ERIC Number: EJ776929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Navigating Web-Based Environments: Differentiating Internal Spatial Representations from External Spatial Displays
Schwartz, Neil H.; Verdi, Michael P.; Morris, Terra D.; Lee, Tiffany R.; Larson, Nikki K.
Contemporary Educational Psychology, v32 n4 p551-568 Oct 2007
Fifty-five undergraduate students read pages on a website presenting text about familiar and unfamiliar geographic locations in the United States. Learners navigated the site by having available or unavailable navigational buttons showing the cardinal compass directions between the map locations in the presence or absence of a cartographic map enabling them to click specifically on the map locations. Learners navigated the site with the goal of learning as much information as they could about the geographic locations described on each page. Results revealed that learners remembered significantly more page content when the geographic map was present and the geography of the area was unfamiliar. However, when the geographic area was familiar, learners remembered more page content when the navigational map was absent regardless of whether the directional links to each page were present or not. The findings: (1) support the contention that maps are used differently as graphic displays for navigating a website than for comprehending associated text, and (2) reveal that learners develop a cognitive model of text and graphics when the content familiarity is high, but simply use an image as a mnemonic when content familiarity is low.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Familiarity, Geographic Location, Mnemonics, Web Sites, Hypermedia, Navigation, Topography, Locational Skills (Social Studies), Search Strategies, Spatial Ability, Information Literacy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States