Learning map (do not confuse with Knowledge map) is a graphical model which represents all necessary information to assure efficient and successful learning process. Map is usually built as a grid with concepts shown as ovals or squares. These figures are connected to each other by lines which means relations.
The main and only reason to assess students should be always desire to improve learning process. For many years it was usually an evaluation done at the end of the year. Such reports are useful as summary of learning progress and support for didactic decision-makers. Learning map is a step further responding to modern education demands. For example, these assessment requirements have been prepared by USA National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (Broaddus A., Kingston N., 2017, p. 1-2):
- creating learning aims with associated success conditions
- putting into effect actions fulfilling learning goals
- analysing evidence of learning
- ensure feedback adequate to the student's needs
- taking advantage of evaluation results during further didactic decisions
Learning map completely meets these requirements combining formative assessment, curriculum and instructions.
Learning maps should fulfill a specific set of goals. Maps must allow the reader recognizing essential differences between concepts. Main meaning and also usage of them should be easily distinguishable. However, things are not so simple - map should also expose concept similarities. They can be for example associated to concrete types. Maps have to induce associations in readers mind - like for example learning new languages. These multiple connections should be created one by one in chain in correct sequence. This helps to understand the overall of the system complexity. Graphical intuition is necessary for this. The multiplicity of information is useless without being presented correctly (Gropper G., 2016, p. 5-7).
Dynamic Learning Map
Dynamic Learning Map is new initiative and a kind of evolution of typical learning map. It was developed during search for a new tool for assessment students with significant cognitive disabilities. DLM characteristic can be described in six points (Bechard S., Erickson K., Karvonen M., Kingston N., 2016, p. 2):
- Dynamic Learning Maps responsible for assessment should be fine-grained
- DLM should have a group of nodes showing content norms and allowing to establish teachers organizational structure
- DLM should have an exemplary embedded assesments to enhance instruction importance
- DLM should have an exemplary relevant instructions to enhance learning process
- design of DLM should support accessibility
- reports with progresses should be easy to interpretation and use
- Bechard S., Erickson K., Karvonen M., Kingston N. (2016), The philosophical underpinnings and key features of the dynamic learning maps alternate assessment, "Teachers College Record", New York, vol. 18, no. 14, p. 20-26
- Broaddus A., Kingston N., (2017), The use of learning map systems to support the formative assessment in mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Benedictine College, Atchison
- Gropper G., (2016), "Learning maps" Vs. "Instructional Maps", "Educational Technology", vol. 56, no. 4, p. 3-15
Author: Maciej Blak