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ERIC Number: EJ943306
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-0020-4277
Dynamic and Spatial Representation of Web Movements and Navigational Patterns through the Use of Navigational Paths as Data
Laxman, Kumar
Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, v39 n6 p881-900 Nov 2011
Solving real-world problems is an effective learning activity that promotes meaningful learning in formal educational settings. Problems can be classified as being either well structured or ill structured. Internet information search approaches have an influential role to play in the successful performance of problem solving. A better understanding of how students differentially model information search strategies and movements in tackling well- and ill-structured problems is essential for creating engaging problem-solving environments for students. Static measures, such as the number of accessed nodes or links, or the number of times particular web browser function buttons are clicked, are limited in their ability to analyze attributes of information search patterns. A more dynamic and spatial representation of web movements and navigational patterns can be realized through the use of navigational paths as data. The two path-specific structural metrics that can be used to assess network-based navigational paths in relation to the structuredness of the problem-solving task are "compactness" and "stratum". These metrics are, respectively, the indicators of the "connectedness" and "linearity" of network-based structures defining students' online navigational visitations during the problem-solving sessions. This study explored the relevance and utility of these two metrics in analyzing the navigational movements of learners in seeking out electronic information to accomplish successful problem solving. The outcome findings of this study show that well- and ill-structured problems demand different cognitive and information seeking navigational approaches. The differing values of the two path metrics in analyzing the search movements organized by students in attending to well- and ill-structured problems were a direct result of the contrasting patterns of navigational path movements. The search patterns associated with well-structured problem solving tended to be more linear and less connected, whereas those related to ill-structured problem solving were more distributed and inter-connected.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A