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Effects of Applying the Site Map Principle in an Online Learning Environment in Higher Education

, , , , IT, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department, Open University of Catalonia, Rambla del Poblenou 156, Barcelona 08018, Barcelona, Spain, Italy

iJET Volume 10, Number 7, ISSN 1863-0383 Publisher: International Association of Online Engineering, Kassel, Germany


Web interfaces play a very important role in teaching-learning processes in virtual environments, since this is how students carry out their activity. This paper describes a web interface for online learning based on a graphic map that orients learners, tries to reduce cognitive overload, gives access to learning resources and personalizes learning. The interface was designed to guide the learning process in accordance with Shapiro’s “site map principle”. The objective of this article is to analyze the impact of such web interface on students' satisfaction with the learning process and on their academic performance. We conducted experimental research. The experiment tested the goodness of the interface among students enrolled in a Multimedia Degree in an open university. We used the T-Test, the Chi-square Test and the Kendall correlation Test. The results showed that the interface had a positive impact on students’ satisfaction and performance. It also encouraged students to take a more proactive role in their learning activity than with the “normal” interface. These results are in keeping with the features the site map principle has shown in face-to-face environments.


Porta Simó, L., Beneito-Montagut, R., Melenchón Maldonado, J. & Marín-Amatller, A. (2015). Effects of Applying the Site Map Principle in an Online Learning Environment in Higher Education. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 10(7), 31-38. Kassel, Germany: International Association of Online Engineering. Retrieved January 19, 2020 from .