About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6096-6099
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

CONCEPT MAPS AS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR IMPROVING MEANINGFUL LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION

R. Martinez, P. Ruiz, D. Elche, M.P. Valencia, J. Rodrigo, A. Martinez

University of Castilla-La Mancha (SPAIN)
This study analyze the use of concept maps as a powerful tool for improving meaningful learning in the Degree of Business Administration. Concept maps are graphical charts used for relating concepts to show a visual picture of the degree of knowledge acquired by an individual or a group on a theme or specific area of knowledge. Using this learning technique is for complementing the didactic units, exercises, cases, practices and other activities of the subject. The active process in concept maps requires the student or students’ interaction, to play with the concepts and mainly they absorb the content. It is not a simple memorization, because the student should pay attention to the relationships between concepts. For this reason, the concept map is used as part of the continuous assessment of student. It is a tool that facilitates the development of an active learning process and complemented the other learning activities developed in the subject.

This experience study whether students have developed a meaningful learning with this technique. Then we propose the following hypothesis: “Students develop continuous activities throughout the subject, they get a better learning and therefore they have better scores in concept maps as more advanced is the subject”. To test this hypothesis we have conducted an empirical work. The study was conducted for a population of 74 students in the subject of Fundamentals of Business Administration, in the first course of the Business Administration Degree in the Faculty of Social Sciences in Cuenca. The sample of analysis consists on students who chose to be evaluated through continuous evaluation (60% exam and 40% continuous evaluation). Specifically, the sample consists of 16 groups between 3 or 4 students. These students realized in two sessions of 60 minutes, two concept maps in two different periods of time (at the middle of the semester and at the final of the subject). The first of the maps was made after the students finished the unit number 6 (of a total of 11 didactic units), when they had undertaken other activities in the continuous evaluation (numerical exercises, critical opinions, information search, intermediate test and firm cases). The previous week to the realization of the concept map was explained to the students in a session of 40 minutes, which is the concept map, what they were, how they built and what characteristics of the map were to be asses. It consists of 7 sequential steps: 1. Selection of the concepts, 2. Grouping the concepts according with a criteria of affinity, 3. Order the concepts of more abstract and general to more concrete and specific, 4. Write the concepts inside a geometrical figure as a node, 5. Connect through a sentence to give meaning to the link, 6. Check if the link provided is correct, 7. Reflect on the validity of the map built.

The results indicate that concept maps developed by the students at the end of the semester, showed a higher score in relation to the maps made at the middle of the course. These results also suggest that students through the experience with the concept maps improve their learning by linking new knowledge acquired with other concepts they previously had.
@InProceedings{MARTINEZ2011CON,
author = {Martinez, R. and Ruiz, P. and Elche, D. and Valencia, M.P. and Rodrigo, J. and Martinez, A.},
title = {CONCEPT MAPS AS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR IMPROVING MEANINGFUL LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {6096-6099}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Martinez AU - P. Ruiz AU - D. Elche AU - M.P. Valencia AU - J. Rodrigo AU - A. Martinez
TI - CONCEPT MAPS AS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR IMPROVING MEANINGFUL LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 6096
EP - 6099
ER -
R. Martinez, P. Ruiz, D. Elche, M.P. Valencia, J. Rodrigo, A. Martinez (2011) CONCEPT MAPS AS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR IMPROVING MEANINGFUL LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 6096-6099.
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