By using content analysis techniques to compare social construction of knowledge in online dialogues to concept maps generated to synthesize this knowledge construction, this study showed that concept maps are an effective tool to synthesize knowledge construction in online conferences. This finding was also supported by self-reported data in a moderator survey. Concept maps were also considered an effective tool for organizing information which indicates that they can be utilized as a knowledge management and preservation tool in online conferences. All students perceived that the Cmap tool software could be used as a tool to foster online collaborative learning in distance education. While it is possible to use concept maps as a collaborative tool, it is important to provide training not only in the use of the software but also on how to collaborate using concept maps in an online environment. In this study, participants were able to generate, save, and post concept maps in the online environment. We also found that students with low technology experience and no previous knowledge of concept maps can learn how to use the tool with a few hours of training and ongoing support during the semester.
Proceedings of the First International Conference on Concept Mapping [Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology]
Social construction of knowledge, concept map, online conference
Ortegano-Layne, L., & Gunawardena, C. N. (2004). Synthesizing social construction of knowledge in online conferences using concept maps. In A. J. Canas, J. D. Novak, & F. M. Gonzalez (Eds.), Proceedings of the First International Conference on Concept Mapping [Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology] (pp. 495-502). Pamplona, Spain.
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