Technology-supported collaborative concept maps in classrooms
AuthorIslim, Omer Faruk
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This article explores how the use of concept mapping, with and without technology support, assists students in learning complex concepts to which they may have had limited previous exposure. Students were engaged in a group-based concept mapping activity, wherein they created two concept maps over the course of several weeks in a large lecture class. A quasi-experimental design was used in which students were randomly assigned to groups of three, and groups were randomly assigned to concept mapping condition: (a) using pencil/paper followed by using an iPad application or (b) using an iPad app followed by using pencil/paper. Concept maps were scored for complexity (correctness and elaborateness), and scores were compared within group and between groups across conditions (pencil/paper vs. iPad app). Results showed that concept maps did not differ in quality between conditions or across time. Moreover, there was no significant difference between examination scores of the students. Finally, content analysis was conducted on students' written evaluations of the pros and cons of concept mapping using pencil/paper and using the iPad app. Student evaluations indicated both pros and cons for each concept mapping condition.