Types of Assessment Methods


Concept Map Assessments

What is a Concept Map?
A concept map is a hierarchical form of structure diagram that illustrates conceptual knowledge and their relationships within a specific topic from general to specific concepts. It consists of concept labels (aka nodes, cells) which are connected together by lines, these lines are labeled with directions. A concept map is often known as a flow chart, it is widely used in business to gain an insight on the overview and for brain-storming new ideas and developments.

Concept map was developed by Joseph Novak based on the cognitive theories of David Ausubel (Assimilation Theory) who stressed the importance of prior knowledge in order to gain deep learning on new concepts. So by understanding what you already knew, and relating new concepts to what you knew, meaningful deep learning can easily occur.

Structure of a Concept Map

The core element of a concept map is a proposition, which consists of two or more concepts connected by a labeled link. These propositions are then branched out to form a larger structure that provides the whole picture.

  1. To understand the theories and concepts related to the topic.
  2. To manage concepts into sub concepts for each group and category.
  3. To understand the relationship of each concept, how they are related to each other.
  4. To synthesize information, ideas and concepts, and see the whole picture.
  5. To encourage creativity (particularly brain-storming) and develop higher-level thinking skills and strategies.
  6. To provide teachers feedback of students' misconceptions and the development of students' understanding over time.

By understanding the whole picture, how each concept is related and sub-related to each other which are illustrated in a hierarchical framework, learners will find deep learning.

Y Declarative
Y Functioning
  Take Time to Set
  Take Time to Answer
  Take Time to Correct
  Take Time to provide Feedback
Y Suitable for Large Class
Y Can substitute with Computers
Y Active
Y Process Oriented Method
Y Product Oriented Method
P = Possibly    Y =Yes

Advantages of Concept Map Assessment
  • It encourages collaborative learning and team knowledge mapping.
  • It allows deep learning.
  • 'Picture tells a thousand words'; graphic representations are usually easier to understand and retain.
  • It can be used in a large class setting either individually or collaboratively, by giving the students a partially filled concept map, or a few concepts to fill on the maps.
  • It mirrors what exactly real business uses and provides the students a sense of the real world.
  • It is an active assessment.
Disadvantages of Concept Map Assessment
  • Students are often not familiar with concept mapping assessment and may find it intimidating.
  • Concept mapping is often not graded, it may sometimes be used as a quick assessment in class to check students' conception on a topic or may be used as an overview of an assessment, this may frustrates some students.
  • Individual feedback can be time-consuming, clear assessment criteria and grading are required for all parties so that students and assessors are fully aware of how the performance will be judged.
How to design a good Concept Map Assessment
  1. Introduce concept map to students if you are planning to use them as assessments. There are many ways to introduce concept map to them. One way is by showing them an overview of a partial concept map on a subject they are familiar with and discuss with them during class on how to fill in the rest of the hierarchy. It can also be introduced by providing the concepts, and ask the class to discuss the relationships between them.
  2. Ensure the students know what the objectives of the assessment are.
  3. Provide students the time period, guidelines, requirements, assessment criteria and if there are items that are not to be included. The students should also be aware of who is going to assess them ' tutor, peers and/or self? And if peers or themselves are going to assess, would the weightings be the same as the tutor's assessment?
  4. Prepare a structured marking sheet for all assessors.
  5. Give sufficient time for students to respond.

Marking Rubrics
Below is a sample of the marking rubrics and grading standards for a concept mapping assessment:

MARKING RUBRICS Excellent Proficient Average Poor
Organisation: Well organised

Provides a very clear big picture of the ideas

Contains main concepts

Contains an appropriate number of concepts

Follows standard map conventions

Concepts are short and clear

Thoughtfully organized

Provides a big picture of the ideas

Contains most of the main concepts

Contains an adequate number of concepts

Follows the standard map conventions

Concepts are clear

Somewhat organized

Provides a picture of the ideas

Somewhat incoherent

Contains only a few of the main concepts

Choppy and confusing

Provides a scattered picture of some ideas

Contains a limited number of concepts

Links: Links are precisely labeled

Simple and complex relationships are mapped effectively

Links are labeled

Relationships are mapped

Links are not labeled

Some ideas, concepts are linked but not distinctive

No links

Difficult to follow relationships

Thinking and Ideas: Includes concepts that are extremely suitable for the topic and that show original or creative thinking

All ideas, themes, theories and framework are well thought-full

Most or all concepts are suitable for the topic

Some ideas, themes, theories and framework are thought-full

Most concepts satisfy the basic requirements for the topic, but some do not directly relate to the topic

Adequate ideas, theories and framework are thought-full although not clearly shown

  • Many concepts are inappropriate for the topic

  • Thinking process is not clear
Communication: Clearly presented, high level of understanding Clearly presented, good level of understanding Information is presented but more understanding can be gained
    Very difficult to understand
Teamwork: Worked extremely well with each

Respected and complemented each others ideas

Worked very well with each other

Worked to get everyone involved

Attempted to work well with others

At times 'off task' and not everyone was actively involved

Little or no teamwork

Web Reference and Resources To Reference these pages

Copy and paste the text below:
Chan C.(2008) Assessment: Concept Map, Assessment Resources@HKU, University of Hong Kong [http://ar.talic.hku.hk]: Available: Accessed: DATE