Facilitating learners’ web-based information problem-solving by query expansion-based concept mapping


  • Yueh-Min Huang
  • Ming-Chi Liu
  • Nian-Shing Chen National Sun Yat-sen University
  • Kinshuk .
  • Dunwei Wen




Web-based information problem-solving has been recognised as a critical ability for learners. However, the development of students’ abilities in this area often faces several challenges, such as difficulty in building well-organised knowledge structures to support complex problems that require higher-order skills (e.g., system thinking). To resolve these issues, this study employs a semi-automatic tool that supports query expansion-based concept mapping (QECM) for assisting learners’ web-based information problem-solving. The query expansion technique aims to recommend relevant concepts and linking words for building the map. The linking of concepts also uses non-taxonomic relationships for visualising a systemic model to develop complex problem-solving. An experiment was conducted by randomly dividing 50 participants into two groups, QECM (experimental) and conventional keyword-based search system, (control), to compare their performance during web-based information problem-solving tasks. The results show that the QECM system facilitated participants in extending their queries so as to enhance the comprehensiveness of their constructed concept maps. The QECM also improved the participants’ information problem-solving performance by bridging concepts of an assigned task. The findings imply that learners using the QECM system can focus on the higher-order tasks of problem-solving and be better engaged in exploring real-life problems with the web.


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Author Biography

Nian-Shing Chen, National Sun Yat-sen University

Dr. Nian-Shing Chen is Chair Professor at the Department of Information Management in the National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan. He has published over 350 papers in the international referred journals, conferences and book chapters. One of his papers published in Innovations in Education and Teaching International was awarded as the top cited article in 2010. He is the author of three books with one textbook entitled “e-Learning Theory & Practice”. Prof. Chen received the national outstanding research awards from the National Science Council, Taiwan in 2008 and 2011-2013. His current research interests include assessing e-Learning course performance; online synchronous teaching & learning; mobile & ubiquitous learning; natural user interface & game-based learning. Prof. Chen is serving as editorial board members for many international journals and guest editors for more than 10 special issues of international journals. He has also organized and chaired numerous international conferences and workshops in the area of advanced learning technologies. Professor Chen is a senior member of IEEE, ACM and the Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology (http://lttf.ieee.org/). He is Co-Editors-In-Chief of the SSCI-indexed Journal of Educational Technology & Society.




How to Cite

Huang, Y.-M., Liu, M.-C., Chen, N.-S., ., K., & Wen, D. (2014). Facilitating learners’ web-based information problem-solving by query expansion-based concept mapping. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(5). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.613

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