Computer-supported collaborative concept mapping: The effects of different instructional designs on conceptual understanding and knowledge co-construction

Mohammadreza Farrokhnia, Héctor J. Pijeira-Díaz*, Omid Noroozi, Javad Hatami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Computer-supported collaborative concept mapping (CSCCM) leverages technology and concept mapping to support conceptual understanding, as well as collaborative learning to foster knowledge co-construction. This article investigated the effect of different instructional designs using CSCCM on students' conceptual understanding, and on the type of processes of knowledge co-construction that students engage. Participants (N = 120) were 10th graders enrolled in their physics course, randomly distributed in dyads. They were asked to draw concept maps related to the conservation of energy law, by using CSCCM with different instructional designs (i.e., control, Exp. 1 and Exp. 2). In the control condition, dyads worked collaboratively all the time. In both Exp. 1 and Exp. 2, dyads worked first individually (one week) and then collaboratively (two weeks). However, in Exp. 2, the individual concept map was shared with the peer before collaborating. Conceptual understanding improved significantly for learners in all three experimental conditions, especially in Exp. 2. Statistically significant differences were found in students' knowledge co-construction among the three conditions. Dyads in the control group showed a significantly higher use of quick consensus-building. Dyads in Exp. 1 showed a significantly higher reliance on externalization and elicitation. Dyads in Exp. 2 showed a significantly higher enacting of integration- and conflict-oriented consensus building. Accordingly, an instructional design like Exp. 2 optimizes CSCCM learning outcomes in terms of conceptual understanding and knowledge co-construction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103640
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Concept mapping
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Knowledge co-construction


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