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* University of Missouri -Columbia 1 :: 2 :: 3
   

University of Missouri-Columbia 2

Project: Concept Map / Semantic Network

Activity 1: Useful Articles for Concept Maps/Semantic Network

Concept maps, also known as semantic networks, are graphical organizers. These spatial representations of concepts and their interrelationships are intended to represent the knowledge structures that we store in our minds.

In addition, concept maps or graphical organizers can be a useful and integrative tool that you might use with your own students. Having your students create their own semantic networks can fit into your teaching plans in many ways. Students can use their ever-growing concept maps as a way to synthesize and organize the material they learn from multiple classroom activities. Students can develop concept maps individually, or in groups. And you as a teacher can examine students' networks to uncover misconceptions regarding content.

Please visit following websites and read articles to understand the underlying theories of concept maps/semantic network and their applications.

Activity 2: Learning from Other Teachers' Experience of Using Concept Maps

Go to the Knowledge Innovation for Technology in Education (KITE) case library and search for cases in which teachers have used concept maps with their students. Go to http://kite.missouri.edu and click on the Technology Integration Library banner. Use the SuperSearch option to search for cases. Click on the Lookup button for "Technologies used in Lesson" and select "Concept mapping". Look through 3~5 cases that result from the search for how other teachers have used concept maps with their students.

Discussion: Concept Map

Discuss your cases based on the following questions.

  • What are the purposes and value of using a concepts map in your cases?
  • How are those cases similar and/or different?
  • How could you improve those cases based on findings from other cases?

Activity 3: Creat Your Own Concept Maps

Your goal in this assignment is to create a concept map (semantic network) in a discipline area of your choice. Concept maps, also known as semantic networks, are graphical organizers. These spatial representations of concepts and their interrelationships are intended to represent the knowledge structures that we store in our minds.

Download 30-day free trial of the software called "Inspiration" from http://www.inspiration.com for creating your own concept maps. If you teach early childhood aged children, you may want to use "Kidspiration", available on the same web site. Learn to use your software package. Answers to frequently asked questions are available through Inspiration's tech support page at http://www.inspiration.com/techsupport/. The SWAT team tutorial at University of Missouri is at http://tiger.coe.missouri.edu/~swat/handouts.html.

Make sure you create a network that is complex and complete. Be sure to refer to the criteria below by which your network will be assessed. In addition to the map, write a reflection statement (your statement should be one page in length, single spaced) what you have learned and how you plan to use concept maps in the future with your students. When finished, save your files as YOURLASTNAME_Cmap and YOURLASTNAME_CmapReflect and upload the project in the discussion board (Or follow your instructor's guideline about submission.).

Concept Map Guidelines

Your network should:

  • Include between approximately 40 and 100 concepts (nodes).
  • Contain appropriate descriptive links between nodes (short phrases or specific/descriptive words showing the relationship between concepts). Do not repeatedly reuse the same link; construct a variety of links that describe the unique relationship between specific nodes.
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated, adult understanding of the concepts and their interrelationships like an expert's understanding.
  • Optionally include images to promote a deeper understanding by the reader of your map.

The "mediocre" concept maps relie heavily on "are characteristic of" and "is attribute of" as linking phrases. These phrases do not precisely and/or accurately describe the relationship between concepts in many cases. While they are valid linkages, you should strive for specific, unique, descriptive words/phrases to represent relationships (see Criteria section noted in #2 above).

Concept Map Rubric
  • Your work will be assessed based on the following criteria:
  • Contribution to small group discussion (active participation; quality and depth of thought in postings; timely postings and responses)
  • Short, informative description of the two cases you choose
  • Insightful, reasonable explanation of how constructivism is demonstrated in each of the two case studies

Concept Map Rubric

"A" range

  • Breadth of net: Map includes the important concepts and describes domain on multiple levels
  • Embeddedness and interconnectedness: All concepts interlinked with several other concepts
  • Use of descriptive links: Links succinctly and accurately describe all relationships
  • Efficient links: Each link type is distinct from all others, clearly describes relationship; used consistently
  • Reflection: Detailed reflection on the knowledge gained through the activity. Details are given about future plans for use of concept maps in the classroom.

"B" range

  • Breadth of net: Map includes most important concepts; describes domain on limited number of levels
  • Embeddedness and interconnectedness: Most concepts interlinked with other concepts
  • Use of descriptive links: Links are descriptive and valid for most relationships
  • Efficient links: Most links are distinct from others; discriminate concepts; present variety of relationships; used fairly consistently
  • Reflection: Some reflection about the knowledge gained with some description of how concept maps would be used in the future.

"C" range

  • Breadth of net: Important concepts missing and/or describes domain on only one level
  • Embeddedness and interconnectedness: Several concepts linked to other concepts
  • Use of descriptive links: Some links unclear or vague; some invalid or unclear
  • Efficient links: Several links are synonymous; don't discriminate concepts well; don't show a variety of relationships; used inconsistently
  • Reflection: Very little reflection with vague future use of concept maps.

"D" range

  • Breadth of net: Map includes minimum concepts with many important concepts missing
  • Embeddedness and interconnectedness: Few concepts linked to other concepts
  • Use of descriptive links: Links are vague; show inconsistent relationships
  • Efficient links: Most links synonymous or vaguely describe relationships and aren't distinct from other links
  • Reflection: Reflection does not provide any plans for future use of concept maps in the classroom.







 




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