'Using Concepts Maps to Access Student Learning'

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Presenter:  Professor David Shallcross ,Director of the Engineering Learning Unit, University of Melbourne

Date: Sep 22, 2016

Time: 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Contact person:  Asma Rehman Khan
T: 08 8946 6828
E: Asma.RehmanKhan@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Purple 12.2.15, Casuarina Campus, CDU

Using Concept Maps to Assess Student Learning
A concept map is a way to usefully represent one’s knowledge and understanding of a topic in a diagrammatic form.  A concept map consists of a group of concepts that are related to either the central domain of the map (e.g., sustainable development or Thames Barrier design) or to one another. The individual concepts shown in the map are linked together using lines labelled with joining words or phrases which form propositions.  The proposition formed by linking two different concepts together represents some aspect of knowledge or understanding that the map’s author has about the topic.  The way in which the elements of a concept map are interconnected reflects the way in which the subject’s knowledge is structured.  Generating a concept map requires the subject to organize their knowledge.  They need to analyse, synthesize and evaluate the information they have in order to generate a coherent map, which is in itself a non-trivial task.
This presentation will describe how concept maps have been used to assess student and cohort learning for a range of domains including sustainable development, process safety, design consideration for the Thames Barrier, the loss of the Piper Alpha oil platform and the crash of a high speed train in Germany.  A comparison will be made between the use of concept maps and essays in assessing student knowledge and understanding of a particular topic.


David Shallcross Bio
David served as Head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University for 6 years and Vice President of the UK-based Institution of Chemical Engineers for 3 years and as  Editor-in-Chief of Education for Chemical Engineers for 9 years.  He is a member of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering Working Party on Education.
David has an international reputation in chemical engineering education and has won several national and international awards for his contributions to chemical engineering education including the 2006 Frank Morton Medal of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, a 2007 Carrick Citation from the Carrick Institute in Australia, the 2010 Caltex Teaching Award of Excellence and the 2013 Institution of Chemical Engineers Council Medal.  He is an accreditation assessor for both Engineers Australia and the Institution of Chemical Engineering and has accredited programs internationally. David’s current education research interests focus on the use of concept maps to assess student learning and the use of virtual reality learning environments.  He also has a passion for process and personal safety and has published several papers recently on safety education.