Skip to main content


Need an overview on Intellum's Smart Search? Wondering about the kinds of results your learners are—or could be—getting? Well, you've found the right article!

This article breaks down the basic mechanics of Intellum's Smart Search and the logic that impacts a user's search results.

Search Mechanics

When users search for a word or phrase, Intellum will...

  • Identify the search terms
  • Remove "Stop Words" like and, the, if, etc.
  • Stems & lemmatizes the query for inflection, plurals, and verb tenses.
  • Judges Topic Proximity (if the query is part of an existing Topic).
  • Searches content table for matches.
  • Ranks results based on criteria listed above.

Search Results & Ranking

How do Smart Search actions affect a user’s results?

  • Expands query to other relevant results, surfacing meaningful content.
  • Personalizes results list to each user based on their Topic follows
  • Boosts results that match a user’s assigned locale (if other than English)
  • Boosts results that are more popular for a specific search query

What affects ranking more - Activity’s name, Activity’s description/content, or keywords?

  • An activity’s name, followed by the activity's description/content and ultimately the activity's keywords, especially if it’s an exact match for the query, outranks all other criteria; so an exact match will always appear atop the results list

Do Topics affect search results?

Yes - An activity's topic is used to boost the activity ranking if it matches the search query

Do admins see different results than learners?

User type has no impact on search.

Does Discover Tab content behave differently?


Smart Search & Your Content

What kinds of content are indexed and searched?

  • Activities created with Evolve Authoring
  • Documents (if searchable)
  • Posts
  • URLs and Links, via a custom API to get the text out of pdf, doc, xdoc, and other documents
  • Images, via Google Cloud Vision API to get labels, text, and description
  • Videos, via Google Intelligence Video API to get labels, text, categories, and description

Does it search inside SCORM and AICC content?


Search Results Visibility

In general, an Activity on Intellum will be visible in Search Results if it meets the following requirements:

  • It's set to Active.
  • It's included in the Catalog.
  • The user is not restricted from the content (i.e. they're in a Group that's allowed to view the content).
  • The Deep Search feature is not enabled at the Path level.

The flowchart below will help you determine when an Activity (page) will show up in search results:

Flowchart guiding you through when an Activity is visible in Search. If it is Acting, in the Catalog, and the User has permission to see it, then the Activity can be accessed from Search
Search Results Flowchart

Does that mean Path settings overpower Activity settings?

They can. If a Path can show up in search, all the Activities in it can too.

Why is that?

If an Activity is in a Path—and a user can access the Path—then the user can access the individual Activities within that Path

What if the order of the Path is locked?

All Activities in a Path can appear in the results list. However, if the user clicks and opens a locked Activity they’ll see a message telling them the Activity is locked

Can I prevent the activities within a Path from appearing in search results?

Yes, use the Deep Search setting in the Path’s properties to keep individual activities from appearing in search results, within the context of the Path.

Learn More

Did this article help?

Let us know by leaving a star rating or review at the top of this article.