Map Interpretation: Tool for Rapid Learning and Assessment Lens for Cognitive Engagement
The final-year students electing materials analysis as their course were coached in understanding the concepts of analysis for one semester. Analysis of students’ learning experience shows that systematic development of understanding of the topical contents enabled them to construct the topical maps. Despite students’ inept mapping skill and inability to see the whole course contents as a network of linking topical maps, students who progressively encoded the knowledge by full attendance of lecture sessions were able to rapidly grasp the course’s masterpiece map constructed by the instructor (i-MAC). Given the same time frame as other students, these regular participants also performed extremely well in the final analytical challenge assessing their ability to solve analytical problems, commensurate with the set course learning outcomes. The leap from B to A and even C to A of this group was the outcome of the systematic arrangement of important concept gathered through progressive intellectual development. Upon introducing the topical linkages in i-MAC, grasping of the concept among them was automatic, unlike the extra struggling required of the counterpart. This was assessed from the correctness of their verbal map interpretation (VMI), which is reflective of the final assessment scores. Deliberation on students’ learning identifies the importance of (1) systematic encoding of knowledge, (2) intensified neural activation especially achieved via digestion of i-MAC and the subsequent VMI and (3) instructor’s reflections, needs analysis and carefully designed intervention in the form of i-MAC and feedback to VMI, to engender high-order cognitive engagement. Proving correlation between extent of VMI correctness and performance in the final analytical challenge, verbal i-MAC interpretation, therefore, also serves as a reliable tool for assessing students’ degree of cognitive engagement and their preparedness to function in problem-solving situations.
KeywordsLearning Cognitive Engagement Mapping
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