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The Universality and Ubiquitousness of Concept Maps

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Concept Maps: Making Learning Meaningful
Proc. of Fourth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping
J.Sánchez, A.J.Cañas, J.D.Novak, Eds.
Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010
THE UNIVERSALITY AND UBIQUITOUSNESS OF CONCEPT MAPS
Joseph D. Novak & Alberto J. Cañas
Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), USA
www.ihmc.us
1 Introduction: The Origins and Evolution of the Concept Mapping Tool
1
The concept map was developed as a response to the necessity by Novak’s research group at Cornell University in
the early 1970s to find a better way to represent childrens conceptual understandings and to be able to observe
explicit changes in the concept and propositional structures that construct those understandings, as part of a 12-year
longitudinal study following a 2-year instructional period using audio-tutorial instruction in grades one and two
(Novak, 1972). The research program was based on Ausubel’s (1963, 1968) Assimilation Theory of cognitive
learning, and an emerging constructivist epistemology that viewed knowledge as a human creation involving the
construction on new concepts and propositions through the process of high levels of meaningful learning, as
described by Ausubel, and Novak’s Human Constructivist epistemology (Novak, 1993, 1998). While we found
structured interviews to be useful in capturing children’s understanding, it was difficult to discern specific changes
in the children’s concept and propositional ideas as they progressed through schooling. Working with a talented
group of graduate students, Novak and his colleagues came up with the idea of transforming interview transcripts
into a hierarchically arranged set of concepts and propositions representing the knowledge expressed in the
interview. Mapping a child’s interview transcript often revealed ambiguities not seen previously that required more
careful listening to the interview tape to discern additional cues for the child’s thinking. Thus was born the concept
map tool for representing human knowledge.
1.1 Expansion of the Use of Concept Maps in Education
Graduate students in Novak’s research group soon discovered that concept maps were not only useful to transcribe
the children’s’ interviews, but helped them become better learners. It became increasingly apparent that meaningful
learning was the most important factor in building powerful knowledge structures, and by contrast, learning by rote
contributed little to building individual’s knowledge structures, nor does rote learning result in the remediation of
misconceptions held by learners. Novak found that the use of concept maps could help students learn how to learn
1
For a description of the origins of concept mapping see Novak & Cañas (2006).
Concept Maps: Making Learning Meaningful
Proc. of Fourth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping
J.Sánchez, A.J.Cañas, J.D.Novak, Eds.
Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010
meaningfully, and taught a course at Cornell University for 20 years to help students become better learners. This
course led to the book, Learning How to Learn (Novak & Gowin, 1984) now published in 9 languages.
During the 1980s concept mapping’s popularity flourished particularly within the education community, in
conjunction with Ausubel’s Assimilation Theory. Concept maps became a popular assessment tool, from elementary
school to graduate courses. However, concept maps were mainly drawn on paper by hand, which limited their use
since it would take a big effort to redo concept maps, and so they were seldom redrawn. The potential of the concept
mapping tool was not yet fully realized.
1.2 Concept Mapping meets the Internet & Corporations
Advances in graphical user interfaces and technologies in the 1990’s allowed the development of computer-based
concept mapping editors. But it was the development of concept mapping tools, such as CmapTools (Cañas, Hill, et
al., 2004), that leveraged the Web, multimedia and Internet that further expanded the use of concept mapping, not
only in terms of users but also the types of applications to which it applied and organizations that use it. These new
tools enabled the collaborative construction of concept maps, and publishing and sharing of concept maps on the
Web. The ability to easily link concept maps to other concept maps, and link different types of resources (images,
videos, texts, Web pages, etc.) to the maps allowed the construction of Knowledge Models (Cañas, et al., 2005)
enabling the representation of more complex domains and the development of a concept map-centered learning
environment: a New Model for education (Novak & Cañas, 2004).
