Friday, October 17, 2014

Comparing two forms of concept map critique activities

Knowledge Integration Map (KIM)
Source: Wikipedia
Concept maps can be versatile tools for learning and assessment. However, evaluating concept maps can be challenging. What are effective ways to analyze concept maps?

I presented a paper at the 6th international conference on concept mapping in Santos, Brazil in October 2014 (See conference program with links to papers here). The paper introduces a new form of concept map, called Knowledge Integration Map (KIM). Different from Novakian concept maps, KIMs divide the drawing area into discipline-specific sections (see example above). Placing concept in these designated areas elicits how learners categorize these concepts and it highlights cross-links between sections. Cross-links can be seen as particularly interesting as they link concepts in different categories. 

The empirical study presented in the paper compares two forms of KIM activities implemented in biology classrooms. Concept  map  activities  often  lack  a  subsequent  revision  step  that  facilitates  knowledge  integration.  This  study compares two kinds of concept map critique activities embedded in an evolution unit: Student dyads in one group compared their concept maps against an expert map while dyads in the other group conducted a peer-review. Analysis of the concept maps suggests that both treatment groups significantly improved their understanding of evolution. However, the two groups developed different criteria: The expert-map group focused mostly on concept-focused criteria like concept classification while the peer-review group used more link-focused criteria like link labels and missing connections. This paper suggests that both critique activities can be beneficial to making more coherent connections across different topics in biology. 

The paper is available here (as PDF)The title of the paper is 'Comparing two forms of concept map critique activities to support knowledge integration in biology education'.

1 comment:

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