Saturday, November 19, 2011

A comparison between concept maps, mind maps, conceptual diagrams, and visual metaphors as complementary tools for knowledge construction and sharing

In this article, Novak's concept mapping technique is compared to three other types of visualization formats, namely mind maps, conceptual diagrams, and visual metaphors. The application parameters and the respective advantages and disadvantages of each format for learning and knowledge sharing are reviewed and discussed. It is argued that the combination of these four visualization types can play to the strength of each one. The article then provides real-life examples from such a use in undergraduate and graduate university teaching. The results provide first indications that the different visualization formats can be used in complementary ways to enhance motivation, attention, understanding and recall. The implications for a complementary use of these visualization formats in class room and meeting contexts are discussed and a future research agenda in this domain is articulated.

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