The OrBITal Map: A New Design Tool for an Effective Representation of Knowledge Systems and Instructional Objectives


In search of tools for effective content analysis and representation of knowledge systems, instructional designers usually use concept or mental maps. These solutions have a great visual impact, are user friendly and can be easily read, but have some disadvantages. They are greatly influenced by their creator and poorly oriented to formalization of knowledge systems and construction of ontologies. They describe relationships, but fail in representing the hierarchical structure of concepts or instructional objectives, that are listed in a different file. In this paper we describe the OrBITal Map, a new model of map that goes beyond these limits. Its structure draws inspiration from planetary systems: the main concept (nucleus or “Sun”) is in the centre and its related concepts (planets) orbit it at different distances. Each concept can be the centre of other secondary systems and then be surrounded by other satellites on different orbits. On each orbit a logical operator makes the relationship between concepts explicit and the “spatial route” is set through instructional objectives. This orbital structure is much more effective than the traditional maps in the way it can: 1) standardize the representation of knowledge systems; 2) show additional information, like “distance” between concepts, position and dimension (weight) in the overall system; 3) create a single macro-design output, that gathers contents and instructional objectives together; 4) optimize the instructional design process. In order to practically show these characteristics, we describe how we used this map to design and deliver an Education Technology course for the University of Verona (Italy).

Author Information
Gaetano Bruno Ronsivalle, WeMole srl, Italy
Simona Carta, WeMole srl, Italy
Marisa Orlando, WeMole srl, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: ACSET2013
Stream: Education

This paper is part of the ACSET2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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