Exploring students' cognitive structures in learning science: A review of relevant methods

Chin Chung Tsai, Chao Ming Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding how people think and how people organise knowledge are always major concerns for educational researchers. Hence, educators have developed various ways of representing learners' 'cognitive structures'. This article provides a review of the use of five methods of representing cognitive structures - free word association, controlled word association, tree construction, concept map and flow map. Through comparing the types of analyses that are generated from these cognitive structure representation methods, this paper discusses the applications, as well as the limitations, among these methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Assessment
  • Cognitive structure
  • Concept map
  • Constructivism
  • Flow map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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