Concept Maps

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Concept maps are graphical tool for organizing knowledge. They consist of concepts, usually represented by boxes or circles that are connected to each another with lines. The lines represent relationships between the concepts, and the character of the connection is described by labels or sometimes indicated by color of the line. Concept maps are used in medical education to promote meaningful learning, to demonstrate basic science and clinical medicine linkages [Richards 2013], to assist teachers in providing feedback and to provide additional materials for learning [Daley 2016]. Additionally, concept maps are used in combination with virtual patients (VPs) to probe students’ thought processes [Richards 2013] and to foster clinical reasoning [Hege 2017]. While solving VPs, students add to their concept maps important findings they observe in their patients, possible differential diagnoses, planned tests and indicated treatments. By adding connections between the concepts, they show how the elements are logically connected in the reasoning process. Students may compare their concept maps with maps created by experts to get feedback on their performance. All VPs in the iCoViP collection enable students to create their own concept maps and to receive feedback in form of author’s maps that are stored in the system.

  • Daley BJ, Durning SJ, Torre DM. Using concept maps to create meaningful learning in medical education. MedEdPublish. 2016;5(19):19. (Link)
  • Hege I, Kononowicz AA, Adler M. A Clinical Reasoning Tool for Virtual Patients: Design-Based Research Study. JMIR Med Educ. 2017;3(2):e21. (Link)
  • Richards, J., Schwartzstein, R., Irish, J., Almeida, J., & Roberts, D. Clinical physiology grand rounds. The Clinical Teacher. 2013;10(2), 88-93. (Link)


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