Translating educational theory into educational software: A case study of the adaptive map project

Jacob P. Moore, Michel Paul Pascale, Christopher B. Williams, Chris North

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


In this paper, the authors describe the development of an instructional software, where developers engaged in the process of translating educational theory into a cyber-learning tool, and the challenges encountered in evaluating its usability and effectiveness of the tool as a learning aid. Specifically, the authors reflect on their experience in creating the "Adaptive Map" - An instructional software designed to help students gain conceptual understanding of large stores of content information. This concept map -based system explicitly shows how discrete concepts are linked to the whole of the course with a large node-link diagram. This explicit mapping of expert knowledge structures has been shown to promote conceptual understanding in students. Because concept maps become visually cluttered and unusable when they get too large though, an interactive visualization tool was developed to maintain the advantages of concept maps as learning tools while managing the visual clutter in maps that cover entire courses or even an entire curriculum. In this paper, the authors discuss the process they took in integrating the educational literature with the information visualization literature to understand how to best make an information visualization that addresses educational goals. Results from a heuristic analysis using Munzner's four level validation framework for an information visualization are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
StatePublished - 2013
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 26 2013


Other120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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