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Information Retrieval

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 162–178 | Cite as

Teaching mathematics for search using a tutorial style of delivery

  • Andrew MacFarlaneEmail author
Article

Abstract

Understanding of mathematics is needed to underpin the process of search, either explicitly with Exact Match (Boolean logic, adjacency) or implicitly with Best match natural language search. In this paper we outline some pedagogical challenges in teaching mathematics for information retrieval (IR) to postgraduate information science students. The aim is to take these challenges either found by experience or in the literature, to identify both theoretical and practical ideas in order to improve the delivery of the material and positively affect the learning of the target audience by using a tutorial style of teaching. Results show that there is evidence to support the notion that a more pro-active style of teaching using tutorials yield benefits both in terms of assessment results and student satisfaction.

Keywords

Information retrieval Information science Teaching Boolean logic 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the reviewers for their constructive comments that provided me with ideas to greatly improve the quality of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceNorthampton Square, LondonEngland, UK

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