THE INSTRUCTIONAL EFFECTS OF PRIOR KNOWLEDGE AND THREE CONCEPT MAPPING STRATEGIES IN FACILITATING ACHIEVEMENT OF DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

Open Access
Author:
Wang, Charles Xiaoxue
Graduate Program:
Instructional Systems
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 14, 2003
Committee Members:
  • Francis M Dwyer Jr., Committee Chair
  • Barbara L Grabowski, Committee Member
  • Kyle Leonard Peck, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • concept mapping
  • prior knowledge
  • learning achievement
  • conept map
Abstract:
ABSTRACT <br><br>The purpose of this study was to explore the instructional effects of prior knowledge and three concept mapping strategies in facilitating achievement of different educational objectives. The three concept mapping strategies were concept matching, proposition identifying, and student-generated concept mapping. The instructional material used for the study was a 2,000-word expository text about the physiology and functioning of the human heart. The prior knowledge levels of the subjects were identified through a general physiology test. Achievement was measured by the identification, terminology, and comprehension tests and the total test. The criterion tests were designed to measure achievement of different educational objectives at factual, conceptual, and rules and principles levels and general academic performance of university undergraduate students. <br><br>The experimental population included 290 undergraduate students from a large comprehensive state university. The subjects completed the prior knowledge test, and participated in a 50-minute workshop on concept mapping one week prior to the experimental treatment. The experiment was conducted in a web-enhanced learning environment. The subjects browsed the given study website, interacted with the online learning material, and then, took the three criterion tests online and submitted the test results. The concept mapping activities were completed on paper. From four experimental treatments (T1: control, n = 42; T2: concept matching mapping, n = 50; T3: proposition identifying mapping, n = 44; and T4: student-generated concept mapping, n = 46), 182 sets of data were used for hypothesis testing by using MANOVA with the alpha level set at .05. <br><br>The findings include the following: <br><br>In examining the main effects of concept mapping, the three concept mapping strategies were found to be not equally effective in facilitating achievement of different educational objectives. Significant differences were found between concept matching mapping (T2) and the control group (T1) on all of the criterion tests. Significant differences were also found between student-generated concept mapping (T4) and the control group (T1) on the terminology and the total criterion tests. When comparing achievement of students receiving concept mapping strategies (T2, T3, and T4), insignificant differences were found to exist on all criterion measures. <br><br>Among the subjects identified as possessing low prior knowledge, concept matching mapping (T2) achieved significantly higher scores than the control on all of the criterion tests. Student receiving proposition identifying mapping strategy (T3) achieved significantly higher scores than the control group (T1) on the criterion test of terminology and on the total test. The student-generated concept mapping treatment (T4) achieved significantly higher score than the control (T1) on the terminology criterion test. Regarding the significant differences found on the terminology criterion test, concept matching mapping (T2) was the most effective and student-generated concept mapping (T4) was the least effective. <br><br>Among the subjects identified as possessing high prior knowledge, significant differences were found in achievement only between concept matching mapping (2) and the control group (T1) on all of the criterion tests. <br><br>There was no significant interaction between levels of prior knowledge and concept mapping treatment types on any of the criterion tests in this study.