TheoryUnderlyingConceptMaps

TheoryUnderlyingConceptMaps - The Theory Underlying Concept...

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- 1 - The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct Them 1 Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01 Joseph D. Novak Professor Emeritus, Cornell University and Senior Research Scientist Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) Alberto J. Cañas Associate Director Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) www.ihmc.us Introduction Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type, and relationships between concepts indicated by a connecting line linking two concepts. Words on the line, referred to as linking words or linking phrases, specify the relationship between the two concepts. We define concept as a perceived regularity in events or objects, or records of events or objects, designated by a label. The label for most concepts is a word, although sometimes we use symbols such as + or %, and sometimes more than one word is used. Propositions are statements about some object or event in the universe, either naturally occurring or constructed. Propositions contain two or more concepts connected using linking words or phrases to form a meaningful statement. Sometimes these are called semantic units, or units of meaning. Figure 1 shows an example of a concept map that describes the structure of concept maps and illustrates the above characteristics. Another characteristic of concept maps is that the concepts are represented in a hierarchical fashion with the most inclusive, most general concepts at the top of the map and the more specific, less general concepts arranged hierarchically below. The hierarchical structure for a particular domain of knowledge also depends on the context in which that knowledge is being applied or considered. Therefore, it is best to construct concept maps with reference 1 Revised March 29, 2006. Cite as: “Novak, J. D. & A. J. Cañas, The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct Them, Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, 2006, available at: http://cmap.ihmc.us/Publications/ResearchPapers/TheoryUnderlyingConceptMaps.pdf
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- 2 - to some particular question we seek to answer, which we have called a focus question . The concept map may pertain to some situation or event that we are trying to understand through the organization of knowledge in the form of a concept map, thus providing the context for the concept map. Another important characteristic of concept maps is the inclusion of cross-links . These are relationships or links between concepts in different segments or domains of the concept map. Cross-links help us see how a concept in one domain of knowledge represented on the map is related to a concept in another domain shown on the map. In the creation of new knowledge, cross-links often represent creative leaps on the part of the knowledge producer. There are two features of concept maps that are important in the facilitation of
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TheoryUnderlyingConceptMaps - The Theory Underlying Concept...

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