Employing a visualized searching system to assist elementary students’ tactics and success of storybook searching

Date12 June 2017
Pages412-427
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-01-2016-0029
Published date12 June 2017
AuthorPo-Yao Chao,Chia-Ching Lin,Ming-Shiang Wu
Employing a visualized searching
system to assist elementary
studentstactics and success of
storybook searching
Po-Yao Chao
Department of Information Communication, Yuan Ze University,
Chung-Li, Taiwan
Chia-Ching Lin
Graduate Institute of Science Education and Environmental Education,
National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and
Ming-Shiang Wu
Department of Information Communication, Yuan Ze University,
Chung-Li, Taiwan
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to develop a visualized search system utilizing
graphical images to represent the story elements and concepts to help elementary students describe and seek
their desired storybooks; and second, to explore the effect of the proposed visualized search system on
elementary studentstactics, success, and motivation for seeking storybooks.
Design/methodology/approach A quasi-experimental approach was conducted with a sample of 61
elementary students in this study. The studentstactics, motivation and the success of their storybook
searching were addressed as dependent variables for further comparisons of the visualized searching system
and a conventional keyword searching system.
Findings The results revealed that the students in the experimental group exhibited more frequent
tactics and greater motivation for storybook searching than those in the control group. Further χ
2
analysis
indicated a significant relationship between the searching interface and the success of the students
storybook searching.
Originality/value This paper proposes a new visual search approach which allows young children to
search for storybooks by describing an intended storybook in terms of its characters, objects, or
the background colors of the cover page. The findings provide some evidence of the effectiveness of the
visualized searching interface in terms of promoting young childrens learning through storybook searching
and reading activities.
Keywords Storybook searching, Visualized search interface, Search tactics, Story elements
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Storybook reading has been advocated as an important learning activity for elementary
students to promote their language and literacy skills (Fletcher and Reese, 2005; Neuman,
1996). Many studies have suggested that elementary students actively engaging in the
process of searching for storybooks for reading is crucial for the development of their
reading interest and increases their amount of reading (Reuter, 2007; Robinson et al., 1997).
The activities of storybook searching and reading also stimulate students to
imagine scenarios of stories, which supports their inferential thinking about the
meaningful information involved in the story events and ideas (Marrow and Brittain, 2003).
Online Information Review
Vol. 41 No. 3, 2017
pp. 412-427
© Emerald PublishingLimited
1468-4527
DOI 10.1108/OIR-01-2016-0029
Received 28 January 2016
Revised 20 December 2016
Accepted 3 February 2017
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1468-4527.htm
This research was partially funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, under Grant
Number MOST 103-2511-S-155-001-MY2, MOST 105-2511-S-017-002, MOST 103-2511-S-008-001-MY3.
412
OIR
41,3
Hence, with their active engagement, students could derive a storyline from exploring the
story characters, goals, actions, and states involved in the storybooksimagesandtext,
thus stimulating their story comprehension and language skills (Tompkins et al.,2013;
Verhallen and Bus, 2011).
With advances in technology and the rapid growth of digital storybooks, the success and
tactics of seeking digital storybooks have become increasingly important to elementary
students (Druin,2005). However, many design drawbacksin the conventional keyword-based
search interfaces may hinder elementary students from actively searching for digital
storybooks (Druin, 2005; Gossenand Nürnberger, 2013). Given thatmost elementary students
possess immature typing skills and limited vocabulary (Borgman et al., 1995), they often
experience difficulty in recalling,spelling, or typing keywords (Gossen and Nürnberger,2013;
Hutchinson et al., 2006). In addition, most of the conventional search interfaces mainly
employing bibliographic descriptionsof books, such as titles, authors, or publisher, etc., could
not meet childrens information needs regarding selecting digital books (Druin, 2005).
Since digital storybooks often include manyimages or animations to illustrate abstract ideas,
or depict events which happen to the story characters and in the various scenes (Yu, 2012),
elementarystudents may encounter difficulties conceptualizing and formulatingqueries using
bibliographic descriptions to search for vivid images in storybooks.
Given the aforementioned disadvantages of conventional search interfaces, many studies
have provided alternative approaches to support young childrens storybook searching.
For example, owing to young childrens inadequacies in spelling and typing keywords,
some visualized search interfaces which adopt a set of graphical icons representing
categories have been developed to promote book searching by way of visual representations
rather than textual descriptions (e.g. Busey and Doerr, 1993; Hirsh, 1997). These visualized
search interfaces allow children to search for books by browsing the graphical categories
rather than spelling keywords (Gossen and Nürnberger, 2013). Although the aforementioned
visualized search interfaces could eliminate the need to spell keywords and could be helpful
for childrens digital book searching (Hutchinson et al., 2006), they seldom address the
requirement and tactics of childrens digital storybook searching in accordance with
the distinguishing characteristics of storybooks. Given that the search tactics are crucial to
the success of information retrieval and could be helpful for storybook reading
( Jochmann-Mannak et al., 2008; Reuter, 2007), more studies are needed to examine how a
visualized search interface could assist children in the tactics of query formulation and the
performance of seeking digital storybooks.
Given the potential and need for a visualized search interface to support young
childrens tactics for searching for storybooks, the purposes of this study were twofold.
First, a query-oriented visualized search system utilizing graphical icons to represent the
story elements and concepts was developed to help elementary students seek their desired
storybooks. Instead of browsing categories, the query-oriented visualized search system
allows elementary students to construct search queries by assembling the graphical icons
to visually comprise story elements of the desired storybooks. The second purpose was to
explore the influence of the query-oriented visualized search system on elementary
studentstactics, success, and motivation for seeking storybooks.
2. Related work
2.1 Visualized search interfaces for children
In contrast to a conventional search interface which requires users to perform keyword
searches, a visualized search interface typically allows users to carry out a visual search
using graphical categories. Since many studies have indicated that children could
successfully recognize and recall images to grasp underlying concepts (Miller et al., 1999),
the visualized search interface could be deemed as a potential means of supporting
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Employing a
visualized
searching
system

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