Paper-based and computer-based concept mappings: The effects of computer achievement, computer anxiety, and computer attitude

Jul 8, 2013, 13:05 PM
Erdogan, Y. (2009). Paper-based and computer-based concept mappings: The effects on computer achievement, computer anxiety, and computer attitude. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(5), 821-836.


  • 77 eighth grade students from a secondary school in Istanbul participated in the study.
  • This study sought to examine the effects of using a conventional, paper-based concept map, and a computer-based concept map instruction on students’ computer hardware knowledge, computer-related anxiety, and attitude towards computers.


  • All study sessions took place in computer labs at a secondary school in Istanbul.


  • Students were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups designed to provide instruction on computer hardware: the conventional instruction group, the paper-based concept mapping group, and the computer-based concept mapping group.
  • Prior to learning about computer hardware, all students took a pretest on the subject, their computer-related anxiety, and their attitudes towards computers.
  • Students were taught about computer hardware within their assigned instruction condition for 4 weeks.
  • Students in the conventional instruction group received traditional, lecture style instruction on computer components, including CPU, RAM, and memory and participated in hands-on activities to install and remove computer hardware.
  • Students in the experimental conditions received similar instruction but used concept maps in order to learn information presented and also participated in several sessions on the use of concept mapping prior to beginning instruction on computer hardware.
  • After 4 weeks, students took a posttest to assess their computer hardware knowledge, computer anxiety, and attitude towards computers.


  • Students participating in the paper-based and computer-based concept map groups produced better scores on posttest measures than students in the conventional instruction group.
  • There were no statistically significant differences between the scores of students in the 2 concept map groups.
  • The posttest scores of student attitude towards computers; however, was slightly higher in the computer-based concept map group, indicating that students using the computer-based concept map program had a slightly more positive attitude towards computers than other participants.
  • This study provides additional evidence for the effectiveness of using concept mapping to promote meaningful student learning; however, the study failed to provide evidence that a computer-based format leads to better outcomes than a paper-based format.
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