In the 1990’s, Novak worked with R&D staff at Procter and Gamble and found that concept mapping not only
facilitated better organization of research team’s knowledge, but also facilitated creative work by the team. These
works are summarized in Learning, Creating, and Using Knowledge: Concept maps as Facilitative Tools in Schools
and Corporations (Novak, 1998). In all of this work the most fundamental idea is that meaningful learning not only
helps learners acquire more powerful knowledge structures, but it is also the means for the creation of new
knowledge.
The 2000’s have seen a continuous growth in the use of
concept mapping and in its applications. This growth is reflected
in the extensive participation and wide-ranging topics presented
at the Concept Mapping Conferences (Cañas & Novak, 2006a;
Cañas, Novak, & González, 2004; Cañas, Reiska, Åhlberg, &
Novak, 2008) and in the active Cmappers community (the
informal community of concept mappers around the world).
Figure 1 shows how CmapTools users connecting to
CmapServers cover large portions of the world.
2 The Universality of Concept Mapping
We know of no domain of knowledge where concept mapping
cannot be applied, and continue to find new applications for the
tool. In addition to the early use for assessing growth in
conceptual understanding and helping students learn
meaningfully, numerous other applications have appeared in the
last 30 years, and it is likely that additional useful applications
will be found for this tool in the future. We sketch below
examples of some of the newer applications for the concept map
tool.
2.1 Facilitating Meaningful Learning
Given its roots described above, it is not surprising that the most
prevalent application of concept mapping is in facilitating meaningful learning. Figure 2 shows a graph of the
number of downloads of CmapTools from the IHMC download Website (there are other means of obtaining the
Figure 2. Monthly downloads for CmapTools show peaks
when classes begin in the Northern and Southern
Hemisphere, and valleys when schools and universities are
on vacation.
Figure 1. CmapTools users throughout the world.
Concept Maps: Making Learning Meaningful
Proc. of Fourth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping
J.Sánchez, A.J.Cañas, J.D.Novak, Eds.
Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010
software which we have been encouraging lately, so this doesn’t show the total number of users). In addition to
showing the growth in number of downloads throughout the years, the graph also clearly depicts the peaks in
downloads during the months of February, March, August and September, when the school year begins in the
Southern and Northern Hemispheres, and valleys when most schools and universities are on vacation (July and
December). Clearly education seems to continue to be the main application of concept mapping.
In the Epigraph to his 1968 and 1978 books, Ausubel (1968; 1978) states:
If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: The most important
single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows, Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.
Simple as this may appear, it is profoundly difficult to ascertain precisely what a person already knows. In fact, it
was this problem that led us to the development of the concept map tool, as noted above. While it is difficult to
assess what an individual knows about a given topic or problem, it is even more difficult to assess precisely what a
study team or group knows. Here again we have found concept maps to be an expedient and effective tool. We have
also found it very important to define carefully the problem or issue to be addressed and to construct carefully a
“focus question” to guide the knowledge elicitation process. There is an iterative process between designing a focus
question, soliciting or searching for relevant knowledge, concept mapping that knowledge, and then perhaps refining
the focus question or asking more questions (Cañas & Novak, 2006b; Chacón, 2006) that has proven to be very
effective. This iterative process, supported with the tools provided by CmapTools such as collaboration and
searching for information relative to a concept map, has lead to the concept-map based learning environment’s New
Model of Education (Novak & Cañas, 2004). When concept maps are used as pretests and then employed with new
learning materials, research has shown that meaningful learning can be much facilitated (Al-Kunifred & Wandersee,
1990; Novak & Gowin, 1984; Novak & Wandersee, 1990).
