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ERIC Number: EJ1097015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
The Synthesis Map Is a Multidimensional Educational Tool That Provides Insight into Students' Mental Models and Promotes Students' Synthetic Knowledge Generation
Ortega, Ryan A.; Brame, Cynthia J.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v14 n2 Article 14 Jun 2015
Concept mapping was developed as a method of displaying and organizing hierarchical knowledge structures. Using the new, multidimensional presentation software Prezi, we have developed a new teaching technique designed to engage higher-level skills in the cognitive domain. This tool, synthesis mapping, is a natural evolution of concept mapping, which utilizes embedding to layer information within concepts. Prezi's zooming user interface lets the author of the presentation use both depth as well as distance to show connections between data, ideas, and concepts. Students in the class Biology of Cancer created synthesis maps to illustrate their knowledge of tumorigenesis. Students used multiple organizational schemes to build their maps. We present an analysis of student work, placing special emphasis on organization within student maps and how the organization of knowledge structures in student maps can reveal strengths and weaknesses in student understanding or instruction. We also provide a discussion of best practices for instructors who would like to implement synthesis mapping in their classrooms.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A