A Constructivist Approach to Designing Computer Supported Concept-Mapping Environment

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Abstract

In the past two decades, there has been a proliferation of research activities on exploring the use of concept maps to support teaching and learning of various knowledge disciplines which range from science to language subjects. MindNet, which is a collaborative concept mapping environment that supports both synchronous and asynchronous modes of knowledge construction, is a Java-based client/server application with support for browser-based access. This article reports the findings of a study examining the interaction of teachers in a collaborative concept mapping environment. Forty two in-service secondary school teachers studying a postgraduate diploma in education in a local university were selected for this study. The study involved four weeks of the collaborative lesson planning and concept mapping activities. Each group was required to use MindNet as a collaboratively environment to design a set of lesson plans for teaching Pascal Programming. There are evidences from the evaluative study, indicating that the MindNet environment does enhance collaboration among participants. However, it is still early to know how the participants interact with such an environment, and what cognitive and social factors are conducive to effective knowledge co-construction. The researchers suggest that further research on examining the entire process of knowledge construction is necessary. (Contains 3 tables and 4 figures.)
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Instructional Media
Volume33
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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