Journal of Nursing Education

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Major Articles 

Serial Concept Maps: Tools for Concept Analysis

Anita C. All, PhD, RN; LaRae I. Huycke, MS, RN, APRN, BC

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2007;46(5)
  • Posted May 1, 2007

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Nursing theory challenges students to think abstractly and is often a difficult introduction to graduate study. Traditionally, concept analysis is useful in facilitating this abstract thinking. Concept maps are a way to visualize an individual’s knowledge about a specific topic. Serial concept maps express the sequential evolution of a student’s perceptions of a selected concept. Maps reveal individual differences in learning and perceptions, as well as progress in understanding the concept. Relationships are assessed and suggestions are made during serial mapping, which actively engages the students and faculty in dialogue that leads to increased understanding of the link between nursing theory and practice. Serial concept mapping lends itself well to both online and traditional classroom environments.

AUTHORS

Received: January 13, 2005

Accepted: February 15, 2006

Dr. All is Wachovia Endowed Professor and Director, Joint MSN Program, Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery, Auburn, Alabama; and Ms. Huycke is a doctoral student, University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee.

The authors thank Dr. Betty Kupperschmidt for her editorial assistance, Carolyn Lau for her help with illustrations, and all of the graduate students who created serial concept maps for course assignments and allowed the use of them in this article.

Address correspondence to Anita C. All, PhD, RN, Wachovia Endowed Professor and Director, Joint MSN Program, Auburn University, 213 Miller Hall, Auburn, AL 36849-5505; e-mail: aca0001@auburn.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Nursing theory challenges students to think abstractly and is often a difficult introduction to graduate study. Traditionally, concept analysis is useful in facilitating this abstract thinking. Concept maps are a way to visualize an individual’s knowledge about a specific topic. Serial concept maps express the sequential evolution of a student’s perceptions of a selected concept. Maps reveal individual differences in learning and perceptions, as well as progress in understanding the concept. Relationships are assessed and suggestions are made during serial mapping, which actively engages the students and faculty in dialogue that leads to increased understanding of the link between nursing theory and practice. Serial concept mapping lends itself well to both online and traditional classroom environments.

AUTHORS

Received: January 13, 2005

Accepted: February 15, 2006

Dr. All is Wachovia Endowed Professor and Director, Joint MSN Program, Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery, Auburn, Alabama; and Ms. Huycke is a doctoral student, University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee.

The authors thank Dr. Betty Kupperschmidt for her editorial assistance, Carolyn Lau for her help with illustrations, and all of the graduate students who created serial concept maps for course assignments and allowed the use of them in this article.

Address correspondence to Anita C. All, PhD, RN, Wachovia Endowed Professor and Director, Joint MSN Program, Auburn University, 213 Miller Hall, Auburn, AL 36849-5505; e-mail: aca0001@auburn.edu.

ABSTRACT

Nursing theory challenges students to think abstractly and is often a difficult introduction to graduate study. Traditionally, concept analysis is useful in facilitating this abstract thinking. Concept maps are a way to visualize an individual’s knowledge about a specific topic. Serial concept maps express the sequential evolution of a student’s perceptions of a selected concept. Maps reveal individual differences in learning and perceptions, as well as progress in understanding the concept. Relationships are assessed and suggestions are made during serial mapping, which actively engages the students and faculty in dialogue that leads to increased understanding of the link between nursing theory and practice. Serial concept mapping lends itself well to both online and traditional classroom environments.

AUTHORS

Received: January 13, 2005

Accepted: February 15, 2006

Dr. All is Wachovia Endowed Professor and Director, Joint MSN Program, Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery, Auburn, Alabama; and Ms. Huycke is a doctoral student, University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee.

The authors thank Dr. Betty Kupperschmidt for her editorial assistance, Carolyn Lau for her help with illustrations, and all of the graduate students who created serial concept maps for course assignments and allowed the use of them in this article.

Address correspondence to Anita C. All, PhD, RN, Wachovia Endowed Professor and Director, Joint MSN Program, Auburn University, 213 Miller Hall, Auburn, AL 36849-5505; e-mail: aca0001@auburn.edu.

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