Concept mapping in problem based learning: a cautionary tale

Alex H. Johnstone, Kevin H. Otis
2006 Chemistry education  
Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Concept Mapping (CM) have parallel purposes, both based on a constructivist view of learning. In a Faculty of Medicine, PBL and CM have been applied together as the main learning modes. This provided an opportunity to test several hypotheses about the interaction of CM and PBL. Among them were: (i) Students using CMs for their study and revision would perform better on their assessment tasks, than those who did not. This was supported, but not strongly. (ii)
more » ... strongly. (ii) Students with 'good' maps would do better than those with 'poor' maps. This was not supported. Many students with apparently 'poor' maps treated them as a sufficient set of keys to unlock very large databases and these students did well. Other students with 'poor' maps confessed to having a tenuous grip on their work and this accounted for the quality of their maps. This raises problems about using maps for assessment purposes. It may be that maps should be treated as very personal learning tools for the writer's eyes only, analogous to a personal diary which could be easily misunderstood by a reader. [Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2006, 7 (2), 84-95]
doi:10.1039/b5rp90017d fatcat:voavhb2ojba4tbusffte5lytee