Concept Maps as Replacements of Written Essays in Efficient Assessment of Complex Medical Knowledge

Gloria Gomez (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark), Robin Griffiths (University of Otago, New Zealand) and Pooshan Navathe (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 271
EISBN13: 9781466664081|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5816-5.ch010
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Marking efficiency and timely student feedback are two aspects of assessment that may be greatly improved with concept maps (cmaps), if student learning style preference for more traditional approaches can be overcome. A semester-long exploratory case study was designed and performed in a distance aviation medicine course. This involved participant observations, interviews, and task analysis to investigate cmaps' claimed advantages for meaningful learning. The results showed that cmaps could be suitable replacements of written essays in the assessment of complex medical conceptual knowledge. Both present similar strengths and weaknesses; however, cmaps are faster to mark, and quickly reveal student understanding of a particular topic. The discussion of results is informed by relevant literature on concept mapping (cmapping) in medical education, assessment for deep understanding, and learning styles. This research can benefit online postgraduate education programmes searching for alternatives to improve the assessment process.
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