Investigating the Relationship Between Task Complexity, Cognitive Ability and Disorientation in Hypertext Navigation

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Alper Bayazıt
Servet Bayram
Gonca Kızılkaya Cumaoğlu


Learning Management Systems, Massive Open Online Courses, Wikis are designed in hypertext format which has a more participative and potentially paradigm-changing environment for building and sharing knowledge. In these environments, the students navigate on their own for gaining the objectives (learning) or information seeking (searching). However, the users sometimes faced with a common and serious problem called disorientation which is defined as a feeling lost in web based environments. It is important to determine the reasons for disorientation in order to make the students to navigate more efficiently in these environments. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between the navigation patterns, disorientation level and students’ cognitive ability. For this purpose, an experimental research was designed and 223-page wiki environment was developed as a network structured hypertext environment. Sixty-nine university students’ navigation processes including 6.880 row log data were recorded in order to measure their disorientation scores. In addition, we found that while the task was more complex, the disorientation score was decreased. Possible causes of the results are discussed.

Keywords: Disorientation, cognitive ability, hypermedia navigation, task complexity


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