Characterizing navigation in interactive learning environments

Hai Ning Liang, Kamran Sedig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Interactive learning environments (ILEs) are increasingly used to support and enhance instruction and learning experiences. ILEs maintain and display information, allowing learners to interact with this information. One important method of interacting with information is navigation. Often, learners are required to navigate through the information space of an ILE, a process which can be quite difficult and cognitively exacting as the information space becomes very large and complex. Proper design can make this process less exacting and, at the same time, facilitate better learning of the information space. However, this is not easy to do, especially for ILEs. Frameworks can assist in the effective analysis and design of interactive environments. However, there is lack of conceptual frameworks for guiding the analysis and design of navigation in ILEs. This paper tries to address this issue by presenting a framework which can be used to characterize navigation within ILEs. To create this framework, this paper brings together research from various disciplines, such as human-computer interaction design, educational multimedia design, cognitive technologies and learning sciences. This framework prescribes a three-stage process for designing and analyzing navigation: 1. content structuring; 2. information navigation modeling; 3. interface presentation structuring. By bringing these three stages together, it is intended to provide a conceptual framework to assist and guide designers in the proper analysis and design of navigation in ILEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-75
Number of pages23
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Design frameworks
  • Human-computer interface design
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Navigation
  • Navigation design

Cite this