Infret: Enhancing a Tool for Explorative Learning of Information Retrieval Concepts

Aleksandar Bobic, Justin Filippou, Christopher Cheong, France Cheong, Christian Gütl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


To help students better understand abstract information retrieval (IR) concepts and encourage students to explore new concepts, an existing Web-based IR tool called Infret was enhanced. Based on the feedback from a previous evaluation, the need for additional IR concepts and user tracking functionality was identified. The expanded Infret version was evaluated in a class of experienced students who were studying an information search and retrieval course and a class of nov-ice students who were studying a database design and development course. Both groups were working in different learning environments and were given two sim-ilar text statistics-based learning activities and four term weighting-based learning activities. At the end of the activities, both groups completed a multi-part survey. The results indicate that the novice students were more inclined to explore unre-lated IR concepts after using Infret. Additionally, both groups agreed that explor-ing the concepts using visualisations helped them more than just calculating the formulae manually. Furthermore, the results show that Infret successfully helps students understand concepts of text statistics and term weighting and was seen as useful by most students. The average system usability score (SUS) for the ex-perienced students was 69.8 and for novice students 57.7. These results indicate that Infret supports exploration and helps students get a better understanding of concepts, however, further improvements are required.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Engineering Education
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL2019)
Number of pages12
VolumeVolume 1
ISBN (Electronic)
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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