The authors address the role of computer support for building conceptual self-awareness-that is, enabling students to think outside of concept boundaries in hope of enhancing creative potential. Based on meta-cognition theory, we developed an integrated concept mapping system (ICMSys) to improve users' conceptual self-awareness in addition to applying concept mapping techniques in traditional learning scenarios. Since the ICMSys accommodates different perspectives, selected ideas made by peers are retained with the help of integrated concept map (ICMap) representations used as stimuli for reflective thinking. Results from a case study with 32 information management undergraduates indicate: (a) increased levels of conceptual self-awareness, (b) evidence of conceptual improvement in the students' redrawn concept maps, (c) that ICMap viewing frequency exerted a positive impact on level of conceptual self-awareness, and (d) a significant correlation between level of conceptual self-awareness in redrawn personal concept maps and actual conceptual changes as determined by three experts. We describe student perceptions of the ICMSys in terms of comprehension practicality and conceptual self-awareness, and give suggestions for future research.
- Distributed learning environments
- Evaluation of CAL systems
- Learning communities
- Pedagogical issues
- Teaching/learning strategies