Interactive knowledge networks for interdisciplinary course navigation within Moodle
Advances in Physiology Education
Scherl A, Dethleffsen K, Meyer M. Interactive knowledge networks for interdisciplinary course navigation within Moodle. Adv Physiol Educ 36: 284 -297, 2012; doi:10.1152/advan.00086.2012.-Web-based hypermedia learning environments are widely used in modern education and seem particularly well suited for interdisciplinary learning. Previous work has identified guidance through these complex environments as a crucial problem of their acceptance and efficiency. We reasoned that map-based navigation
... ap-based navigation might provide straightforward and effortless orientation. To achieve this, we developed a clickable and user-oriented concept map-based navigation plugin. This tool is implemented as an extension of Moodle, a widely used learning management system. It visualizes inner and interdisciplinary relations between learning objects and is generated dynamically depending on user set parameters and interactions. This plugin leaves the choice of navigation type to the user and supports direct guidance. Previously developed and evaluated face-to-face interdisciplinary learning materials bridging physiology and physics courses of a medical curriculum were integrated as learning objects, the relations of which were defined by metadata. Learning objects included text pages, self-assessments, videos, animations, and simulations. In a field study, we analyzed the effects of this learning environment on physiology and physics knowledge as well as the transfer ability of third-term medical students. Data were generated from pre-and posttest questionnaires and from tracking student navigation. Use of the hypermedia environment resulted in a significant increase of knowledge and transfer capability. Furthermore, the efficiency of learning was enhanced. We conclude that hypermedia environments based on Moodle and enriched by concept map-based navigation tools can significantly support interdisciplinary learning. Implementation of adaptivity may further strengthen this approach.