamed
#4 Ask Google to Search a Specific Title
A word in a title can be searched by using “intitle:[word]” on any page on the web. Maybe you are like me and skim over hundreds of headlines, and you can recall certain words in a title. Use “intitle:[word]” to search your titles.
Scenario: You are low on eLearning game ideas and need some quick inspiration to deliver to your boss.
Search Solution: intitle:elearning game ideas
#5 Broaden Your Search with an Asterisk
This is a fun tip. Did you know you can have Google finish your search? Use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard search function to fill in the blanks.
Scenario: You want to keep up on your eLearning development skills in Adobe Captivate.
Search Solution: Adobe Captivate Tips *
#6 Use the Minus Sign to Eliminate Results
Don’t you hate how some searches gather results that you wish would be omitted? You can eliminate results of certain words. Just tell google the terms you are not interested in by using a “-” sign.
Scenario: You need to find more about Adobe Captivate Buttons but want to exclude text that includes images. You are looking for Captivate native buttons.
Search Solution: Adobe Captivate Buttons -image
#7 Search for Only Images or Files
Searching for images might be easy for you, but do you know you can use filetype:[jpg or png] to find images and document files, like PDFs. Try it! you can basically search for any file type extension imaginable.
Scenario: You need to find a football that meets Creative Commons standards.
Search Solution: filetype:jpg American Football Creative Commons
#8 Get Quick Definitions
Okay, so this might not specific to eLearning development but we all should now how to do this. You can quickly get definitions of words by using “define [word]” in your search.
Scenario: You are new to the eLearning industry and you want to know what MOOCs are.
Search Solution: define MOOCs
#9 Ask Google in Several Variations
My last suggestion is easy, ask Google in more than one variation. By asking Google in several different ways, your search results can vary drastically. Test it out for yourself and compare your results.
Scenario: You have a mysterious disappearing button in your Storyline course.
Did you know each authoring tool has a thriving community of eLearning developers constantly asking and answering questions about your burning development issues. My next blog will cover ways to solve your eLearning authoring tool issues in communities.