Friday, August 11, 2006

The Secret Life of Meta Search Engines...

As you probably know, during the last two weeks I had to spent a lot of time in oral examinations about last semester's "web technologies" lecture. Whenever you do examinations, you might get some insight on what the students did understand and what they kept in mind from your lectures. Sometimes you wonder and ask yourself "What the f.... were they doing while sitting in your lecture??" You try to make it simple and give some hints on what is important and what is not. But I guess, sometimes you just make it too simple for them...and thus, they underrate the whole thing and you'll get the receipt during the exam...
Anyway...sometimes the students seem to have some 'cloak-and-dagger' sources of information...as I had to experience last tuesday. I was just starting the exam with a question about search engine types, which finally lead to the (not so important) topic of 'meta search engines'. Usually, I ask how meta search engines are working and try to get quickly to some more interesting topics. On tuesday I received a strange answer ... and the funny thing is that I was told the same queer answer already by another student the week before:
"Meta search engines have their name because they are search engines that analyse the meta-tags in the header of HTML documents..."
Okay...stunned I was looking at my assessor and the assessor immediately stopped writing his protocol also having a stunned expression in his face. "From where did you get that?", I was asking the student. But he explained to me that this fact is just obvious and everybody knows...
Sometimes you really wonder what they are doing while sitting in your lecture...
If a third student will come up with this answer I'll have to cover up the source of this "information".
(At least - as we have more friendly temperatures now - they are not wearing muscle-shirts and flip-flops... :-)

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