Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effect of Reading Ability and Internet Experience on Keyword-Based Image Search

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effect of Reading Ability and Internet Experience on Keyword-Based Image Search

Article excerpt

Introduction

Many individuals now consider digital cameras, cell phones with photo functions, and online photo-sharing websites to be indispensable information-sharing tools. The adages of "seeing is believing" and "a picture is worth a thousand words are now prevalent concepts in both daily life and learning. By illustrating abstract ideas through visible/concrete content and spatial arrangement, photos can convey non-verbal messages that texts are incapable or less capable of expressing. In the past two decades, visual image has become predominant form of communication across a range of learning and teaching resources, delivered across various media and formats (Bamford, 2003). Teachers frequently incorporate pictures in lectures and assignments, especially in biology, earth science, art, geography, and history domains. Students are increasingly required to attach supporting photos/figures when writing reports or creating posters to improve readability and learning effectiveness. These trends have increased the need for accurate online image search strategies. Successful image searchers are required to identify subjects, meanings, and/or elements in images, and to make judgments regarding image accuracy, validity, and value.

Many researchers have examined information-seeking behaviors and performance, but have generally focused on text rather than image searches. Text searches require the comprehension of topic-related connotations, as well as the use of associated ideas to formulate keywords. In contrast, picture or image searches require theme formulation and the ability to envision potential results. Given that many current image retrieval systems are keyword based, users must translate their visions into text keywords, and pictures stored in databases must have descriptive words or metadata that match selected keywords (Fukumoto, 2006; Hou & Ramani, 2004). Search systems transmit some pictures for users to compare, assess, and determine whether or not they need to continue a search. Accordingly, keyword-based image searches can be analyzed as complex cognitive processes involving image-text cross-referencing, observation, judgment, decision-making, and correction. Note that the presence of semantic gaps and lack of precise characteristics make keyword-based image searches more abstract and complex than text searches (Choi, 2010; Cunningham & Masoodian, 2006). For keyword-based image searches, descriptive and thematic queries are more commonly used than unique term queries. Most users perform a large amount of query modification yet are still unable to find images they desire in an effective way (Jorgensen & Jorgensen, 2005). Approximately one-fifth of all image search queries result in zero hits (Pu, 2008). Yet little is known about factors that can improve the odds for successful keyword-based image searches, which is the primary motivation for the present study.

Individuals tend to use distinctly different behaviors to perform identical search tasks--for example, reading multiple pages of search results in detail versus skimming one page of results before trying a new keyword, following multiple links versus stopping after the first webpage, or using one versus multiple search engines. Different individuals thus achieve different search outcomes and learning effects. Regarding differences in text search behaviors and performance, researchers have looked at factors such as cognitive ability (Kim & Allen, 2002; Rouet, 2003), domain knowledge (Park & Black, 2007; Rouet, 2003), thinking style (Kao, Lei, & Sun, 2008), problem-solving style (Kim & Allen, 2002), cognitive style (Ford, Eaglestone, Madden, & Whittle, 2009; Park & Black, 2007), study approach (Ford, Miller, & Moss, 2005), and Internet experience (Ford et al., 2009; Kim, 2001; Lazonder, Biemans, & Wopereis, 2000; Moore, Erdelez, & He, 2007; Park & Black, 2007; Wang, Hawk, & Tenopir, 2000; White & Iivonen, 2001). …

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