The use of concept maps within education varies widely, from schools which have adopted our ideas and use
concept maps and CmapTools in all subjects and grades with extraordinary results like the Instituto de Educación
Integral in Costa Rica (Silesky & Badilla, 2008), to efforts to introduce concept mapping into public schools at a
country-wide level (Tarté, 2006) or having CmapTools installed in all computers delivered to schools for a whole
region (Garcia, 2010), but unfortunately also includes teachers that give the students pre-built concept maps to
memorize, or partially filled concept maps to “fill-in-the-blanks”. Overall, we have found that there is room for
improvement to take advantage of concept mapping’s full potential (Cañas & Novak, 2006b). However, it is clear
that concept maps are useful, and are being used, from pre-school to graduate school, research groups, corporate
learning and lifelong learning, and in any subject matter area. As examples we proceed to present some uses and
subject areas, without any intention of being complete or extensive, as most of the application in schools and
universities is not reported in the literature. References are samples of use, not comprehensive reports on each area.
Concept mapping has been shown to be effective when used as an assessment tool (Fischler, et al., 2002;
McGaghie, McCrimmon, Thompson, Ravitch, & Mitchell, 2000; Reiska, 2005; West, Pomeroy, Park,
Gerstenberger, & Sandoval, 2000) at all levels of education. When used with pre-school or elementary school
children, they also facilitate language learning and learning to read as well better ways to learn (Beirute, Brenes,
Cortés, García, & Meza, 2006; Cassata-Widera, 2009; Mancinelli, 2006). Elementary (primary) education is
probably the educational level where concept mapping is most popular and has received more attention in terms of
its effectiveness, with less reports found on use at the secondary/high school level. At all educational levels, science
seems to be the subject where concept mapping is applied the most (Heinze-Fry, 2004; Novak & Wandersee, 1990).
Concept mapping has been used less in mathematics, but within the last few years we have seen an increase it its use
as reported in Afamasaga-Fuata’i (2009). Additionally, concept mapping has been applied to reading comprehension
(Conlon, 2008; Iraizoz Sanzol & González, 2003) writing (Straubel, 2006), learning foreign languages (Bahr &
Dansereau, 2001; Marriott & Torres, 2008), as well as social studies (Chatterjea, 2008; Trygestad, 1997). At the
college level, concept mapping is used in a large variety or programs, including engineering (Darmofal, 2002;
Walker & King, 2002), nursing (Daley, 1996), biology (Henno & Reiska, 2008; Kinchin, 2000; Trifone, 2006),
chemistry (Shanze & Grüß-Niehaus, 2008), physics (Pérez, Suero, Montanero, & Pardo, 2004), medicine (Brüchner
& Sascha Schanze, 2004; Daley, et al., 2006), veterinary (Edmondson & Smith, 1996), psychology (Carnot &
Stewart, 2006), vocational education (Reiska & Ruohotie, 2008), business schools (Leauby & Brazina, 1998; Simon,
2007) and of course Schools of Education (Himangshu, Iuli, & Venn, 2008) among others, and we have seen large
collections of concept maps used in the learning of physical education, sports and music and art. Additionally,
Concept Maps: Making Learning Meaningful
Proc. of Fourth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping
J.Sánchez, A.J.Cañas, J.D.Novak, Eds.
Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010
concept mapping facilitates the integration of different curriculum subjects. At the graduate level, success is reported
in the use of concept mapping within research programs (Markham, Mintzes, & Jones, 1994; Okada, 2008; Wallace
& Mintzes, 1990). Training programs at organizations and corporations have also benefited from the use of concept
mapping (Bowen & Meyer, 2008; Trujillo, 2008).
Concept mapping is also used within the education community for curriculum development (Edmondson, 1995;
Heinze-Fry & Ludwig, 2006; Riesco, Fondón, & Álvarez, 2008). Across ages and subjects, concept mapping has
been proven to be an effective tool to engage students in collaboration and collaborative projects (Basque & Lavoie,
2006; Tifi & Lombardi, 2006; Torres & Marriott, 2010) as well as for distance learning (Dutra, Fagundes, & Cañas,
2004) and organizing learning content (Kumar & Saigal, 2005). Concept mapping has been used with dyslexic
students (Lami & Locatelli, 2008), students with hearing impairments (Peña, Bernal, & López, 2008), blind students
(Sánchez & Flores, 2010) and autistic children (Roberts & Joiner, 2007). Additionally, we have seen concept maps
created by home-schoolers in the IHMC CmapServers. For lack of space we won’t go into the numerous activities in
the classroom that can be supported through concept mapping.
