City Research Online

Teaching mathematics for search using a tutorial style of delivery

MacFarlane, A. (2008). Teaching mathematics for search using a tutorial style of delivery. Information Retrieval, 12(2), pp. 162-178. doi: 10.1007/s10791-008-9078-4


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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: Information retrieval, Information science, Teaching Boolean logic
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Human Computer Interaction Design
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of tutorial.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (284kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login