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Knowledge assessment with concept maps: Opportunities and challenges

  • Rohles, Björn
  • Koenig, Vincent
  • Fischbach, Antoine
  • Amadieu, Franck
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2021
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21st-century digital society poses tremendous challenges for education and assessment. Learners have to understand the complex relations between diverse topics and learn how to learn their entire lives. Concept mapping is a promising approach to address these issues. It is a method that uses concepts connected by labeled links to visualize a semantic network of knowledge. Concept mapping is predestined for a digital approach because it allows for easy interactive editing, innovative test items, and incorporation of multimodal information. Concept mapping is available for summative and formative assessment and, thus, provides the opportunity to become a vital part of modern education. The biggest advantage of concept mapping (i.e., a comprehensive and yet comprehensible visualization of complex relations) also represents the biggest challenge when it comes to assessment with - and scoring of - concept maps. The first challenge is the enormous amount of indicators used for scoring concept maps in assessment. A second challenge comes from the fact that educators using concept mapping in their assessment have to understand and interpret the indicators that are used in scoring concept maps. This presentation reports on a Ph.D. project that investigates digital concept mapping in the context of knowledge assessment from a user experience perspective. The results are based on, first, a comprehensive international systematic literature review on concept map scoring, and second, three empirical studies covering the needs and experiences of learners and educators in concept mapping. It presents key findings from the iterative user experience design of a concept mapping tool as part of the online assessment platform OASYS, an overview of indicators used in concept map scoring, and research opportunities in knowledge assessment with concept maps. Finally, it stresses the value that user experience design brings to knowledge assessment with concept maps.

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