Investigating the Effects of Computer-Generated Contextual Landmarks on Short-Term Recall of E-Texts




e-text, recall, navigation, OER, reading, landmark


E-texts have many advantages over their paper counterparts, especially when they are reflowable and available as open educational resources (OERs). Unfortunately, research suggests that e-texts are, on the whole, less memorable than p-texts, in part due to their relative lack of visual navigational landmarks that help to anchor recall. The Landmarks project team is, therefore, building an application that inserts computer-generated artificial imperfections – abstract or representational landmarks – into the display of e-texts, that remain consistently associated with text passages even when documents are reflowed or reformatted. We hypothesize that it may consequently be easier to recall the associated contents. The application is designed to provide the means to present modified open texts using a range of generated landmarks and variations on them, and to test recall of the content. In this initial pilot study, results of tests for readers receiving different landmarks will be compared, with the intent of identifying promising approaches to use for future studies.


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Author Biographies

Rory McGreal, Athabasca University

Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Vive Kumar, Athabasca University

Professor, School of Computing & Information Systems