Google-like search added to Learner v7.1

We’ve finally made the course search feature more user friendly in Learner 7.1. At last you can use Google-like search operators in VTA Learner.

Google-like Search in Learner

We are so excited about the search features just added to Learner that we are not going to wait for a major release; we’re rolling it out now.  We’ve added several new operators to  the Course Search to make it more user friendly.  This article discusses the new things you can do with Search.

An exact word

To search for an exact word, use the “+” operator.  For example:


An exact phrase

To locate an exact phrase, enclose the phrase with quotes.  For example:


 Starts With

Use the “*” operator to find matches that start with your search word.  For example, the following searchs for words that start with “Electric”.


Exclude a word

Use the “-” operator to exclude a word from your search results.  For example, the following searchs for courses that include the word “Electrical”, but do not include the word “Safety”.


Either / Or

Use the “Or” operator to find either of two words.  For example:


Proximity Search

To locate one word near another, use the proximity operators “[” and “]”.  For example to find “unqual” near “electrical”, use the search statement:

[electrical unqual]



To search for a combination of words, use the “AND” operator.  Note that the “And” operator is assumed if you are not searching for an exact phrase by using quotes.  For example,  the following two searchs are equivalent.

business practice

business and practice

Inflectional forms

In the absense of other operators, words searchs include inflectional forms.  For example, the following search:


Will also find write, writing and written.


Operator Precedence

The AND operator takes precedence over the OR operator.  You can change the operator preference by using parenthesis.  For example, consider the following query:

tire handlebar OR reflector

This query is evaluatated as: (tire AND handlebar) OR reflector.

You can change the order with parenthesis so that the OR is evaluated first, like this:

tire (handlebar or reflector)

By the way, you can use “&” instead of “AND”, and “|” instead of “OR”.


We hope you’ll agree that these new search features are exciting.  If you are already on Learner version 7.1, contact RISC to get the latest version and starting using the new search engine!

Art Werkenthin
Art Werkenthin is president of RISC, Inc. and has over 30 years' experience working with LMS systems in the Oil & Gas, Retail, Finance and other industries. Mr. Werkenthin holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.B.A. in Information Systems Management from the University of Texas. Mr. Werkenthin is a member of the ADL cmi5 committee and frequently presents on cmi5 and xAPI. Follow him on Twitter @AWerkenthin for xAPI and cmi5 updates, as well as blog post announcements.