Using concept maps to understand student learning in a compulsory volunteering subject in occupational therapy
Introduction: Concept maps help learners identify changes in the quality of their learning. Students in a compulsory volunteering subject were required to construct concept maps prior to the commencement and at the conclusion of a subject.
Method: Utilising two methods of analysis, cognitive structural analysis and quality of learning change, before- and after-subject concept maps of 14 students were contrasted to identify the changes in their learning from the beginning to the end of the subject. Two examples of concept maps were then selected for further description.
Results: The findings showed that there was considerable variation in the way students constructed their knowledge, and that prior knowledge was a significant influence in learning quality.
Conclusions: Concept mapping was identified as a useful teaching and learning tool for both students and academics. Students are able to monitor their evolving mastery of a topic, while academics may use concept mapping to explore expected learning outcomes.
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