O M P A S S
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An Adaptive Web-enabled Concept Map Assessment Tool
COMPASS (COncept MaP ASSessment tool) (http://hermes.di.uoa.gr/compass) is an adaptive web-enabled concept map assessment tool, aiming to serve both the assessment and the learning processes by employing a variety of concept mapping activities and providing different informative, tutoring and reflective feedback components, tailored to learners' individual characteristics and needs.
In particular, COMPASS:
provides various activities, addressing specific learning outcomes. Depending on the outcomes, the activities may employ different concept mapping tasks, which are characterized along a directedness continuum from high-directed to low-directed, based on the information/support provided to learners. The concept mapping tasks may refer to:
(i) the construction of a map,
(ii) the evaluation of a given map (i.e. the evaluation/correction of a map in case of the identification of any errors),
(iii) the completion of a given map (i.e. the completion of a map by filling the requested components),
(iv) the extension of a given map (i.e. add new concepts and relationships), or
(v) combinations of the abovementioned tasks e.g. evaluation and completion of a given map.
Depending on the degree of support provided, learners may have at their disposal a list of concepts and/or a list of relationships to use in the task (e.g. 'concept-list construction' task, 'concept-relationship lists extension' task) or may be free to choose the desired concepts and/or relationships (e.g. 'free construction' task). The provided lists may contain not only the required concepts/relationships but also concepts/relationships that play the role of distracters (i.e. concepts that can be characterized as superfluous and relationships that are incorrect).
analyzes learner's map in order to identify any errors, to diagnose learner's incomplete understanding/beliefs and false beliefs, to evaluate learner's knowledge level as well as to provide specific performance feedback. The map analysis is accomplished by comparing learner's map with the expert one and identifies specific error categories.
assesses learner's map and evaluates learner's knowledge level on the central concept of the map. The embedded assessment scheme adopts the relational method by examining the accuracy and completeness of the presented propositions on learner's map and taking into account the missing ones, with respect to the propositions presented on the expert map. The evaluation of learner's knowledge level depends on the weights assigned to the concepts and the propositions included in expert map as well as to the error categories. The weights are assigned by the instructor and reflect the degree of importance of the concepts and propositions as well as of the error categories, with respect to the learning outcomes addressed by the activity. This way, the instructor has the possibility to personalize the assessment process.
provides feedback concerning the error(s) identified from the analysis of learner's map. Feedback is provided
(i) in a visual form (graphical annotation of the errors) or in a text-based form, according to learner's preferences and his/her interaction behaviour, and/or
(ii) through a dialogue framework between the learner and the tool, adapted to the learners' knowledge level, preferences and interaction behaviour. For the provision of personalized feedback, an Adaptive Feedback Framework (AFF) has been designed and embedded into COMPASS. The AFF incorporates various Informative, Tutoring and Reflective Feedback Components (ITRFC), aiming to serve processes of assessment and learning by
(i) informing learners about their performance,
(ii) guiding and tutoring learners in order to identify their false beliefs, focus on specific errors, reconstruct their knowledge and achieve specific learning outcomes addressed by the activity, and
(iii) supporting reflection in terms of encouraging learners to 'stop and think' and giving them hints on what to think about.
The ITRFC follow as much as possible a general domain-independent form in order to serve various domains. Also, the ITRFC are structured in different layers in order to support the gradual provision of the right amount of feedback information. The stepwise presentation of the ITRFC follows their layered structure and enables learners to elaborate on the feedback information and try again. Moreover, the presentation of the appropriate feedback components on each layer is adapted to the learners' knowledge level, preferences and interaction behaviour. Moreover, learners have control over the provided adaptation by intervening in the feedback presentation process in order to select the preferred layer of feedback and the preferred feedback component, in accordance with their own perceived needs and preferences.
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