New Search Coach: Enhancing student research skills

Search Coach is a Microsoft Learning Accelerator that helps students develop their research skills when searching the web.  

Microsoft Learning Accelerators aim to make education more accessible by providing students with the tools they need to develop their learning and teaching them skills that are essential in further education and later in their professional life.  

Many of the accelerators are integrated into Microsoft’s existing apps, such as Microsoft Teams, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word.  

In this guide, we’re focusing on Search Coach, which students can use to improve their research skills.  


How to use Search Coach.

Search Coach can be added to any Class Team and works in a very similar way as any other search engine.  

However, the difference is Search Coach offers tips on how to form effective search queries and trusted sites while allowing students to add filters to their searches in a distraction and ad-free environment. 

To start using Search Coach, all you need to do is type something in the search bar and hit Enter on your keyboard.  

Your search results will appear normal, and you can tap on a result to open a website, as you would with Google or another search engine. 

How to use search coach

Search Coach features we love:

Search tips – Every day, there’s a new search tip on the homepage. Search tips also appear as you search.

NewsGuard – Rates the credibility and transparency of each website.

NewsGuard Search Coach

Domain filter – You can set up Search Coach to only show results from specific domains, for example, .com, .gov or .edu. You can also choose to filter by specific regions.

Domain Filter Search Coach

File type filter – Helps students find resources in specific formats, like PDF or PowerPoints, which can help them discover academic articles.

File Type Filter Search Coach

Date range filter – Students can select a specific date range from which they want to find relevant information. This allows them to discover the most up-to-date information or even choose to find articles from a previous time period.

Operators filter – Help students make their search more specific.

vOperators Filter Search Coach

How to add Search Coach to your Class Team as a teacher. 

Search Coach can be added to any Class Team.  

  1. Go to the Class Team you wish to add Search Coach to. 
  2. Select the plus button (+) at the top of the channel.  
  3. A window will appear. Type Search Coach in the search bar and select Search Coach. The icon is green with a magnifying glass.  
  4. Tap Save to add to your channel.  

How to personalise Search Coach for your class. 

When you have set up Search Coach, you can personalise the settings to suit your class.  

Simply tap Class settings to: 

  • Change the background. 
  • Choose which search filters are activated. 
  • Choose which search filters students can switch on/off.  
  • Create your own optional filters.    

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