It is clear that concept mapping has had a large impact on students, teachers, and educational systems all over
the world.
2.2 Knowledge Management
Much of the funding at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) for the development of CmapTools
came from US federal agencies who saw value in the use of concept maps to capture and archive expert knowledge
in a form that would be easy to use by others. In a sense, eliciting the knowledge from an expert and representing it
in such a way that its easily understood is not much different from assessing the knowledge of a school-age student.
Thus, the same tools and software are used to graphically express the knowledge of elementary school children and
of world-class experts.
These efforts have resulted in several projects, both at IHMC and by others, that show the feasibility of using
concept maps to capture and archive knowledge. The first such effort was NUCES (Ford, Coffey, Cañas, Andrews,
& Turner, 1996), an expert system to aid in the diagnosis of heart diseases. Other such systems, based on knowledge
engineers interviewing experts (Coffey & Hoffman, 2003) include El-Tech, which demonstrated the approach was
feasible with Navy technicians (Coffey, et al., 2003), STORM-LK, which modeled weather forecasting in the Gulf
of Mexico (Hoffman, Coffey, Ford, & Novak, 2006), and projects with power plant engineers (Coffey, Eskridge, &
Sanchez, 2004), among others. Concept mapping as a tool for knowledge elicitation has since been used by other
organizations, including the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI, 2007; Hanes & Ziebell, 2004). Barbara
Bowen of Sound Knowledge Strategies reports on the use of concept maps for team knowledge elicitation at public
health agency (Bowen, 2010) and Preciado et al. (2008) report on the use in the design of a competitiveness system.
Beyond knowledge elicitation, concept mapping’s use in organization has spread within other areas of knowledge
management, as reported by Henao et al. (2007) and Basque et al. (2004). Its important to note that eliciting
knowledge is not limited to professional or science experts. At the request of the Queen of Thailand, Hoffman and
his colleagues at IHMC prepared a prototype Knowledge Model dealing with Thai fabric design and creation.
Thailand has a long history of leadership in this area, many of its craftsmen are reaching old age, and the Queen
wanted to preserve this knowledge.
2.3 Other Business Applications
Beyond Knowledge Management, corporations and organizations worldwide are using concept mapping.
Unfortunately most of them are reluctant to share their experience and so reports of their use come from the
academic community or through informal communications. For example, Fourie & Westhuizen (2008) write on the
use of concept mapping for strategic alignment, Kyrö & Niskanen (2008) on the use in business planning, and
Dumestre (2004) on performing job task analysis. Concept mapping has been known to be used for requirements
elicitation and specification (Freeman, 2004) both during the development of computer system and for the
requisition and purchasing. This application is in line with the use reported by consultants where they use concept
maps as a means to agree with their customers on statements of work.
Concept Maps: Making Learning Meaningful
Proc. of Fourth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping
J.Sánchez, A.J.Cañas, J.D.Novak, Eds.
Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010
Concept maps have been reported to be used for project management, including project proposals and project
reports (Ramírez, Flores, & Barros, 2008). At IHMC we use concept mapping as a tool for capturing the results of
Blue Sky-type brainstorm and innovation meetings and as means to prepare the resulting reports, and we are aware
of their use for brainstorming and minute-taking at meetings in many organizations. In a similar application, concept
maps have been used to document software development and products.
Intelligence organizations in several countries use concept mapping as a tool in social networking, to keep track
of relationships between individuals, their locations, actions, contacts, etc. Unfortunately this use is classified. An
analogous use is that of investigative reporting by journalists, where concept mapping is used to track the
information about a case being investigated, keeping all journalists up-to-date, and for detecting missing links in the
information.
