Washington, District of Columbia
June 23, 1996
June 23, 1996
June 26, 1996
1.118.1 - 1.118.7
I Session 2266
Concept Maps in the Mechanical Engineering Curriculum
Phillip J. Cornwell Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
In this paper concept maps, a pedagogical tool which improves the effectiveness of lectures and helps students achieve a higher level of understanding, will be discussed. Concept maps are a visual representation of ideas designed to illustrate the relationships between the ideas. There are a variety of ways concept maps can be used in the mechanical engineering curriculum. They can be used to help students understand the structure of the curriculum, the relationship between courses, and the material within a course. The reaction of students to the use of concept maps has been enthusiastically positive.
The process for obtaining higher levels of learning is the same for any discipline 1. The phases of a learning hierarchy are shown in Figure 1. A student must first learn the terminology and facts which make up the basic language of a discipline. After learning the facts and terminology the student is able to combine them to understand concepts. The more concepts a student possesses, the easier it is to form generalizations and to apply the concepts to a wide variety of problems. The lecture is one of the primary vehicles for information transmission in higher education today and is used by educators to help students in their journey through the learning hierarchy. However, for most students the basic lecture, when used exclusively, is not the most effective technique to facilitate optimum student learning and to help students understand complex and subtle interrelationships. For this reason, lectures must be supplemented with the textbook, homework, projects, group work, etc. Recently there has been a school of thought that emphasizes cooperative learning to the point of eliminating lectures completely. I believe that this is a mistake. Even though lectures have limitations, they remain an important tool to help professors facilitate student learning, especially if they can be made more 1 effective. One method to improve the effectiveness of lectures is the use of visuals . In this paper the visual pedagogical tool called the concept map will be discussed.
Concept maps are a visual aid to help students organize and understand groups of ideas or concepts. Creating an effective concept map requires experience and a depth of understanding that is typically beyond the level a student achieves by the end of a course, typically the “synthesis” or “appreciation” level in Bloom’s 2 taxonomy of the cognitive domam .For this reason it is important for professors to provide concept maps for “ the students. There are many different ways concept maps can be used. Although all of the examples of concept maps in this paper will be from the mechanical engineering curriculum, the ideas are equally applicable to other fields. The use of concept maps to help students understand the structure of the curriculum and the relationships between sequences of courses, and to help students understand and assimilate the material in a single course will be discussed.
+!&’-’1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings } ‘.yllllll’l .
Cornwell, P. J. (1996, June), Concept Maps In The Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5933
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1996 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015