In this age where “facts” can sometimes blur with “fiction” students in school can sometimes get the wrong information when they search the internet to do research on a school project. Today, Microsoft announced a new feature that’s being added to Microsoft Teams for Education that’s specifically to help both students and teachers keep track of research activities for education projects.
In a blog post, Microsoft called this new feature Search Progress. It’s an extension of a previous stand-alone app called Search Coach. That app was made to help students come up with better search queries on the spot. The new Search Progress feature has been put into Teams Assignments so teachers can track the progress students are making on any big school assignment.
Using Search Progress, teachers can now create and assign projects to their students within Teams Assignments. Students can then use Search Coach to search for sources for those projects.
Upon creating a Search Progress assignment, educators can customize how many sources they’d like students to collect as well as the presence and wording of the per-source explanation and overall reflection prompts.
When a student receives their research project from their teacher, the student also sees the Search Coach app, along with a way to collect the sources for the assignment. Search Progress saves the student’s work in real-time. When the project is completed, teachers will be able to see the sources students used for completing the assignment, along with any explanations students might have for using those sources.
Microsoft says it will be adding features in the future to Search Progress. They will include comparing the sources a student uses in an assignment to other students. Students will also be able to export their Search Progress work and take it with them anywhere. The feature will also be expanded beyond the PC platform to tablets and smartphones in the coming months.