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  • Collaborative On-line

    Concept Mapping

    An initial project report submitted to The University of Manchester for the degree of

    MSc in Advanced Computer Science in the Faculty of Engineering and

    Physical Sciences

    May 2010

    Author: Klitos Christodoulou ID: 7025804

    Supervisor: Mrs. Alexandria Walker

    School of Computer Science

    The University of Manchester

    http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/peve/Staff/Alex/index.htmlmgax3rmwText Box
  • Klitos Christodoulou 2 2010

    Preface

    In the last decade, research has explored new ways to support human learning, beyond the traditional methods used to date. Studies have shown that graphical methods such as concept mapping and mind mapping can be used to aid learning activities more effectively in contrast to other learning methods. Research in both cognitive psychology and educational theory has shown that visual learning is one of the most innovative and effective ways to support organization of knowledge and human education. Concept mapping and mind mapping methods can be used to assist an individual or a group to make abstract ideas more visible and concrete, organise knowledge in an understandable visual way and connect prior knowledge with new concepts by utilizing a visual structure for planning and thinking. Currently, interest in technology-supported learning (e-learning) has increased. The integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education can be used as a lever for change towards creating a new more effective environment for learning (Commission, 2001). This project is concerned with the development of a collaborative concept mapping/mind mapping tool that can be used to aid the process of learning, provide a user-friendly environment where users can collaborate on and organise their ideas and thoughts. An analysis of the initial hypothesis development of a collaborative concept mapping/mind mapping tool to enhance learning is made to gather projects requirements. The project explores a technique for implementing the communication protocol to support this tool. Moreover, this project moves beyond the original scope by considering an ongoing project named Ketso (Ketso, 2008) and that projects vision of developing a tool similar to the outcome of the proposed project.

    Keywords

    Computer based concept mapping/mind mapping, Concept mapping, Mind mapping, Education, Collaboration, eLearningMaps.

  • Klitos Christodoulou 3 2010

    Table of Contents

    Preface .............................................................................................................................................. 2

    Table of Contents .............................................................................................................................. 3

    List of Figures .................................................................................................................................... 4

    List of Tables ..................................................................................................................................... 5

    Chapter 1: Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 6

    1.1 Project Objectives .............................................................................................................. 6

    1.2 Scope ................................................................................................................................. 7

    1.3 Beyond the Scope ............................................................................................................... 8

    1.3 Report Structure ................................................................................................................ 8

    Chapter 2: Background and Initial research........................................................................................ 9

    2.1 E-Learning .......................................................................................................................... 9

    2.2 Theoretical Framework ...................................................................................................... 9

    2.2.1 Concept Maps ............................................................................................................ 9

    2.2.2 Mind Maps ............................................................................................................... 13

    2.3 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 16

    Chapter 3: Related Work ................................................................................................................. 17

    3.1 Mind Maps ....................................................................................................................... 17

    3.1.1 iMindMap ................................................................................................................ 17

    3.2 Concept Maps .................................................................................................................. 17

    3.2.1 CmapTools ............................................................................................................... 17

    3.3 Synopsis ........................................................................................................................... 18

    Chapter 4: Research Methods ......................................................................................................... 19

    4.1 Project Overview .............................................................................................................. 19

    4.1.1 Potential Collaboration ............................................................................................. 20

    4.2 Initial Specifications ......................................................................................................... 20

    4.2.1 Communication Protocol: Initial Design .................................................................... 20

    4.2.2 Development Tools .................................................................................................. 21

    4.3 Criteria for Success ........................................................................................................... 22

    4.4 Organisation of Work ....................................................................................................... 23

    4.4.1 Iterative and Evolutionary Development................................................................... 23

    4.4.2 Project Plan .............................................................................................................. 24

    Chapter 5: Summary ........................................................................................................................ 25

    Appendix A Design idea for Ketso ................................................................................................. 29

    Appendix B Draft Interface Design ................................................................................................ 30

    Appendix C Project Gantt chart ..................................................................................................... 31

  • Klitos Christodoulou 4 2010

    List of Figures

    Figure 1 A Concept Map example. ................................................................................................ 10

    Figure 2 Concept map as a flow chart. .......................................................................................... 11

    Figure 3 A mind map example (Genovese, 2009)........................................................................... 13

    Figure 4 Broad steps used for the construction of a Mind map. ..................................................... 14

    Figure 5 Research Methodology Flow. .......................................................................................... 19

    Figure 6 Initial Communication Protocol. ...................................................................................... 21

    file:///C:/Users/Klitos/Documents/1.University/Cs%20-%20MSc/MSc%20Project/Report.docx%23_Toc260919248
  • Klitos Christodoulou 5 2010

    List of Tables

    Table 1 Building blocks in knowledge. ........................................................................................... 11

    Table 2 Steps for building a concept map. ..................................................................................... 12

    Table 3 Key steps for creating mind maps (Buzan, 1996). .............................................................. 14

    Table 4 Summary of Requirements. .............................................................................................. 23

    Table 5 Possible Initial Iterations. .................................................................................................. 23

    Table 6 Extra requirements. .......................................................................................................... 24

  • Klitos Christodoulou 6 2010

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Many educational psychologists based their studies on what has been called the "dual coding" theory of information storage. This theory, first suggested by Allan Paivio (1991, p.73), postulates that there are two forms of how knowledge is processed and stored in the human mind. These forms are distinguished by the way knowledge is presented; the two forms are the linguistic form where knowledge is presented verbally as