Title: Concept mapping instrumental support for problem solving

Authors: Slavi Stoyanov, Piet Kommers

Addresses: Open University of the Netherlands, OTEC, P.O. Box 2960, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Behavioural Science, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: The main theoretical position of this paper is that it is the explicit problem-solving support in concept mapping software that produces a stronger effect in problem-solving performance than the implicit support afforded by the graphical functionality of concept mapping software. Explicit problem-solving support activates cognitive functions such as knowledge representation, knowledge elicitation, knowledge reflection and knowledge creation. Concept mapping graphical instruction supports knowledge representation only. This paper reports on an experimental study that tests this assumption as measuring the effect of two types of concept mapping software on problem-solving performance, mapping production and perceived problem-solving effectiveness of 47 students randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. The results validated empirically the theoretical position as the group that used concept mapping software with explicit problem-solving support scored significantly higher on problem-solving performance and on the most of the indicators of mapping production and perceived effectiveness of concept mapping software.

Keywords: concept mapping software; problem solving support; knowledge representation; knowledge elicitation; knowledge reflection; knowledge creation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2008.016075

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2008 Vol.18 No.1, pp.40 - 53

Published online: 05 Dec 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article