Filling in the Database Search Form

There are 8 fields where you may enter criteria for conducting a search on the database. Only the first field for entering your own search keyword(s) is optional – the other 7 fields have default values which are displayed and will be used unless you select otherwise. The 8 database search form fields are:

  1. Enter keyword(s) for search: You may optionally enter your own keyword(s) in one or both of the 2 textbox areas provided. If only one textbox is needed, use the leftmost one. You may enter a word, part of a word, or a phrase in either textbox to a maximum of 30 characters. A search on any text entered is case insensitive. The search engine will look for any occurrence of the text you enter in the titles of courses and in the course descriptions – wherever your entered text may appear within the title or description. For example, if you entered the text child, your search would retrieve courses with the titles “Child Development”, “Creativity and the Young Child”, and “Early Childhood Education, Past and Future Trends”.
    The default value for the Boolean operator that connects the two textboxes is AND which causes your search to be limited to courses that contain both text strings entered. If the OR option is selected, courses will be retrieved if only one of the text strings is matched (although courses will also be retrieved if they contain both text strings). If the rightmost textbox is left empty, the Boolean operator is ignored.
  2. Subject: Use the dropdown arrow to select a subject from the alphabetical list provided. This will limit your search to courses in that subject area only. By choosing one subject and leaving the rest of the fields as their default values, you will retrieve all courses under that subject. The default value is ALL which allows you to broaden your search to include any subject. The subjects are those that have been assigned in the print version of the directories; some subjects are actually program titles.
  3. Course Level: This field allows you to search for college courses only, university courses only, or both college or university courses (the default value).
  4. Institution: Use the dropdown arrow to select an institution from the alphabetical list provided. This will limit your search to courses only from that institution. By leaving the other fields as their defaults, you may retrieve all courses offered by that institution.
  5. Availability: There are 6 options plus the default value ALL in this field. The 5 geographic options apply to college courses only – do not select one of these options if you are searching for university courses. The option regarding 1st year student suitability applies to university course only – do not select this option if you are searching for college courses. If the default value ALL is used, your search will not be limited by any of the above options.
  6. Language of Instruction: The field refers to the language in which the course is taught. There may be some courses in specific language subjects which are taught in a third language (e.g. Introductory Italian).
  7. Sort Results By: Your search results will be sorted alphabetically based on one of the 3 options selected.
  8. Display Maximum Of: Use this field to limit the number of courses displayed that result from your search. This field does not limit the number of courses that match your query – only the maximum number that will be displayed on the Database Search Results page. Use caution when selecting an option for this field because search results are sorted alphabetically, and not ranked according to their relevancy to your search criteria.

Press the Search for courses button to execute your search (using the ENTER key on your keyboard does not activate this button). Press the Clear form button to reset all fields in the form to their default values, which includes clearing all keywords entered in the Enter keyword(s) for search textbox(es).

Other resources are designed to help you acquire skills for making you a successful student–like how to write a better essay, or study for an exam. We've linked you to both resources and people to help you succeed as a distance education student.

Read more