Publications & Resources

Comparison of the Reliability and Validity of Scores From Two Concept-Mapping Techniques: Concept-Map Representation of Knowledge Structures: Report of Year 2 Activities

Nov 1998

Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo, Susan E. Schultz, Min Li, and Richard J. Shavelson

This paper reports the results of a study that compares two mapping techniques, one high-directed, “fill-in-a-skeleton map,” and one low-directed, “construct-a-map-from-scratch.” We examined whether (a) skeleton map scores were sensitive to the sample of nodes or linking lines to be filled in, (b) the two forms of skeleton maps were equivalent, and (c) the two mapping techniques provided similar information about students’ connected understanding. Results indicated that high-directed (i.e., fill-in-the-map) and low-directed (i.e., constructing-a-map) maps lead to different interpretations about students’ knowledge structure. Whereas scores obtained under the high-directed technique indicated that students’ performance was close to the maximum criterion, the scores obtained with the low-directed technique revealed that students’ knowledge was incomplete compared to a criterion map. Furthermore, the low-directed technique provided a symmetric distribution of scores, whereas the high-directed technique scores were negatively skewed. We concluded that construct-a-map technique better reflected differences among students’ knowledge structures.

Ruiz-Primo, M. A., Schultz, S. E., Li, M., & Shavelson, R. J. (1998). Comparison of the reliability and validity of scores from two concept-mapping techniques: Concept-map representation of knowledge structures: Report of Year 2 activities (CSE Report 492). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).