Objectively assessing concept maps for knowledge integration

Joanna F. Defranco, Kathryn Jablokow, Michael J. Piovoso, Sally S. Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Concept maps have been used as an assessment tool in an array of educational domains for many years. There are a multitude of techniques to evaluate concept maps; however, manydo not produce consistent results due to evaluator bias, human error, and the diversity of evaluator expertise. There is also the possibility that a student's cognitive style (problem solving structure preference) affects how that student constructs a concept map. In this paper, we explore two hypotheses related to concept map knowledge assessment. First, we consider the effects of a student's cognitive style on concept mapping performance. Second, we investigate possible correlations among prevalent concept map assessment metrics. Two sets of concept maps from 19 graduate engineering students were evaluated. The results show that the concept map assessment metrics used here are not biased by any particular cognitive style, which supports previous research among 104 undergraduate students. The results also imply that knowledge integration may be more effectively assessed using the closeness index in order to reduce evaluator bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1288-1298
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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