Other business applications have included the combination of concept maps or CmapTools with other software
as part of a larger system. Typical of this application is the use of concept maps as part of ontology or thesaurus
generation, where concept maps are used as a friendlier interface for users than the formal representation of an
ontology. Another such application is the combination of CmapTools with proprietary software developed by
MedTrack to provide Electronic Medical Records (EMR) that contain essential information for a given patient that
are complete and cover all aspects of the patient’s medical history and aftercare instructions (Helfgott, Brewer,
Novak, & Schanhals, 2010). Business applications of concept mapping are more prevalent than what the literature
tends to show. Moon et al. (to appear, 2010) contains additional applications of concept maps in organizations and
businesses.
2.4 Organizing & Navigating through Information
Concept maps have been known to be an effective tool to organize and navigate through large volumes of
information (Carnot, Dunn, Cañas, Graham, & Muldoon, 2001), and there are quite a few sites that use them for this
purpose. Perhaps the most extensive of such efforts was work done by Geoff Briggs at NASA Ames Research
Center to create an extensive knowledge model consisting of over 300 concept maps dealing with Mars and Mars
exploration (Briggs, et al., 2004), and which has extended to the rest of the Solar System. With a similar purpose,
concept maps have been used as a tool to design Websites.
Beirute & Mayorga (2004) have used concept mapping for conflict resolution, and Fraser (1993) found that
concept maps prepared by workers in computer sales, when shared between workers who had conflicts, quickly
resolved the conflicts, and this improvement in cooperation continued. This list of applications is by no means
exhaustive. There are personal uses of concept maps, such as planning a vacation, which we run into all the time
through personal communications or just by browsing through the CmapServers, as well as other educational,
business, and corporate uses. We have no doubt of the universality of the application of concept mapping.
3 On the Ubiquitousness of Concept Maps
Kinchin (2001) has asked why aren’t we all using concept mapping in the classroom, if they are so helpful. At the
closing session in Helsinki at CMC2008, the Third International Conference on Concept Mapping, Tom Conlon
questioned how many more papers we need to write showing positive results of the use of concept mapping in
different educational settings before we see a broader use of the tool in schools, and proposed that we ask ourselves
what needs to change (in the tool? in existing software?) before concept mapping is used more extensively.
We would like to broaden these questions to concept mapping in general. If concept maps are applicable to so
many domains and are used by people of all ages, why is it that we don’t “run into” concept maps more often? We
could argue that at any point in time, somebody somewhere in the world is busy constructing a concept map.
2
The
index of searchable concept maps at www.Cmappers.net is up to around 400,000 maps that have been made public.
Although this seems like a large number, it’s actually small compared to the total number of concept maps being
built using CmapTools. Browsing through these Cmaps shows that many of them are “test” maps, and a good
portion are maps constructed during workshops, practice maps, many of them incomplete. And although there are a
2
Based on the logs of public CmapServers at IHMC, where we can observe the rate at which Cmaps are being saved using CmapTools.
Concept Maps: Making Learning Meaningful
Proc. of Fourth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping
J.Sánchez, A.J.Cañas, J.D.Novak, Eds.
Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010
large number of well constructed, relevant, and interesting Cmaps, there should be more of them.
3
Apparently we
keep our good Cmaps to ourselves. Its understandable that a number of Cmaps within corporations need to be kept
private, but given the number of concept mappers worldwide, its likely there are a lot of good concept maps that are
not being shared and could be of use to others.
We should be seeing concept maps as explanations (illustrations) in books, papers, reports, proposals,
presentations, Websites, and all types of documents. However, we seldom find concept maps as explanations in
documents, we mostly find concept maps as examples in papers about concept mapping; and even within these
papers we don’t find concept maps as summaries or explanations of the paper itself. If we believe concept maps are
good for communicating ideas, why don’t we see more concept map-based presentations at the Concept Mapping
Conferences?
