How to Use Item Search

'Item Authoring' has an advanced search function that allows you to search for items/item sets from all the subjects you have access to. This functionality can be found in the 'Item Search' tab. This article explains how to use 'Item Search' and the different criteria that can be applied to refine a list of items/item sets.

Free-Text Searching

You can search elements of your items/item sets using free-text to create a list. Elements available to be searched are: 'Question Text', 'Item Name', 'Equation Text', 'Feedback Text', 'Item Comments', 'Answer Options', 'Citations', and 'All' (which includes all searchable fields). This type of search uses 'CONTAIN' search rules.


Additional Search Criteria

You can also use additional search criteria to further refine your list. Select the add ('+') icon in the perforated box to access a drop-down menu of filter options. You can choose from: 'Question Type', 'Item Purpose', 'Centre', 'Subject', 'Marking Type', 'Created By', 'Item Owner', 'Last Edited By', 'Status', 'Last Edited At', 'Created At', 'Mark', 'Tags', 'Tag Collections', and 'Relationships'.

These search types vary between multiple value select, date range search, and numerical entry search. You may apply as many filters as you wish to refine the results.

If you use multiple filters across different search criteria, the results returned will use 'AND' search rules. For example, a user can search for a subject (Subject A) and then add an additional search for a question type (Multiple Choice). In this example, all returned items/item sets would be in Subject A AND Multiple Choice questions.

If you use the same criteria more than once, the results will be based on a combination of 'AND' and 'OR' search rules.

Example: A user wishes to search for Essay items in Subject B as well as Multiple Choice items in Subject A (as explained above). If the rules remained constant, adding 'Subject B' and 'Essay' would return no results as no question can be more than one type. In other words, there will be nothing that is in Subject A AND Subject B AND an Essay AND a Multiple Choice question.

However, adding another 'Subject' criteria changes the rules from 'AND' to 'OR'. So the search will return all items/item sets that are in Subject A AND are Multiple Choice questions OR all items/item sets that are in Subject B AND are Essay questions. As rules develop linearly, you can create complex and very specific search strings.


You can delete any of the search criteria at any time by selecting the 'X' icon.

Note: The following search criteria will not return item sets: 'Answer Options', 'Citations', 'Equation Text', 'Feedback Text', 'Item Comments', 'Item Owner', 'Item Purpose', 'Mark', 'Marking Type', 'Question Text' and 'Status'.

Customising and Filtering Columns


You can customise the columns shown in the table after you have made a search by opening the expandable panel with the cog icon. Customising the columns of your table allows you to further refine your search results before saving them to an ‘Item List’.

To edit the columns shown, select the corresponding eye icon to remove existing columns, or select a crossed-out eye icon to add that column to the table. Drag and drop the arrow icon to move the position of that column within the table. Select 'Apply' to apply these changes to the table.

You can also add ‘Smart Columns’ to your table. Smart columns contain the tag groups and tag values assigned to the items returned from your search.


Sort the table by selecting a column header. It is also possible to filter your columns by opening the expandable panel with the filter icon.

Note: Each user will only see the table as they have customised it as customised columns in 'Item Search' persist on a user basis.






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