Vol.9, No.4, November 2020.                                                                                                                                                                           ISSN: 2217-8309

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        eISSN: 2217-8333


TEM Journal



Association for Information Communication Technology Education and Science

An Experimental Study Towards Investigating the Effect of Working Memory Capacity on Complex Diagram Understandability


Nergiz Sözen, Bilge Say, Özkan Kılıç


© 2020 Nergiz Sözen, published by UIKTEN. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Citation Information: TEM Journal. Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 1384-1395, ISSN 2217-8309, DOI: 10.18421/TEM94-09, November 2020.


Received: 02 October 2020.

Revised:   01 November 2020.
Accepted: 06 November 2020.
Published: 27 November 2020.




This study investigates whether working memory (WM) capacity affects the understandability of complex diagrams and if so, whether WM training has a positive effect on their comprehensibility. Two experiments were conducted with computer science students. In the first experiment, we collected eyetracking data while participants performed comprehension tasks on an activity diagram. In the second experiment, the participants completed WM training, before and after their comprehension scores were measured. The results showed that working memory capacity can positively affect the understandability of complex diagrams, but it provided no conclusive evidence for the effectiveness of working memory training.


Keywords –cognitive training, visual search, working memory capacity, diagram comprehension.



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