Using a Concept Map for Collaborative Learning in Visual Culture Education: Experiences in an Undergraduate Visual Culture Course in Turkey


The International Journal of Arts Education, vol.8, no.3, pp.71-83, 2014 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Concept maps have been used individually to process thoughts and document knowledge in the educational sciences for years. This paper describes the usage of a concept map as an advance organizer and discussion aid for a group of 7th semester art education students. By collaboratively developing a concept map as an interactive installation over the course of multiple weeks, students are able to find and illustrate connections between wide-ranging topics covered in an introductory visual culture course. After individually researching topic areas, the group discusses and links them in the atelier. In addition to named connections between the concepts, works of art and media clippings are used to illustrate ideas. The installation serves as a motivational exercise for the students, benefits from their skills in visual expression, and can be exhibited at the end of the course as a collaboratively created work of art. While the process is easier to supervise and review when compared to written homework assignments, character differences between students lead to varying levels of participation. Students enjoyed the approach and plan to include it in their future practice as art educators, creating a need for development of best practices related to concept mapping in art education.