Journal of Nursing Education

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Educational Innovations 

Concept Mapping as a Means of Course Evaluation

Melanie S. MacNeil, EdD, MSN, RN

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Concept mapping is a teaching and learning tool that is especially suited for science-based instruction. This article describes concept mapping as a tool for course evaluation in a fourth-year undergraduate Wellness course in a Health Studies Department. Pre-lecture and post-lecture concept maps describing wellness were compared on the basis of the degree of complexity of the diagram and the relationships among the various parameters. The post-lecture maps showed significantly more detail than did the pre-lecture maps, and the complexity of the post-lecture maps provided evidence that the students had a clearer understanding of all wellness parameters. Compared with a traditional course survey, this method detailed what information was important to students in their understanding of the course material and provided meaningful feedback on material that required greater emphasis in the course. Further research into the use of concept mapping to refine evaluative criteria and provide effective teaching is recommended.

AUTHOR

Received: July 13, 2005

Accepted: March 29, 2006

Dr. MacNeil is Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Address correspondence to Melanie S. MacNeil, EdD, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Road, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1; e-mail: mmacneil@brocku.ca or professormel@hotmail.com.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Concept mapping is a teaching and learning tool that is especially suited for science-based instruction. This article describes concept mapping as a tool for course evaluation in a fourth-year undergraduate Wellness course in a Health Studies Department. Pre-lecture and post-lecture concept maps describing wellness were compared on the basis of the degree of complexity of the diagram and the relationships among the various parameters. The post-lecture maps showed significantly more detail than did the pre-lecture maps, and the complexity of the post-lecture maps provided evidence that the students had a clearer understanding of all wellness parameters. Compared with a traditional course survey, this method detailed what information was important to students in their understanding of the course material and provided meaningful feedback on material that required greater emphasis in the course. Further research into the use of concept mapping to refine evaluative criteria and provide effective teaching is recommended.

AUTHOR

Received: July 13, 2005

Accepted: March 29, 2006

Dr. MacNeil is Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Address correspondence to Melanie S. MacNeil, EdD, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Road, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1; e-mail: mmacneil@brocku.ca or professormel@hotmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Concept mapping is a teaching and learning tool that is especially suited for science-based instruction. This article describes concept mapping as a tool for course evaluation in a fourth-year undergraduate Wellness course in a Health Studies Department. Pre-lecture and post-lecture concept maps describing wellness were compared on the basis of the degree of complexity of the diagram and the relationships among the various parameters. The post-lecture maps showed significantly more detail than did the pre-lecture maps, and the complexity of the post-lecture maps provided evidence that the students had a clearer understanding of all wellness parameters. Compared with a traditional course survey, this method detailed what information was important to students in their understanding of the course material and provided meaningful feedback on material that required greater emphasis in the course. Further research into the use of concept mapping to refine evaluative criteria and provide effective teaching is recommended.

AUTHOR

Received: July 13, 2005

Accepted: March 29, 2006

Dr. MacNeil is Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Address correspondence to Melanie S. MacNeil, EdD, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Road, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1; e-mail: mmacneil@brocku.ca or professormel@hotmail.com.

10.3928/01484834-20070501-07

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