When textbooks make reference to concept mapping, they mostly provide exercises consisting of a concept map
with some blank labels for some concepts for students to fill-in the blanks, which is probably one of the worse uses
of concept maps in the classroom.
4
Textbook exercises dont use concept maps as a means of integrating content,
building on a set of concept maps as the student progresses through the chapters.
It seems that Cmappers are not using concept maps for “communicating” or sharing their knowledge. There
may be several reasons for this. First, people may not be very secure about their concept maps, and even though they
may be building them when preparing documents, reports, etc., they prefer not to include them in their final work.
Second, users may use concept mapping as a way to organize their thoughts but never “finalize” their concept maps
to the point where they can be published. Third, the technology available may not be flexible enough to make the
concept maps more ubiquitous. Even though software like CmapTools make it easy to export Cmaps as images,
PDFs, or Web pages, and to publish them on the Web, the integration into popular software packages like Microsoft
Office, Wikis, Blogs, Facebook and Moodle might increase their visibility. Last, constructing concept maps is not
easy it requires effort to build a good map, which may lead to users opting not to build concept maps because of
the time required.
As an initial step, we propose that the papers submitted to future Concept Mapping Conferences should include
a concept map instead of a text Abstract. We have begun by including a Cmap in lieu of an Abstract in this paper.
We encourage the Cmappers community to be more forthcoming in the use of concept maps. The universality of the
application provides numerous opportunities to use the concept maps, and showing the use of the tool through good
concept maps is a way of educating the general public on its use.
4 Summary
The examples given above illustrate some of the broad range of activities related to learning, creating, and using
knowledge for which concept maps can serve a useful, productive, and facilitative role (Novak, 1998, 2010). Over
the years it has been demonstrated that concept maps can be used from pre-school to research laboratories and
corporations for any subject matter. Each year we see new applications of this tool and new possibilities that need to
be explored. Bush (1945) characterized science as an endless frontier. We see applications for the concept map tool
as also an endless frontier.
Regarding the lack of ubiquitousness of concept maps, one could see the current status as encouraging or
discouraging. Considering the humble beginnings for the use of this tool to monitor changes in children’s
understanding of basic science concepts to the many application we report here, one could conclude that great
progress has been made. However, when one looks at all the human activities that deal with knowledge that could
benefit from the use of this tool, the percentage of the world population employing the tools is small. There is much
work to be done to “spread the word” and we invite all readers to join in this effort.
3
The Cmappers search only retrieves Cmaps with a high topological taxonomy value, assuming these maps will be of higher interest.
4
When Cañas met with a textbook publisher to explain why these type of exercises were not recommended, the publisher indicated they
understood. Instead of changing the exercises they changed the term “concept map” for “map” and the exercises appeared in the next printing.
Concept Maps: Making Learning Meaningful
Proc. of Fourth Int. Conference on Concept Mapping
J.Sánchez, A.J.Cañas, J.D.Novak, Eds.
Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010
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... Meaningful learning is the central idea of Ausubel's Learning Theory, defined as a process in which new information is related to an existing one present in the cognitive structure and, from this point of view, creativity is seen as a result of the higher level of meaningful learning, and the creation of new knowledge in a constructive process that involves knowledge and emotions 4 . The mechanical learning is the process of learning in which the student memorizes the information without giving meaning to it. ...
... The former are usually represented within squares and the relationships by lines that connect them, which are important to show what was understood from the relationships between concepts. CMs are characterized by their hierarchical structure, their ability to seek and characterize new crosslinks and by specific examples that help to clarify the meaning of a particular concept 4 . ...
... 101). The connection with the Novak's Educational Theory is done with the condition of meaningful learning, in which the learner must be willing to acquire meaningful learning 4 . ...
Article
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The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of an instructional planning based on assumptions of the meaningful learning, from principles of Joseph D. Novak’s Educational Theory, using concept maps and other teaching resources in the learning of concepts in physical education classes. Students made a pre-and post-intervention concept map. The analysis of the results showed that there were improvements in the concept maps’ quality and in the understanding of concepts related to the Olympic Games, organized under the Educational Theory principles of Novak and that new teaching and learning tools should be part of physical education classes.
