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Educational Technology @ Department of Computer Science
Department of Computer Science in University of Joensuu

National Technology Agency of Finland(TEKES)
European Commission - Research Directorate

Novo Group Plc
Sordino Information Systems


Visualisation of the Learning Process Using Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is a versatile technique for many purposes. It can be used as an way to collect information about school course or a tool to plan the course it self. The possible ways to use it are uncountable.

The purpose of this research topic was to create a concept map editor (Fig. 1) that would be useful as a study planning tool. Of course, it could be used for other thing also, but the main point was to create a tool to support study planning.

The prototype created is basically just a concept map editor. One can draw nodes and arcs with it and edit the map as you want. Basically, if one thinks courses as nodes this works all ready as a planning tool. But, how to add data to courses? How to compare plans together?

Figure 1. Concept Map Editor (CME) 2

In this context, we noticed, that there is a need to have a lots of data behind the nodes. Just imagine, every course has name, a code number, some description, teacher, etc. Even the student herself might want to add some comments about the course. To fix this problem we extended the concept map a bit. In our implementation nodes have the name, of course, but also lots of other information about itself, namely the metadata.

The other problem we had was related to comparison of the concept maps. How the teacher would be able to compare students' plans or to compare teacher's plan against student's plan? We came up with the idea of concept map operations (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Example of an union operation

Concept map operations are related to set operations. We have implemented union, minus and intersection operations. The idea is just the same as in set operations. We compare the names of the nodes, and if they match, we consider these two nodes to be similar. Example of an union can be seen in Figure 2. These operations can also be presented as an animation.

Jussi Nuutinen,