Construction of cognitive maps to improve e-book reading and navigation

Liang Yi Li, Gwo Dong Chen*, Sheng Jie Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


People have greater difficulty reading academic textbooks on screen than on paper. One notable problem is that they cannot construct an effective cognitive map because of the lack of contextual information cues and ineffective navigational mechanisms in e-books. To support the construction of cognitive maps, this paper proposes the visual cue map, which presents pages and within-page spatial cues in an interactive toolbar, and reflects the physical structure of the book and the relative relationship between cues and pages. An e-book reading system integrated with the visual cue map and 2 reading strategies - surveying and questioning - was developed, and an experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the visual cue map on the reading, reviewing, and navigational performance of readers. The results showed that participants who used the system with the visual cue map spent significantly less time to complete 10 navigational tasks and gained a higher reviewing score. Based on the results, we conclude that the visual cue map can improve navigational performance, which also improves reviewing performance. The improvements may be due to the visual cue map helping the construction of cognitive maps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Human-computer interface
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Navigation
  • Teaching/learning strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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