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|EFFECTS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND VISUAL INFORMATION SEEKING ON LEARNING STRATEGIES IN ESSAY WRITING
|Internal Co-Supervisor: Dr. Dunwei Wen, Athabasca University
External Co-Supervisor: Dr. Dragan Gasevic,
|Dr. Sabine Graf, Athabasca University
Dr. Marek Hatala, Simon Fraser University
|Master of Science, Information Systems (MScIS)
|Centre for Distance Education
Goal Setting Theory
|When learners seek information on unfamiliar topics, one technique used is exploratory search. Broadly speaking, there are three different searching activities; lookup, learning, and investigating. Exploratory searching focusing on the learning and investigating activities, and primarily relies on navigation, selection, and trial-and-error strategies. Researchers have proposed using visual representations of topics called concept maps to allow learners to better deal with large quantities of information. In this work, we investigate the effects of individual differences and information visualization on exploratory search with respect to self-directed learning. Our findings indicated a positive correlation between perceived prior knowledge and the time spent on task, as well as a positive correlation between time on task and the overall score achieved on the task. However, we were unable to find a correlation between other individual differences, the use of the concept map tool, and the learning outcomes in the assigned exploratory learning tasks.
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