Advancing personalized engineering learning via an adaptive concept map

Christopher B. Williams, Jacob Preston Moore, Aditya Johri, Robert Scott Pierce, Chris North

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Concept maps are effective interventions in providing students with a holistic understanding of a domain while also allowing understanding of relationships among parts and across the engineering curricula. Yet when the domain of application is large, concept maps become overburdened with too much information and complexity. A function of the individual learners' cognitive load abilities, this phenomenon (termed "map shock") results in student disengagement and reduction of expected learning gains. This limitation prevents the creation of concept maps that provide a unified framework for engineering knowledge across courses and curricula. To address these limitations, the authors apply theoretical research on adaptive expertise, concept maps, and information visualization to design, develop and assess a cyberlearning tool that advances personalized learning and helps students develop deep and broad conceptual knowledge. The proposed visualization tool, the "adaptive concept map," overcomes the problem of map shock by providing the user control over the quantity and level of detail of information displayed, thus providing a means for navigating content in a manner that is adaptable to their personal cognitive load needs. In this paper, the authors present the progress that has been made in this project thus far. Specifically, the development of a course-wide concept map for an entire Statics course and a description of the software development process are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - 2012
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Publication series

NameASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2153-5965


Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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