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The effect of WWW document structure on students' information retrieval

Brown, I; (1998) The effect of WWW document structure on students' information retrieval. Journal of Interactive Media in Education , 98 (12) Green open access

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This experiment investigated the effect the structure of a WWW document has on the amount of information retained by a reader. Three structures common on the Internet were tested: one long page; a table of contents leading to individual sections; and short sections of text on separate pages with revision questions. Participants read information structured in one of these ways and were then tested on recall of that information. A further experiment investigated the effect that 'browsing' - moving between pages - has on retrieval. There was no difference between the structures for overall amount of information retained. The single page version was best for recall of facts, while the short sections of text with revision questions led to the most accurate inferences from the material. Browsing on its own had no significant impact on information retrieval. Revision questions rather than structure per se were therefore the key factor.

Type: Article
Title: The effect of WWW document structure on students' information retrieval
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/article/1998-12/43
Language: English
Additional information: RN/98/124. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Information, Students, Document structure, Learning, Memory traces, Revision
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/33350
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