A Navigation Flow Map Method of Representing Students' Searching Behaviors and Strategies on the Web, with Relation to Searching Outcomes

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24 Citations (Scopus)


To acquire a better understanding of the online search strategies that students employ to use the Internet, this study investigated six university students' approaches to Web-based information searches. A new method, called navigation flow map (NFM), is presented that graphically displays the fluid and multilayered relationships between Web navigation and information retrieval that students use while navigating the Web. To document the application of NFM, the Web search strategies of six university students were analyzed as they used the Internet to perform two different tasks: scientific-based and social studies?based information searches. Through protocol analyses using the NFM method, the students' searching strategies were categorized into two types: Match or Exploration. The findings revealed that participants with an Exploration approach had more complicated and richer task-specific ways of searching information than those with a Match approach; and further, through between-task comparisons, we found that participants appeared to use different searching strategies to process natural science information compared to social studies information. Finally, the participants in the Exploration group also exhibited better task performance on the criterion measures than those in the Match group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-695
Number of pages7
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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