Mapping knowledge to develop academic research in collaborative learning environments

Okada, Alexandra (2008). Mapping knowledge to develop academic research in collaborative learning environments. In: Concept Mapping: Connecting Educators, A. J. Cañas, P. Reiska, M. Åhlberg & J. D. Novak, Eds., pp. 516–523.



This paper describes four techniques of mapping knowledge through concept maps for developing inquiry-based research projects. This qualitative study based on participatory action research focuses on identifying benefits and difficulties of research students in applying these techniques in their academic investigations. The background for this work is based on collaborative learning environments (CLE) for engaging students in learning mapping techniques and software tools together, and sharing ways in which they can apply knowledge mapping to elaborate their inquiry-based projects. Quantitative data is also presented to describe the fieldwork: an online course, which was organized by the author. The participants were lecturers and research students from different countries: Brazil, United Kingdom and Portugal. This research group is now interacting in the CoLearn community in the OpenLearn project. Findings based on qualitative analysis of their research maps, discussion forum and learning diaries show some benefits and challenges of using concept maps for developing research projects.

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