Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

How Concept-Mapping Perception Navigates Student Knowledge Transfer Performance

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

How Concept-Mapping Perception Navigates Student Knowledge Transfer Performance

Article excerpt


In recent years, the development of information technology has led to rapid knowledge flow. People gain knowledge through a variety of ways. Consequently, knowledge management (KM) becomes increasingly more important for individuals to understand what information is essential, how to administer this essential information, and how to transform essential information into permanent knowledge.

Knowledge transfer (KT) is an important aspect derived from KM. KT takes place to the extent that an organization benefits from knowledge acquired at other organizations or in other parts of the same organization, and can improve the performance level of the organization (You, Li, & Yu, 2006). In practice, KT has been applied in different fields such as business (Darr & Kurtzberg, 2000) and biology (Schonborn & Bogeholz, 2009). KT, in general, is when experts in a field of study transmit their knowledge to younger generations. In a like manner, the transfer would also occur among people of the same generation. Our study focuses on KT in an educational context; in particular, we examine the impact of concept mapping (CM) on KT in a science lecture.

It is widely acknowledged that concept maps (CMs) have been used in many facets of education and training. CM has many advantages, including playing a multi-level tool role, scaffolding for cognitive processing, summarizing and organizing what has been learned, supporting collaboration, consolidating educational experiences, teaching critical thinking, improving achievements and interests of learning, etcetera (Adamczyk, Willison, & Williams, 1994; Chiou, 2008; O'Donnell, Dansereau, & Hall, 2002). Additionally, numerous studies indicate that CM is an effective learning strategy that precipitates meaningful learning for different learners in a variety of fields, such as science (Kinchin, 2001).

While much research has explored the relationship between CM and learning achievements, little research has focused on KT. Therefore, we investigated how students use CMs to achieve KT in an effort to provide valuable reference work for science education.

Literature review

The role of advanced organizers (AO) and graphic organizers (GO) in CM learning

Assimilation theory addresses the issue of using CMs to promote meaningful learning. The theory also explains how concepts might be accurately acquired and organized within a cognitive structure in learners through the use of a variety of teaching/learning strategies (Novak, 2003). Ausubel (2002) advocates the use of advanced organizers (AO) to foster meaningful learning, and he describes the role of AO in the progressive differentiation of learned concepts. Ausubel further states that the major goal of schooling is to foster development of schemas that learners can use to acquire other relative information and to stimulate integrative reconciliation in the process of acquiring knowledge. Through AO, integrative reconciliation occurs in the consciousness of learners who perceive that learned concepts are related or not related.

In order to improve meaningful learning, the content to follow should be well organized. The schema production should be under guided advice of teachers. It requires teachers and students to monitor their thinking and learning in traditional classroom settings. However, the advent of various multimedia in which a broad range of possible elements can be used has given rise to modern AO in computer-based or web-based learning contexts (Brabec, Fisher, & Pitler, 2004; Langan-Fox, Platania-Phung, & Waycott, 2006; Mayer, 2003; Vekiri, 2002). Graphic organizers (GO) form a powerful visual picture of information and allows the mind to "see" patterns and relationships. GO can help motivate, increase recall, assist understanding, create interest, combat boredom, and organize thoughts (Robinson & Kiewra, 1995). AO, along with GO, appear to be constructed in the form of text passages, graphical representations, and maps, which are commonly used in some commercial computer applications, such as FreeMind. …

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