WWW-intensive concept mapping for metacognition in solving ill-structured problems


Concept mapping is one of the most intimate and most dynamic learning support activities that needs still a drastic further evolution of methods and tools. WWW-based concept mapping gains momentum quite fast now and needs a solid reviewing of the various approaches and the empirical effects. This article bridges the technological advance of WWW-based concept mapping tools and its more recent effects on learning by problem solving. The results show that it added value manifests in the phases of idea generation and selection. The mapping approach caused a broader perception and a greater diversity of ideas. The conclusion is that further investments are needed to make WWW-based mapping more accessible and integrated in WWW-based learning management systems. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Stoyanov, S. and Kommers, P. (2006) 'WWW-intensive concept mapping for metacognition in solving ill-structured problems', Int. J. Cont. Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning, Vol. 16, Nos. 3/4, pp.297–316. Biographical notes: Slavi Stoyanov is with Educational Technology Expertise Centre at Open University of The Netherlands. He has a PhD degree on Instructional Technology from the University of Twente, The Netherlands. The professional interests of Stoyanov include domains such as cognitive mapping, learning to solve ill-structured problems, individual differences in learning, and people ware.

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    • "A well structured problem requires applications of a limited number of rules and principles within well defined parameters (Stoyanov 2006).Well structured problems provide convergent solutions. Ill structured problem proposes multiple solutions, multiple paths and contain uncertainty about concepts, rules, and principles which are necessary for solutions (Stoyanov 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of concept mapping strategy on the performance of the students in problem solving. The study was done on a sample of 84 third year undergraduate mechanical engineering students. The subject of the study was Internal combustion engines at a college of engineering of the University of Mumbai. The study used a pre-test and post-test quasi-experimental design method on a control group and an experimental group. Each group consisted of 42 students. The study was conducted over a six weeks period. The experimental group was taught the topic of Introduction to internal combustion engines with concept maps as a teaching-learning method. The control group was taught the same topic without the use of concept maps. The experimental group revealed two results. Firstly, adopting concept mapping strategy can significantly improve students’ performance in problem solving compared to using traditional teaching methods. There were significant differences favoring the experimental group for the well structured problem solving performance while there were no significant differences on ill structured problem solving performance. Secondly, most of the students were positive about using concept mapping strategy in an internal combustion engine course. They indicated that concept maps can help them to understand, identify the key concepts, and connect the various concepts.
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    • "In contrast, a simplification of the instructional arrangement for advanced learners may cause expertise reversal effect (Kaluga et al., 2003). Another issue related to learning to solve complex problem is that more attention is paid to the support for problem solving process, with the focus on problem solving phases, rather than to operational problem solving support, which emphasises on the use of concrete techniques and tools (Stoyanov and Kommers, 2006). The successful promotion of the idea of problem solving performance support depends very much upon the relevant operationalisation of this concept in practical instructional design solutions. "
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