Enhancing Ill-structured Problem Solving in Education Using Concept Maps and GitHub

Potential Abstract:
This research article investigates the use of concept maps in conjunction with GitHub to support ill-structured problem solving in educational settings. Ill-structured problems pose unique challenges due to their open-ended nature and lack of clear problem-solving procedures. Concept maps, graphical representations of knowledge structure, have been effective in enhancing conceptual understanding and knowledge organization. GitHub, a web-based platform for collaborative software development, offers opportunities for learners to collaboratively develop and share reified solutions and artifacts. This study examines the synergistic effects of integrating concept maps and GitHub to facilitate student learning in ill-structured problem-solving tasks.

The research design involves a quasi-experimental study with a pre-test and post-test design. A sample of 100 high school students will be assigned to one of two groups: the experimental group, which will utilize concept maps and GitHub, or the control group, which will use traditional problem-solving approaches without these tools. The participants’ problem-solving performances will be assessed using both qualitative and quantitative measures, including concept map analysis and rubric-based evaluations of their GitHub artifacts. Additionally, interviews and surveys will be conducted to gather students’ perceptions and experiences using these tools.

The expected outcomes of this research are twofold. First, we anticipate that students in the experimental group will demonstrate significantly better problem-solving performance compared to those in the control group. This improvement is attributed to the enhanced cognitive processes facilitated by concept maps and the collaborative nature of GitHub. Second, qualitative analysis of concept maps and GitHub artifacts will provide insights into students’ knowledge structures and the quality of their co-constructed solutions.

This study contributes to the field of education by advancing our understanding of how ill-structured problem solving can be effectively supported through the integration of concept maps and collaborative online platforms like GitHub. The findings will inform educational practitioners and policymakers on the pedagogical possibilities of these tools and guide the design of instructional strategies that promote higher-order thinking skills in ill-structured problem-solving contexts.

Potential References: