The comparative effect of individually-generated vs. collaboratively-generated computer-based concept mapping on science concept learning
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Using a quasi-experimental design, the researcher investigated the comparative effects of individually-generated and collaboratively-generated computer-based concept mapping on middle school science concept learning. Qualitative data were analyzed to explain quantitative findings. One hundred sixty-one students (74 boys and 87 girls) in eight, seventh grade science classes at a middle school in Southeast Texas completed the entire study. Using prior science performance scores to assure equivalence of student achievement across groups, the researcher assigned the teacherÃ¢ÂÂs classes to one of the three experimental groups. The independent variable, group, consisted of three levels: 40 students in a control group, 59 students trained to individually generate concept maps on computers, and 62 students trained to collaboratively generate concept maps on computers. The dependent variables were science concept learning as demonstrated by comprehension test scores, and quality of concept maps created by students in experimental groups as demonstrated by rubric scores. Students in the experimental groups received concept mapping training and used their newly acquired concept mapping skills to individually or collaboratively construct computer-based concept maps during study time. The control group, the individually-generated concept mapping group, and the collaboratively-generated concept mapping group had equivalent learning experiences for 50 minutes during five days, excepting that students in a control group worked independently without concept mapping activities, students in the individual group worked individually to construct concept maps, and students in the collaborative group worked collaboratively to construct concept maps during their study time. Both collaboratively and individually generated computer-based concept mapping had a positive effect on seventh grade middle school science concept learning but neither strategy was more effective than the other. However, the students who collaboratively generated concept maps created significantly higher quality concept maps than those who individually generated concept maps. The researcher concluded that the concept mapping software, InspirationÃ¢ÂÂ¢, fostered construction of studentsÃ¢ÂÂ concept maps individually or collaboratively for science learning and helped students capture their evolving creative ideas and organize them for meaningful learning. Students in both the individual and the collaborative concept mapping groups had positive attitudes toward concept mapping using InspirationÃ¢ÂÂ¢ software.
Kwon, So Young (2003). The comparative effect of individually-generated vs. collaboratively-generated computer-based concept mapping on science concept learning. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from