Title page for ETD etd-07092012-114044

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Adlaon, Ritchie
URN etd-07092012-114044
Title Assessing Effectiveness of Concept Map as Instructional Tool in High School Biology
Degree Master of Natural Sciences (M.N.S.)
Department Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hopkins, John Committee Chair
Blackmon, Jeff Committee Member
Browne, Dana Committee Member
  • concept mapping
Date of Defense 2012-07-06
Availability unrestricted
This thesis emphasizes on an alternate instructional tool called “Concept Map”. The goal of this study was to determine the effectiveness of using concept maps in improving the science achievement of 10th -grade students and compare it with a traditional approach for a Biology unit. Furthermore, the interaction of the student’s concept mapping ability and their learning gains was investigated. Both the control and the experimental groups were required to take a pre test before instruction and a posttest at the end of three weeks. The test consisting of 31 questions was used to assess learning gains on a Biology Unit about Balance in Nature. Student-constructed maps were scored using Novak’s scoring scheme. The first finding of the study was that concept map – exposed students did not perform much better than the same level students in the traditional group. The difference in the learning gains between the experimental and the control group in their unit test, though statistically significant, did not seem to be solely due to concept mapping. The second finding indicated that total scores in concept maps did not strongly predict student achievement in Science. Moreover, results showed that the levels of concept mapping ability were not associated with the concept- mapping students’ learning gains. Nevertheless, the study suggests that, when carefully integrated into the normal classroom procedure and when other contributing factors such as student motivation and preparedness, reading ability levels, time and classroom environment are considered, concept mapping has a potential to be an effective instructional strategy.
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