An investigation to determine the impact of concept mapping on learning in an undergraduate physics course

Joanne Broggy, George McClelland


In recent years extensive research has been carried out to evaluate and highlight the declining number of graduates from science related courses. Following this, several initiatives have been designed and implemented throughout the Republic of Ireland to combat the problem of low retention rates in undergraduate science courses and to introduce the use of more effective instructional methodologies that promote the active role of the learner while also encouraging the facilitative role of the teacher. This paper examines Concept Mapping, one such initiative that has been implemented in the University of Limerick over the last two years. The research presented here is part of a large project that aims to explore and evaluate the potential of Concept Mapping as an educational tool in physics education. This paper, however, sets out to specifically
answer the following research question: What impact, if any, did Concept Mapping have on four particular aspects of physics learning? The paper examines the effect Concept Mapping had on understanding theory, identifying physics concepts, linking prior and new knowledge and, finally, problem solving.

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New Directions in the Teaching of Natural Sciences

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