SuSanA library resources and filters - suggestions for improvements regarding finding training materials

  • sterennphilippe
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SuSanA library resources and filters

Dear SuSanA community,

The SuSanA Library is a great knowledge hub of sanitation resources. But there’s always room for improvement. Working Group 1 is looking into the following two questions:

• Is it easy to find resources using the filters?
• Does the library contain all types of sanitation resources?

CAWST has observed a gap in accessing training resources on sanitation. The SuSanA library currently does not have filters to easily search for them, which is possibly one reason why there are not many training resources in the library. As part of our new capacity development initiative supported by funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have conducted an online search to get a sense of what training resources exist. We are also connecting with capacity development organizations in 12 countries in Africa and South Asia to further understand what resources exist.

From these activities, we would like to recommend creating a new filter category called “Type of training resources” with (to start) three filters:

• Trainer manuals
• Games and activities
• Syllabus/curriculum: (focused on adult education programs such as universities and vocational schools).

What are your thoughts?

Sterenn
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  • dorothee.spuhler
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Re: SuSanA library resources and filters

Dear all

Thank you Sterenn for the post: as discussed earlier, I agree with your suggestion.
I just want to point out that this resources are not going to be used only by trainers, but also people educating themselves in a particular topic. Related to that I am I wondering under which category would you put MOOCS there? And where would you put online resources like the SSWM toolbox or similar? Would those deserve an own category? Or could we change "Syllabus/curriculum" into "Syllabus/curriculum and web-based training/learning packages" (I am not very happy with this wording...)?

I also would like to make some further suggestions:
  • In the "filter by type of resource" we have currently: guidelines and manuals; factsheets; case studies in SuSanA template; case studies in other formats; posters, brochures and flyers; technical drawings; presentations; and videos and webinar recordings. I suggest to remove "guidelines and manuals" and "presentations" and add three new category "resports/miscellanouse" and "PhD and master thesis", "scientific publication".
  • Delete the filter by treatment technology (one could use text search in case it is relevant)
  • Delete filter by reuse material (also better use text search)

I am aware that these changes are controversial. I would like to ask ALL MEMBER if you think these changes would bring a considerable improvement of accessibility of SuSanA library resources?
And maybe some member also want to react on if they are actually using the library and what is most useful with it?

For those who are not very familiar with these filter categories, have a look here: www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...publications/library

Cheers, Dorothee

WG1 Co-lead
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Currently doing research on generating sanitation system options for urban planners and quantifying mass flows for a broad range of options considering novel technologies as an input into decision-making: www.tinyurl.com/eawag-grasp
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  • Marijn Zandee
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Re: SuSanA library resources and filters

Dear Sternn, Dorothee,

I think the searching through filters is great. The main worry I have is that no-one will use it, because, it is not obvious that it exists. My brain (and I think many others) is trained by internet use the search function when I try to find something. So, when I open the library that is the way I would try to find something. However, the searching through filters may in many cases actually work better. If I open the library page on my (15.5 inch) laptop it is not very clear that the searching through filters system exists (see attached screenshot).

There is about 10 cm of white in which there is only a SuSanA logo and three lines of text. I know that white space is the scientifically proven "thing"in web design these days, but in this format the only options that the user gets to see are: "Filter by region" or the search bar. I know from experience that it would not occur to me from this design, that there is a whole list of "filter by options" available below the "filter by region" option. I think that this design will lead many to just always use the search bar, because they overlook the other option, which is a shame.

Even shortening the white space on top of the page, may already be an improvement:

Otherwise, I think we should include some instruction, or draw attention to the fact that searching through filters is an option for the user in that white space.

Regarding the categories,

"Trainer manuals" feels a bit odd. Maybe "Manuals for trainers" is better?
and
"Syllabus/curriculum: (focused on adult education programs such as universities and vocational schools)." , I would probably call those: "Formal education materials"

Regarding Dorothee's comments,

I would like to keep the "filter by treatment technology", as I am quite likely to use it.
Other suggestions are fine by me.

Finally, "Filter by SuSanA aspect". I really had to look at the options under it to get an idea (it seems to me that it is a toggle to only search for SuSanA publictions?). Do we need this category? If so, I suggest renaming it to something that is clearer.

Regards
Marijn

Marijn Zandee

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  • shobana
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Re: SuSanA library resources and filters

Dear All,

Thank you for bringing up the need for additional filters.
The secretariat would love to receive feed back on the need to rearrange filters on the library interface.

If the filter names are too long , they might cause incovenience. Do you think 'open educational resources' encompasses formal curriculum and MOOCs?

Best,
Shobana

Shobana Srinivasan
SuSanA Secretariat, GIZ Eschborn
BORDA e.V Germany
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  • muench
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Re: SuSanA library resources and filters

Thanks everyone for your inputs!
Marijn's comments in particular made me feel very worried that the filters are still not clear enough! We have made some small changes to hopefully make them easier to see on the left side, please see here: www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...publications/library or screenshot here:



Comments:
- I think it's better as that world map was adding confusion at that point but has now been moved to the bottom of the list.
- About the big white space, I agree it does seem a bit excessive. Currently talking with André, our IT developer, about reducing that space.
- I have also renamed the filter that was called "Filter by SuSanA aspects" to "Filter SuSanA publications".
- I have removed the filter that was called "Filter by audience" as it was not adding much value.
- I think we should keep the two filters that Dorothee had suggested to be deleted, i.e. by technology and by reuse. I think a keyword search would potentially not give you the same search comfort. If users vote for removing the "by reuse" filter, I could be persuaded though.

