Thank you for raising this question. Yesterday we introduced a 160 characters minimum for the descriptions of printable and powerpoint uploads. You're right in that often a description is unnecessary, because "a picture (a preview) is worth more than a thousand words". Yet, we had other things to consider, too. We introduced this minimum character count because Google wasn't able to index our resources properly. The thing is, Google can't look into the document uploads themselves, it only sees the title and description texts. However, a large number of our worksheets only have a few words for description. With a considerable proportion of our users running their worksheet search in Google, and not on iSLCollective, they simply don't find our pages, which is a shame. We hope this can change if the worksheets have at least one sentence as description.
160 characters is actually the length of a tweet. Those who use Twitter know how difficult it can be to say something with this character limitation. Let me bring some recent examples for worksheet descriptions to give everyone an idea of how short 160 characters is.
Free time activities / matching ex By sylviepieddaignel
"Students have to match the names of these leisure activities to the right pictures, then you can ask your students to work on the questions: [this is beyond 160 characters: Can you play the piano?]"
February Word Seach
"Find the vocabulary relating to the month of February in the word search puzzle. There are also some bonus words featured to make it a little [this is beyond 160 characters: more difficult. The word bank is located at the bottom of the print, and students simpy circle the words.]"
"If you want to talk about hapiness with your students this document can help you. It contains
27 questions and some quotes. You can ask the [this is beyond 160 characters: students to comment on quotes and and answer the questions.]"
I hope all of our dear authors will be able to adjust their uploading routine soon, and they will understand the rationale for the change.
I am looking forward to getting feedback from others, too. How do you feel about having to write 160 characters as a description?