Using a Concept Map Network Based Constructivist Learning Environment to Design a Learning System

  • Minakshi SharmaEmail author
  • Sonal Chawla
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 835)


Meaningful learning is the desired outcome of every learning system and many theories and learning paradigms aim at achieving this goal. Meaningful learning is best achieved if the approach is student centric. Constructivist theory of learning is one such theory that promotes student centric learning and advocates active participation of learner in the learning process rather than passive assimilation of knowledge. This paper discusses the design of one such tool that enables the educator to create a constructivist learning environment for teaching as well assessing the acquired knowledge. The tool uses concept maps as building blocks for creating the learning component as well as assessment component. The paper further discusses the design considerations for developing both of these components. A prototype of the tool was developed for teaching ‘C’ programming for the beginners and was tested with undergraduate students who were learning any programming language for the first time. Results indicate that there was a considerable difference in the scores obtained by the learners who were taught the subject using the tool as compared to the learners who were taught the same subject using traditional classroom method and the students taught using the tool performed much better as compared to the other group both in concept based assessments and skill assessments.


Constructivist Learning Environment Concept maps Concept map network 


  1. 1.
    Ausubel, D.P., Novak, J.D., Hanesian, H.: Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View, 2nd edn. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York (1978)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barrows, H.S., Tamblyn, R.M.: Problem-Based Learning: An Approach to Medical Education. Springer, New York (1980)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cañas, A.J., Novak, J.D.: Freedom vs. restriction of content and structure during concept mapping - possibilities and limitations for construction and assessment. In: Cañas, A.J., Novak, J.D., Vanhear, J. (eds.) Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Concept Mapping, Valletta, Malta, 17–20 September 2012, vol. 2, pp. 247–257 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carneson, J., Delpierre, G., Masters, K.: Designing and Managing Multiple Choice Questions. Southrock Corpora, Australia (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chen, T.: Recommendations for creating and maintaining effective networked learning communities: a review of the literature. Int. J. Instr. Media 30(1), 35–44 (2003)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fuhrman, M.: Developing good multiple-choice tests and test questions. J. Geosci. Educ. 44(4), 379–384 (1996). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gunawardena, C.N., Lowe, C.A., Abderson, T.: Analysis of global online debate and the development of an interactive analysis model for examining social construction of knowledge in computer conferencing. J. Educ. Comput. Res. 17(4), 397–431 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Harper, R.: Multiple-choice questions – a reprieve. BEE-j 2, 2–6 (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hmelo-Silver, C.E.: Problem-based learning: what and how do students learn? Educ. Psychol. Rev. 16(3), 235–266 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hootstein, E.: Wearing four pairs of shoes: the roles of e-learning facilitators (2002).
  11. 11.
    Hudson, J.P.: Pathways between Eastern and Western Education. Information Age Publishing Inc., Charlotte (2009)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jonassen, D.E., Peck, K.L., Wilson, B.G.: Learning with Technology: A Constructivist Perspective. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River (1998)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jonassen, D.: Objectivism versus constructivism: Do we need a new philosophical paradigm? Educ. Technol. Res. Dev. 39(3), 5–14 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jonassen, D.H.: Designing constructivist learning environments. In: Reigeluth, C.M. (ed.) Instructional Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, pp. 217–239. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., Mahwah (1999)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kelly, A.E.: Theme issue: the role of design in educational research. Educ. Res. 32(1) (2003)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kirschner, P., Strijbos, J.W., Kreijns, K., Beers, P.J.: Designing electronic collaborative learning environments. Educ. Technol. Res. Dev. 52(3), 47–66 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Land, S., Hannafin, M.J.: Student-centered learning environments. In: Jonassen, D.H., Land, S.M. (eds.) Theoretical Foundations of Learning Environments, pp. 1–23. Erlbaum, Mahwah (2000)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    McClure, J.R., Sonak, B., Suen, H.K.: Concept map assessment of classroom learning: reliability, validity, and logistical practicality. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 36(4), 475–492 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Merrill, D.: Constructivism and instructional design. Educ. Technol. 31(5), 45–53 (1991)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mühling, A.: Investigating knowledge structures in computer science education. (Doctoral Dissertation, Technische Universität München) (2014).
  21. 21.
    Li, N.: Approaches to learning: literature review. IB research paper (2010).–literature-review
  22. 22.
    Piaget, J.: The Construction of Reality in the Child. Ballantine Books, New York City (1975)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Salmon, G.: E-Moderating: The Key to Online Teaching and Learning, 2nd edn. Taylor & Francis, London (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wood, E.J.: What are extended matching sets questions? BEE-j 1(1), 1–2 (2003)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yin, Y., Vanides, J., Ruiz-Primo, M.A., Ayala, C.C., Shavelson, R.J.: Comparison of two concept-mapping techniques: implications for scoring, interpretation, and use. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 42(2), 166–184 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and ApplicationsPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

Personalised recommendations