Categorial abilities as a preconditions of schoolchildren’s queries during online search for educational information

Categorial abilities as a preconditions of schoolchildren’s queries during online search for educational information

Author: Miklyaeva A. Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia
online search, schoolchildren, educational activity, categorial abilities, search queries, simple search task, complex search task

Introduction. The presentation includes the results of an experimental study aimed at assessing the contribution the categorial abilities to the characteristics of search query formulations used by school students for educational online search. The categorial abilities are considered as the basic prerequisites for the effectiveness of educational activity. The ways of formulating search queries, on the one hand, are determined by the characteristics of the student’s cognitive activity, and, on the other hand, by the complexity of the search task. However, today it is unclear how these factors interact and what contribution they make together to the effectiveness of educational online search, which is considered as assimilation of the information.

Research question: What contribution do categorial abilities make to the formulation of such search queries that provide the effectiveness of educational online search in the situation of performing simple and complex search tasks?

Materials and methods. The experimental study involved 287 school students of 5th-9th grades. The students performed search tasks of varying complexity, similar to typical educational tasks for finding additional information. The search actions were recorded with the use of a video screen capture program. Search query formulation strategies were identified by the analysis of video recordings. The categorial abilities were assessed with the "Categorization" technique.

Results and discussion. We found two strategies for the formulation of search queries: direct formulations and clarifying formulations. Clarifying formulations are more likely to lead to assimilation of information, in comparison with direct formulations. The categorial abilities make a more significant contribution to the productivity of performing complex tasks, in comparison with simple ones.

Conclusions. The results of the study should be used for teaching school students the skills of effective online search.

Funding. The research is supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project No. 19-29-14005.


Russian Psychological Society



Federal Scientific Center for Psychological and Interdisciplinary Research,
Moscow, Russia


Psychology Department of MSU

Psychology Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University,
Moscow, Russia