Concept mapping activities at FIE support other initiatives, especially those involving curriculum design and implementation and professional learning. Common uses of concept mapping include facilitation of learning; assessment of connected, meaningful learning; planning instruction and research; organizing information; collaborative problem solving by means of spatial thinking; eliciting, capturing, archiving, and using expert knowledge; and administrative and strategic planning.
Concept maps result from systematically connecting relationships among concepts, and their use helps individuals visualize the structure of the mapped knowledge. Educational researchers have long seen concept mapping as a powerful tool to promote meaningful learning, and have summarized uses of concept mapping in educational settings as support for learning,1 assessment of learning, and for the organization and presentation of knowledge.2
1 (e.g., Kinchin, I. M., & Hay, D. B. (2000). How a qualitative approach to concept map analysis can be used to aid learning by illustrating patterns of conceptual development. Educational Research 42(1): 43-57.
Novak, J. D., & Cañas, A. J. (2008). The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them. http://cmap.ihmc.us/Publications/ResearchPapers/TheoryUnderlyingConceptMaps.pdf (accessed April 2011).
Novak, J. D., & Gowin, D. B. (1984). Learning How to Learn. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
2 Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC: 2003). A Summary of Literature Pertaining to the Use of Concept mapping Techniques and Technologies for Education and
Performance Support. http://www.ihmc.us/users/acanas/Publications/ConceptMapLitReview
/IHMC%20Literature%20Review%20on%20Concept%20Mapping.pdf (accessed April 2011)