Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 431–455 | Cite as

Studying and Constructing Concept Maps: a Meta-Analysis

  • Noah L. SchroederEmail author
  • John C. Nesbit
  • Carlos J. Anguiano
  • Olusola O. Adesope


A concept map is a node-link diagram in which each node represents a concept and each link identifies the relationship between the two concepts it connects. We investigated how using concept maps influences learning by synthesizing the results of 142 independent effect sizes (n = 11,814). A random-effects model meta-analysis revealed that learning with concept and knowledge maps produced a moderate, statistically significant effect (g = 0.58, p < 0.001). A moderator analysis revealed that creating concept maps (g = 0.72, p < 0.001) was associated with greater benefit relative to respective comparison conditions than studying concept maps (g = 0.43, p < 0.001). Additional moderator analyses indicated learning with concept maps was superior to other instructional comparison conditions, and was effective across science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and non-STEM knowledge domains. Further moderator analyses, as well as implications for theory and practice, are provided.


Concept map Knowledge map Meta-analysis cmap kmap 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Not applicable (no funding).

Supplementary material

10648_2017_9403_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (273 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 272 kb)


*Indicates Study Included in the Analysis.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noah L. Schroeder
    • 1
    Email author
  • John C. Nesbit
    • 2
  • Carlos J. Anguiano
    • 3
  • Olusola O. Adesope
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Leadership Studies in Education and OrganizationsWright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.Department of Educational Leadership, Sport Studies and Educational/Counseling Psychology, College of EducationWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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