... Дж.Д.Новак и А.Канас (Novak & Cañas, 2010) отмечают успешный опыт применения карт концептов для решения задачи описания и оценки структуры знаний учащихся в различных предметных областях. Анализ карт концептов, построенных обучающимися, позволяет выявить текущий уровень знаний в предметной области, соотнести его с эталоном (целями обучения). ...
... Анализ карт концептов, построенных обучающимися, позволяет выявить текущий уровень знаний в предметной области, соотнести его с эталоном (целями обучения). Многие исследователи (Cañas, 2003;Mühling, 2017;Novak & Cañas, 2010) указывают на высокий уровень достоверности и надежности информации об учащемся, получаемой в результате анализа карт концептов. ...
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The concept of "educational map", as well as a number of related concepts such as "concept map", have been the subject of numerous studies in the field of pedagogy over the years. They are a tool for describing and analyzing the knowledge of a specific student at a specific point in time. Recently, there has been interest in the problem of generalization and aggregation of information contained in separate individual maps. The concept of "Concept Landscape" was proposed as an approach to solving this problem (Mühling, 2017). However, this concept is focused exclusively on the analysis of the knowledge structure of a group of students. Accordingly, the problem arises of finding a more general and more universal tool that allows us to organically fit aggregated educational maps into the structure of the digital educational environment. We propose to consider this environment as a context that unites all possible educational maps. In accordance with the proposed approach, by the educational landscape we mean the result of the aggregation of several educational maps, united by the digital educational environment as a common context. We also set ourselves the task of identifying technologies for the aggregation of educational maps. We consider superposition, inclusion and absorption as such technologies and disclose the content of these operations in our article. We also establish the main form of the formal description of the educational landscape - a graph with colored vertices and edges. We propose a five-component algorithm for constructing and processing an educational landscape and describe the content of all its stages in the article. In our study, we also give an answer to the question about the role of the educational landscape within the digital educational environment. This role is, in our opinion, multifactorial. The main factors include: the formation of a space of possible individual learning trajectories; analysis and forecasting of the group dynamics of knowledge and skills of students; creation of a tool for supporting the design of an digital educational environment.
... Estas relaciones sistémicas se representan tanto en su contenido, que serían los conocimientos científicos que explican la realidad con carácter histórico-concreto, como en su forma de estructuración. La organización sistémica se refiere así al patrón de relaciones que definen los estados posibles para un sistema determinado en diferentes niveles jerárquicos (Lemos, 2008;Novak & Cañas, 2010). ...
... La presencia de Mapas Conceptuales en formato electrónico y en movimiento dentro de la Concepción Didáctica fueron empleados como instrumento de exploración de las concepciones alternativas que poseen los estudiantes acerca de los conceptos, y permitieron recolectar información sobre las aproximaciones que se tienen, de aquello que es aceptado por la comunidad de especialista sobre PAIDEIA XXI los mismos (Novak & Cañas, 2010;Mendonça, 2013;Latin et al., 2016;Ameyaw & Kyere, 2019). ...
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This research proposes and validates a new Didactic Conception with an ecosystem approach for the teaching - learning process of the zoology of the chordates in the third year of the Regular Day Course, of the Bachelor Degree in Biology Education of the Faculty of Media Education "Félix Varela Morales" of the Central University "Marta Abreu" of Las Villas, Villa Clara, Cuba. The information for the diagnosis is obtained from the application of different empirical methods such as surveys, interviews, observation and review of documents. The Didactic conception is based on the Historical - Cultural Theory of LS Vygotsky and his followers, in which an ecosystem approach and confrontation to climate change is demonstrated, which, from its implementation in the aforementioned race, allows students to become even more aware of the imperative need to conserve biological diversity, as well as developing intellectual, practical and computer skills in them. To put this concept into practice, a new program was developed for the study of the zoology of the chordates with the textbook "Zoology of Chordates" using an ecosystem approach, a system of virtual practical classes for the study of external and internal morphology of different vertebrates never before introduced, and a collection of concept maps in electronic format. The new Didactic Conception is submitted for evaluation at the discretion of experts and was implemented in the academic courses 2017 - 2018 and 2018 - 2019, with satisfactory results.
