EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is introducing Explora™, an appealing new EBSCOhost® interface for K12 schools and public libraries. EBSCO designed Explora following a series of user research studies with the goal of better assisting students in completing research and classroom assignments and providing a more intuitive search experience for public library patrons.
Multiple versions of Explora will be released for schools and public libraries. Each version features a unique landing page designed to best support the needs of students, patrons, teachers and librarians in their respective settings.
All the versions feature an attractive, user-friendly design that can be easily viewed on mobile devices. A single search box on the home page helps to simplify the search process and increase student success. Easy-to-browse categories are organized by popular topics, and topic overviews provide users with a starting point for research. Relevant results can be limited by source type, including primary source documents and other authoritative information texts.
Educators can discover grade-appropriate content in Explora by limiting results according to reading levels and make use of highly relevant educator support materials such as ready-to-use lesson plans, classroom activities and rubrics. A Curriculum Standards Module allows educators to browse Common Core, state- and province-specific curriculum standards, many of which have recommended search strings for successful content retrieval.
Throughout 2015, additional enhancements will be made to Explora so that end users will have even easier access to biographies, primary source documents, images and other sources. EBSCO is currently testing multiple approaches, including innovative result lists and context sensitive panels. Within weeks of the launch, Explora will also include a carousel of current AP videos that will appear in search result lists for MAS and MasterFILE™ customers. Approximately 60,000 videos will be included. In addition, Explora will offer a dedicated landing page for educators with convenient access to relevant support materials.
EBSCO Senior Vice President of Product Management Michael Laddin says that Explora provides intuitive interfaces based on the type of user to improve the search experience. "We used the input we received from user research to design a user experience that would engage students and public library patrons, while also offering teachers and librarians the tools they need to help students best utilize the authoritative content available in EBSCO databases."
Libraries can begin migrating to Explora in February. EBSCO's existing school interfaces for schools will remain in place until June 2015. For more information about Explora, visit: http://www.ebscohost.com/us-high-schools/explora.