Concept Maps and Short-Answer Tests: Probing Pupils' Learning and Cognitive Structure

Åhlberg, Mauri and Ahoranta, Vuokko (2008) Concept Maps and Short-Answer Tests: Probing Pupils' Learning and Cognitive Structure. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Third Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia, pp. 260-267. ISBN 978-9985-58-584-9

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The purpose of our research was to study what concept maps reveal about pupils’ learning compared to teacher- designed school achievement tests (short-answer questions). Twenty pupils (10–13 years), with ample of experience constructing concept maps, had projects in which they constructed a concept map at the beginning and end of a learning project. Achievement tests were used in the balanced statistical design of four replications. Twice the achievement test was presented after the concept maps and twice the achievement test was given between the concept maps. Nine of the student answers were transformed proposition by proposition into concept maps. The numbers of relevant concepts and propositions were used as measures of meaningful learning. The reliability varied 0.73–0.95. The mode of knowledge representation accounted for variation of measures of meaningful learning 45–89 per cent. (Eta squared coefficients varied from 0.45–0.89.) Individually, pupils had more relevant concepts and propositions in teacher-made tests than they were able to reveal by their own concept maps. By their self-constructed concept maps pupils reveal what they think are the most relevant items in their metacognition. When a teacher helps pupils by asking short questions, the same pupils always write statistically significantly more, and it is evident that they have learnt much more than revealed by their concept maps. They express partly different and complementary knowledge in concept maps and in teacher-made achievement tests. The result suggests that it would be wise for teachers to use both concept maps and short answer tests while monitoring and promoting their pupils’ learning.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2008
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2014 10:21
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2014 10:21

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