Evolving Concept Maps as Instructional  Assessment Tools in Graduate Educational Psychology Courses

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. . Theoretical Framework. A Concept Map is a graphic representation that reflects one's understanding of how new concepts relate to one another and to a preexisting schema.CMs are used to communicate complex ideas and relationships, and to make the structure of domain specific knowledge explicit.

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Evolving Concept Maps as Instructional Assessment Tools in Graduate Educational Psychology Courses

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1. Evolving Concept Maps as Instructional & Assessment Tools in Graduate Educational Psychology Courses Michelle M. Buehl George Mason University Helenrose Fives Montclair State University

2. Theoretical Framework A Concept Map is a graphic representation that reflects one’s understanding of how new concepts relate to one another and to a preexisting schema. CMs are used to communicate complex ideas and relationships, and to make the structure of domain specific knowledge explicit. CMs facilitate Meaningful learning which takes place when “the learning task is related in a nonarbitrary and nonverbatim fashion to the learner’s existing structure of knowledge” (Ausubel,1977 p. 163).

3. Evolving Concept Maps Battle et al. (2003) Semester long evolving map for undergraduate students in an honors seminar on self-processes in human development. Defined A concept map that is treated as a work in progress. As new knowledge is constructed students add to and change their map.

4. Guiding Questions How can evolving concept maps be implemented and used in graduate level courses in educational psychology? What lessons have we learned in using and adapting this technique that can be of use to others? What are the pros and cons of using evolving concept maps?

5. Mode of Inquiry Self-study perspective (Bullough & Pinnegar, 2001 Specifically, we focus on our own actions, reactions, and dialogues regarding the creation, implementation, and use of evolving concept maps. Framed as a Case Study Descriptive (Yin, 1993) Intrinsic (Stake, 1995)

6. Context Helenrose’s Classes The Adolescent Learner Master’s level course required for students pursuing middle-level teacher certification Spring 2004, 2005 Michelle’s Classes Learning and Cognition Cross-listed as a Master’s and Doctoral course Summer, Fall 2004; Fall 2005

7. Data Sources Course Materials Syllabi Assignment Directions Assessment Rubrics Lecture Notes Student work and Instructor Feedback Students’ weekly maps and final papers Instructor feedback provided To individuals on assignments To the class in memo form Individual Reflections

8. Data Analysis Four-stage Reflective Analysis Stage 1: Independent Review Each gathered and reviewed all data Developed individual reflective and interpretative notes Stage 2: In-depth Discussion Shared findings from Stage 1 Identified broad emergent themes Stage 3: Examination of Themes Divided themes identified in stage 2 Each author examined data for supporting and non-supporting evidence Stage 4: Audit and Review Findings from stage 3 were shared Each audited the data and findings of the other.

9. Results Implementation Descriptions The Adolescent Learner, Helenrose Learning Theories and Cognition, Michelle Lessons Learned Meeting the Challenge of Teaching Educational Psychology Pros and Cons of using this Teaching Tool

10. The Adolescent Learner First Class Concept Mapping Introduced Theoretical Rational Offered Sample Maps Shared In Class Pair Mapping Activity In Pairs students read and mapped a section of an article on Adolescent Development. Gallery-walk of Maps Pairs shared their maps and mapping methods with class

11. The Adolescent Learner Assignment Weekly Concept Map & Explanation Papers 12 assigned, 10 assessed Expectations: select important constructs for inclusion on their map place constructs in meaningful locations on their maps make links across and among constructs included explain the significance of the constructs included rationalize the placement of constructs on the map explain any changes in the map from one week to the next. Final Assignment Weekly Map and Paper Archive Final Map Reflection Paper

12. The Adolescent Learner Rubric

13. The Adolescent Learner Management Weekly turn around time Formative Feedback Sensitive to creative nature of the Assignment Practical issues related to the evolving nature of the assignment. Solutions Sticky Notes Questions/suggestions Whole class feedback memos

15. Learning and Cognition Decision Viewed concept maps as a means to Address varying needs of masters and doctoral students Prior knowledge Writing abilities Help students recognize and appreciate the complexity of the information

16. Learning and Cognition 1st Endeavor Similar CM instruction and assignment organization Changes related to teaching a 5-week summer course Number of maps and papers Student receipt of feedback Minor adjustment to rubric based on student misunderstanding

17. Learning and Cognition 2nd Endeavor Students given terms to map Differentiated assignments by graduate level Masters students Weekly maps (12 assigned, 10 assessed) 2 application papers Doctoral students Weekly maps and explanation papers (12 assigned, 10 assessed) Delayed feedback

18. Learning and Cognition 3rd Endeavor Restructured assignment based on course enrollment, logistical issues, and student feedback Weekly maps 12 assigned, 10 assessed 2 pt rubric (Good, Fair, Inadequate/Missing) Unit maps 4 assigned and assessed 12 pt rubric Unit explanation papers (doctoral students only) 4 assigned, 3 assessed 12 pt rubric

19. Learning & Cognition Unit Rubrics

20. Learning & Cognition Unit Rubrics

21. Lessons Learned Need to tweak any instructional strategy and make it ones’ own E.g. Michelle’s muti-semester re-framing of the assignment Organizational aspects of instruction Late work Returning maps Class size: balancing between deep understanding and practical implementation. Using maps as Formative and Summative Assessment Technology generated maps

22. Meeting the Challenges of Complexity Students evolving maps helped them to understand the complex nature of educational psychology articulate their evolving understanding in meaningful ways Map construction required in-depth analysis of content and critical thinking skills Map Examples

25. Pros Use Concept Maps! Emphasizes students’ construction of meaning and making that explicit. Vast improvements in academic writing over the semester (Adolescent Development) Student ownership of learning and knowledge construction. Instructor awareness/access to student thinking and understanding throughout the semester.

26. Cons Don’t Use Concept Maps Time – for students Time for instructors Mapping abilities – representation of meaning

27. “Students who are required to make knowledge structures graphically explicit are forced to consider possibilities, construct new understandings, and think critically, all of which are essential to learning” (Jonassen, 1996).

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