I’ve been looking at how we might be able to provide a means of searching Open Educational Resources (OERs) and have been experimenting with Google’s Custom Search Engine. This allows you to create your own search engine and choose which pages or sites you want to to search.

To test the concept I’ve put together a Custom Search Engine for material in OpenJorum and OpenLearn, and then added some health and social care material from Healthtalkonline and Social Care TV

The search screen looks like this:

OER Google Custom Search Engine

OER Google Custom Search Engine

The search engine can be found at:  http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=009989586971183011327:6pcx6ak8svu.  I’d be interested to hear any feedback from people to see if it is useful.

Update: 17 February 2010.  A bit of fiddling with the settings to change the sites so they only retrieve OER content rather than forum posts etc has improved it a little.  More OpenJorum content is being retrieved, perhaps more is now being picked up by Google.  Reflections are that the content is a little limited and unless you are very specific with your search terms you can tend to get high-level pages that mention the search words but have no useful content.