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Title: Issues affecting the utility of computer-based mapping applications.
Author: Smee, Peter E. H.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3417 5341
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis records an investigation of the issues that affect the utility of computer-based mapping applications - where a computer-based mapping application provides a computer-generated environment to facilitate the construction of concept maps. 'Concept map' is a term used to describe a graphical representation, the purpose of which is to informally express ideas and the associations between ideas, whilst facilitating the generation and sorting of ideas. The work reported is the first of its kind to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of the different media with which concept maps can be constructed. The work is exploratory, combining investigation with software development. A brief overview of the content of the work completed is as follows: • The literature relating to concept mapping was reviewed to identify the likely needs of those engaged in mapping activities. • A significant sample of people was surveyed in order to ascertain the perceived needs of those engaged in mapping. • The software currently available to draw maps was surveyed in order to assess the utility of computer-based mapping applications, with respect to the perceived needs of mappers. • A prototype computer-based mapping application was developed to act as a focus for mappers' comments. • As a result of feedback from users of the prototype computer-based mapping application, it was discovered that the main way in which people create maps is to generate and sort a few ideas at a time. • The prototype software was further developed, as a result of feedback from mappers, . and in its final form has been made available in the public domain. • A glossary of terms was developed, by which the designers and users of computer-based mapping applications can assess the utility of any given piece of software, in the light of the tasks mappers wish to achieve.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Thought mapping; Mind mapping; Visual organisers