BUILDING CONCEPT MAPS USING KIDSPIRATION: AN EVALUATION QUESTIONNAIRE
, E. Vemmou2
1University of Crete (GREECE)
25th Primary School of Vrilissia (GREECE)
Concept maps are a special form of a diagram for exploring knowledge and gathering and sharing information. A concept map consists of nodes or cells that contain a concept, which are linked together with lines or arrows. Links could be one-way, two-way or non-directional. Building a concept map contributes to the teaching process as a mean for the teacher to organize the content of his/her lesson, as a means to present his material to learners as an evaluation tool and as a tool to emerge and record learner’s representations. Concept mapping could be also a tool for measuring conceptual change that occurs in learners’ knowledge, perceptions and attitudes throughout a teaching intervention.
Kidspiration is a concept mapping software that belongs to the qualitative modeling environments. ICT have to a great extent helped concept mapping with the development of concept mapping tools which are also known as semantic networking tools. Concept mapping tools belong to the ICT mindtools, which are tools that engage learners in higher order thinking.
In our paper we present a questionnaire that aims to explore Kidspitarion’s technological features and some questions regarding them are raised. Finally, we suggest an evaluation questionnaire for Kidspiration, which is addressed to teachers and is based on the principles of technological evaluation of educational software. System requirements, the task environment, map features, edit-drawing features, templates and import/export features are thoroughly examined by our questionnaire.
Our proposal for the evaluation of Kidspiration could be used as a self-evaluation tool of its usability by the teacher himself/herself, but it could also become a research tool for a further exploration of Kidspiration’s technological features. Moreover, our proposed evaluation questionnaire could be used to compare the technological features of other concept mapping and mind mapping tools in order to help the teacher to select the one that has the technological features which best serve his/her educational and teaching goals.