Learning Search vs. Traditional Search

When searching for training content, there may be a difference in search result behavior when searching via Learning Search and when searching via Traditional Search. Users may notice a varying number of results returned, as well as a different order of search results for the same search query.

This behavior is due to Learning Search and Global Search being powered by different search engines. These search tools are separate and behave differently.

  • Learning Search: Learning Search is powered by Cornerstone’s newest search engine. This engine indexes and intelligently surfaces training based on several variables, powered by the user’s search string. It is designed to surface relevant training in an expeditious manner.
  • Traditional Search: Traditional Search is powered by Cornerstone's original search engine. This engine contains a predetermined ranking model which recommends training based on a combination of title, description, and other matches also driven by the user’s search string. Traditional Search returns predictive results as the user types, which is powered by the engine of Learning Search.

Predictive search results are displayed as a user is typing a search in both Learning Search and Traditional Search pages, and results are displayed before the search is executed. Predictive search only uses the title and description fields to show possible results.

Content Ranking

Each search engine carries its own ranking protocol which may cause results to return in a different order.

Search Type

Ranking Behavior

Learning Search

If the search text is present in more than one of the above training fields, the score is aggregated. The ordering of results is determined by the total score.

The following weights are applied for a match within the title, description, or keywords:

  • Title: 1,000
  • Description: 2
  • Keywords: 1

Learning Search presents full-text features such as instant search, fuzzy search, text splitting, text stemming, and more.

Tokenizing of terms is based on whitespacing and special characters. Therefore, a phrase like "Compliance 2.0" would become searchable in terms of "Compliance," "2," and "0" for an end user.

Learning Search applies availability to search results.


Another example involving special characters in a search term could include dashes. An example search term of "LMS-Compliance-2023" would be broken down into "LMS", "Compliance", and "2023". In this case, any training that has either "LMS", "Compliance", or "2023" in the Title, Description, or Keyword would be included in the results (See search weighting above). However, any training with an exact title match would be listed at the top. See Learning Search.

Traditional Search
  • Contains the following logic: Starts With, Inflections, Locale-Based. See Global Search Logic.
  • Global Search applies availability to search results

Filters Availability

Filters are available for both Learning Search and Global Search. Many of the most used filters are present in both areas, but there are some differences. See the table below for the filters available in each search area.

Filter Type

Learning Search

Traditional Search
Subject X X
Provider X X
Type X X
Languages X X
Course Rating X X
Duration X  
Mobile-enabled X  
Title   X
Description   X
Keywords X X
Custom Fields   X
Subscription X X


  • Begin with the search bar on the Learner Home page, which is fueled by Learning Search. Although Traditional Search is also an intelligent search engine, users may not find it as valuable when searching for training.
  • It may make sense to choose your search tool based on the filters you wish to use if the desired filters are not available in one of the search tools. See the table above to help make your search tool choice if certain filters are necessary.