Concept mapping instrumental support for problem solving

Slavi Stoyanov, Piet Kommers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
296 Downloads (Pure)


The main theoretical position of this paper is that it is the explicit problem-solving support in concept mapping software that produces a stronger effect in problem-solving performance than the implicit support afforded by the graphical functionality of concept mapping software. Explicit problem-solving support activates cognitive functions such as knowledge representation, knowledge elicitation, knowledge reflection and knowledge creation. Concept mapping graphical instruction supports knowledge representation only. This paper reports on an experimental study that tests this assumption as measuring the effect of two types of concept mapping software on problem-solving performance, mapping production and perceived problem-solving effectiveness of 47 students randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. The results validated empirically the theoretical position as the group that used concept mapping software with explicit problem-solving support scored significantly higher on problem-solving performance and on the most of the indicators of mapping production and perceived effectiveness of concept mapping software.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of continuing engineering education and life-long learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Concept mapping software
  • Problem solving support
  • Knowledge representation
  • Knowledge elicitation
  • Knowledge reflection
  • Knowledge creation


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