Concept Mapping to Promote Meaningful Learning at the Community College Level

Concept Mapping to Promote Meaningful Learning at the Community College Level

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This concurrent, mixed method study explored the effectiveness of concept mapping and collaborative groups in promoting understanding of ecology at the community college level. The research problems being addressed included students' need to meaningfully understand the relevance of human's effects on the environment and teachers' needs to find engaging, active strategies that promote permanent integration of knowledge by their pupils. The key research questions investigate group versus individual map construction and its effect on understanding and map quality improvement. Prior research shows conflicting conclusions related to mapping and group success and very little research has been conducted looking at map quality through practice. Students from two sections of human ecology were assessed of their ecology understanding by a pre- and posttest design over a semester and also first and last concept maps were collected and assessed. The study results showed no statistically significant difference (using a t test) between (a) posttest scores of students individually constructing maps compared to students who constructed in groups and (b) map quality from beginning to the end of the semester between the individual and group constructors. During the data analysis, all students collectively showed a significant improvement from pre- to posttest scores. Improved quality of maps constructed from the beginning to the end of the semester of all students was not supported quantitatively, but the qualitative analysis showed some overall improvement. Social change will come from providing accurate knowledge for students to use for decisions related to environmental problems and by creating more critical thinkers because of a variety of learning strategies in schools, as well as teachers' increased use of concept mapping for improved student learning.This study purposefully selected the subject area of ecology linked with both concept mapping and cooperative learning. First, so that the community college students as young adults are aware and understand the interrelationships and complexity of humans, including themselves, with the eartha#39;s ecosystems, which can effectively be done using concept mapping. ... described graphic organizers as a€œvisual representations that are added to instructional materials to communicate theanbsp;...

Title:Concept Mapping to Promote Meaningful Learning at the Community College Level
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008


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