The Need to Support Independent Student-Directed Learning
As new educational paradigms, such as blended learning, flipped classrooms, and flexible learning, become mainstream, it is important to have the proper tools in place to support methods of student-initiated and student-directed learning. In this paper, we present a prototype of an online educational tool called the Concept Navigator that is designed to provide students with an explicit and visual representation of the core concepts and learning outcomes of a course. Unlike typical course websites where materials are structured linearly based on an academic calendar, course materials in the Concept Navigator are associated to a set of core concepts presented via a visual, pedagogical tool called the concept map. By digitizing a course concept map and integrating it with existing online functionality such as individualized learning paths, real-time performance and progress monitoring, and data analytics for course management, the Concept Navigator will improve the learning experience in new student-centric paradigms.
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