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Course Reviewer’s Corner by Michael Tamara

The Importance of Key Words

Greetings from the Course Reviewer’s Corner!  I first want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who attended the webinar In the Mind of the Reviewer: What CES Looks for in a Course Submission, which was held on August 18th.  The response was tremendous, and there have been dozens of questions raised as a result, which is a very good thing.  For those of you who missed it or would simply like to review it again, a link will be posted to the CES website soon.  We are in the process of wading through all the questions that were not able to be answered during the presentation, and everyone who sent one will receive an individual response from me.  Additionally, I will be employing the polling results and the more common questions as a means for informing the content of future webinars.

One of the points discussed on August 18th was the importance of using key words when submitting a course.  Although this is not yet a mandatory function in the CES Discovery system, it should not be overlooked.  Key words should be entered by Providers before a submission is switched to Pending Admin Approval because of the following:

    Members who are searching for a course do not always know the title – say, “Seismic Considerations in Cavity Wall Construction” – or the course number, but may have only general ideas about what they’re trying to find.  When a Member types such information into the Key Words field – for example, “cavity wall, seismic, earthquake, San Francisco” – the search is much more likely to result in a narrowed-down group of courses in the San Francisco area within which “Seismic Considerations in Cavity Wall Construction” can eventually be found.

    If there are no key words entered for a course, the search will almost definitely time out, and a Member will be unable to find the course for which he or she is looking.

    In order to mitigate the scenario in point 2, for submissions in which Providers have left the key words field blank, I enter them during my review.  There’s no guarantee the words I enter are what you would have put.

    When I have to enter key words, the time it takes me to review a submission is lengthened slightly.  If I have to do this for dozens or hundreds of courses, it can start to add up and possibly cause a delay in notification of approval for everyone.

Part of the next phase of upgrades to Discovery involves making the Key Words field mandatory to eliminate this issue altogether.  In the mean time, I urge all Providers to consider and heed the above information, and to please take it upon yourselves to fill in key words for all of your courses if this isn’t already your habit.  Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.


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