... Concept mapping, an effective approach to externalising knowledge structure, may take different learning forms. Even though a typical use of concept maps is presenting learners with concept maps constructed by experts, there is a wide consensus that concept maps can be either studied or created in different forms to aid learning (Adesope & Nesbit, 2013;Cañas & Novak, 2012;Liu, 2014;Novak & Cañas, 2010). For instance, Nesbit and Adesope (2006) recognised constructing, modifying, and viewing concept maps as three ways to learn with concept mapping and derived effect sizes for constructing and studying maps (g ¼ .819 ...
... Chang et al. (2001) might be the first to compare the effectiveness of the constructive partial (fill-in-the-blank) and complete concept mapping and found that the partial concept mapping had a better effect on learning than complete concept mapping. Nevertheless, Novak and Cañas (2010) recommended against using only partial concept mapping for substantial learning. In spite of the disparity in findings and recommendations, this line of research has been relatively stagnant since. ...
Article
There is widespread evidence showing that concept maps are effective for learning. However, little is known about the effects of various concept map activities. We conducted an experiment to examine the comparative effectiveness of three concept map activities: (i) translating a complete map to a paragraph format, (ii) filling in concepts in a partial map, and (iii) filling in labels in a partial map. Undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory general chemistry course were randomly assigned to the three groups. Each concept map depicted the relationships between concepts on the topic of reaction enthalpy. Results showed that the map-translation group significantly outperformed the fill-in-concepts and fill-in-labels groups in conceptual understanding indicated by open-ended questions while there were no significant differences among the three groups in conceptual understanding indicated by multiple-choice questions. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Se concuerda con (Lemos, 2008;Novak & Cañas, 2010) que el carácter armónico de la concepción hace que se combine en ellas lo conceptual con las características de los objetos o fenómenos que se representan en la naturaleza y fuera de ella, de ahí, que se ponga en primer plano el estudio de las interacciones entre las partes y entre éstas y el entorno. Estas relaciones sistémicas se representan tanto en su contenido, que son los conocimientos científicos que explican la realidad con carácter histórico-concreto, como en su forma de estructuración. ...
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... When learners complete a partially completed map, they are involved in the process of generative learning. This cognitively demanding process requires learners to actively select relevant information to create nodes, organise relationships between nodes via links, and integrate the new information with their prior knowledge to achieve full comprehension (Mayer, 2014;Novak & Cañas, 2010). By organising and integrating new information with existing knowledge, learners begin to generate new coherent mental representations (Mayer, 2014). ...
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... Recently, concept maps have broadly been the research basis in different scientific fields, and studies have depicted the positive effect of concept maps on meaningful learning (Novak & Cañas, 2006, Novak, 2010. Also, Kalhor and Shakibaei (2012) investigated the effect of teaching English reading comprehension to Iranian students through concept mapping. ...
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This chapter reveals how concept mapping has provided insight into learner thinking and progress since 1972. Despite its broad appeal, however, concept mapping has not yet reached ubiquity as a technique for assessment-primarily due to several challenges of implementation and limitations on further innovation of the original approach. In its 50th anniversary, a critical question remains: How can the process of concept mapping as a data collection technique enable the assessment of cognitive structures so that teaching may proceed accordingly, at scales that create genuine benefit? This chapter aims to answer this question by highlighting four challenges and presenting innovations designed to overcome them that have resulted in compelling findings and the development of a software tool to enable large-scale assessment based on concept mapping.
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