Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Leslie Moller

Abstract

Researchers have determined that concept maps serve as effective tools in the traditional science classroom. The purpose of this experimental study was to investigate concept mapping as a tool for student knowledge acquisition in 10th grade science for students in distance learning situations. Research questions were designed to investigate the influence of concept mapping on rate and quality of student knowledge acquisition and retention. This study was a pretest-posttest 2-group comparison study, constructivist in nature and based on the theory of cognitive learning. Participants included 36 students in the 10th grade at an inner-city school in the United States. Control and treatment groups participated in completing pre and posttesting to establish standards for initial understanding and knowledge acquired. Pretest scores were used in a 2-tailed t test to establish equivalence between groups at the beginning of the study. ANOVA was used with test gains to determine differences between treatment and control groups. Cronbach's alpha was conducted to test for concept map interrater reliability. A 2-tailed t test for matched groups was used with concept map scores and treatment group test gains to determine any relationship. No statistically significant relationship between the use of concept maps and distance learning was found. Recommendations for future research include a wider age range for participants and investigations of academic areas such as reading, writing, mathematics, and language acquisition, native and foreign. Implications for positive social change include research with altered parameters to identify an existing tool that may be used by students in the traditional classroom as well as in distance-learning scenarios.