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J Prof Nurs. 2005 May-Jun;21(3):141-9.

Concept maps as an assessment tool in a nursing course.

Author information

1
Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan.

Abstract

A concept map can be thought of as a scheme representing visual knowledge in the form of a hierarchical graphic network composed of nodes and links. In the complex health environment, it is very important for nursing educators to cultivate in nursing students thinking and judgment skills. Concept mapping is an instructional strategy that requires learners to identify, graphically display, and link key concepts by organizing and analyzing information. Concept maps can be successfully used to teach conceptual thinking, thus increasing students' competence in critical thinking in the modern paradigm. The purpose of this study was to implement concept mapping as a learning strategy in a nursing course and to evaluate students' learning progress through the construction of concept maps based on scenarios. Forty-three students, who had enrolled in a 2-year nursing program and took Nursing I in the fall semester of 2002, were invited to participate in this study, which was approved by the institutional research committee. Written informed consent was obtained from all the students. The class met for 4 hours, once a week, for 16 weeks. Participants were divided into seven groups, and during the course, they were required to complete six concept maps, five of which dealt with physical functions, including activity and rest, fluids and electrolytes, neuroendocrines, sensory-perception, and sexuality. The last map dealt with role functions. All the first drafts of the concept maps received low scores, but the third and following drafts made by all the teams showed improvement. The results of this study indicated that the students developed their concept maps from a linear sequence of concepts at the beginning into a highly integrated web of concepts in the final draft. In this study, despite complaints about the heavy workload and time consumption, the students acquired problem-solving and critical-thinking skills by organizing complex patient data, analyzing concept relationships, and identifying interventions.

PMID:
16021557
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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