Also, Dorothee had suggested:

In the "filter by type of resource" we have currently: guidelines and manuals; factsheets; case studies in SuSanA template; case studies in other formats; posters, brochures and flyers; technical drawings; presentations; and videos and webinar recordings. I suggest to remove "guidelines and manuals" and "presentations" and add three new category "resports/miscellanouse" and "PhD and master thesis", "scientific publication".


To me, "guidelines and manuals" could be a useful one and I would keep it. "Presentations" I am undecided. Maybe nowadays no longer important as presentations are very abundant anyhow. Then again, it is a useful method to find conference presentations with this filter.

It's true that we need to be careful to not make this list too long!

I don't really see an advantage in having "resports/miscellanouse" and "PhD and master thesis", "scientific publication". What for? PhD and MSc could be found with the text search field. Scientific publications is not something we have a lot of in the library, as they are often behind a pay wall.

By the way, Dorothee, have you taken out the filters from your SSWM library? I can't see them anymore: www.sswm.info/library

(pity that we never managed to merge the SuSanA library and the SSWM library, due to IT reasons...)


About the new filter that Sterenn suggested, let me summarise the feedback so far:

“Type of training resources” with (to start) three filters:
• Trainer manuals; Marijn said: Maybe "Manuals for trainers" is better?
• Games and activities
• Syllabus/curriculum: (focused on adult education programs such as universities and vocational schools). Marijn said: I would probably call those: "Formal education materials"; Dorothee said: Syllabus/curriculum and web-based training/learning packages
Shobana said: Do you think 'open educational resources' encompasses formal curriculum and MOOCs?

Dorothee also asked:
I wondering under which category would you put MOOCS there? And where would you put online resources like the SSWM toolbox or similar? Would those deserve an own category?

I don't think we need MOOCs in the library. A MOOC is a course, not a resource. Unless the owners of the course are willing to share their materials which would then go under "Curriculum", wouldn't it?

The SSWM toolbox to me is not something that would go into the library either. It would be a link to another website, which could go into a links section - which we don't have, and also don't need in my opinion. How about rather adding it as a project into the project database under SuSanA partner seecon? This way it would also be found via the global site search.

Finally, I would say let's see what things Sterenn is adding to the library now under the 3 filters that she proposed and we can still fine-tune what we call them a little bit later on. The name "Syllabus/curriculum" makes me wonder: what is that? Not very clear to the layperson, I think.

And in any case, thanks to Sterenn for starting this discussion and, above all, for adding all these new materials to the library!! This will be very useful.

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • sterennphilippe
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Re: SuSanA library resources and filters

Thanks for everyones inputs!

We’ve uploaded at least 5 documents for the three categories we would like to create filters for in the library.

I’ve been wondering if children and adult training should be in the same filter category – but for now, I think they should remain separate. Perhaps once we populate the library with more adult training resources, then we can discuss how it fits or does not fit with school education. Based on our search, I don’t think there would be enough resources to populate an adult training section as you have done for school education - there’s a lot more resources on school education.

So for now, I think creating a filter category within the library is the best solution, starting with these three filters:

Filter by Adult training resources:

• Trainer manuals : Manuals for trainers is less common, and lengthy, the more common options are ‘trainer manual’ or ‘training manual’ - we prefer trainer manual, because it emphasizes the target audience
• Games and activities
• Syllabus :‘Formal education materials’ is this whole category, ‘curriculum’ and ‘syllabus’ are specific types of resources. What we collected are “outlines of the subjects in a course of study or teaching.” I think syllabus is more accurate, curriculum sometimes includes all the course materials. This is not what we've collected. Most training organizations don't share all their course materials, they will only share the syllabus. It is a common term used in the education sector, but maybe to simplify we could maybe say "syllabus and outline". This should be its own filter and not mixed with others. We are trying to capture the syllabus of vocational schools, universities courses, and potentially online courses. This will be a great filter for people wanting to see what training exists globally and in their country. It will also help us potentially understand the gaps in the supply side of capacity development in the sanitation sector.

The MOOC materials would not fall under syllabus. The syllabus of the MOOC course would (1-5 pager on the content of the MOOC). The actual MOOC materials could potentially fall under another filter called “MOOCs and online courses”? But like elisabeth said, how many share their resources?

Sterenn
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  • Marijn Zandee
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Re: SuSanA library resources and filters

Dear Sterenn, Elisabeth,

The filters are now easier to spot on the library page, so that seems an improvement to me.

Just as an idea. Maybe we should have a button with a link to to short movie that explains how to search using the filters (and have some other tips?). It could be called "Getting the most of the Susana Library".

Regards
Marijn

Marijn Zandee

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