Information Acquisition and Recall in Location-Aware and Search Engine Retrieval Systems

Information Acquisition and Recall in Location-Aware and Search Engine Retrieval Systems

Sorin Adam Matei (Purdue University, USA), Lance Madsen (Innervision Advanced Medical Imaging, USA) and Robert Bruno (Purdue University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0023-2.ch002
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This paper examines the potential cognitive impact of location aware information systems compared to that of search engines using a dual coding and conjoint retention theoretical framework. Supported by virtual reality or mobile devices, location aware systems deliver information that is relevant for a specific location. Research questions and hypotheses formulated under the assumption that location aware systems are better prepared to contextualize and make information memorable are explored using a planned comparison repeated measures 3 (2 treatment; 1 control) x 3 (pre-test, post-test, one week post-test) design. The results indicate that information acquisition in location-aware systems is just as powerful as that facilitated by search engines and that information recall (after 1 week) of facts is superior when using location-aware systems. The findings reinforce and extend dual coding theory suggesting that spatial and three-dimensional indexing can be one of the channels used in indexing and recalling information. The results also indicate that location-aware applications are a promising technology for distributing information in general and for learning in particular.
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New communication technologies capable of delivering information when and where we need it have emerged over the past decade (Yang, Okamoto, & Teng, 2008). These tools promise a radical shift in learning strategies by overcoming the current limitations imposed by search engines (Weiler, 2005). Location aware and augmented reality applications powered by mobile devices, such as Wikitude (, of which only one dealt with spatial learning in an explicit way (Kim et al., 2009).

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