Online concept maps in medical education: Are we there yet?
Background: Concept maps are widely used in education to promote meaningful learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Such maps are of particular interest within medical education because concept mapping is a form of active learning, which can foster the life-long learning medical students require to manage an ever- increasing body of knowledge.
Issues: Despite these benefits, the introduction of concept maps in curricula can often be met with resistance. To overcome this obstacle, providing varying levels of guidance, i.e., scaffolded versus self-constructed concept maps, may be more suited to novice and experienced students, respectively. Furthermore, immediate feedback (known to enhance student learning and motivation) is difficult and time-consuming to provide.
Conclusions: As such, future research into concept mapping would benefit from the development and validation of automated tools for their assessment. Although concept maps are effectively utilised within limited contexts in medical education, consideration of how they can be most effectively employed is needed.
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