Abstract. In this study it is investigated if students are able to comprehensively externalize their medical knowledge in concept maps. Assuming this it is expected that map performance measured by a map score correlates with the outcome of a previous knowledge test, and that subjects of an experimental group which is familiar with the topic of the mapping task (electrocardiography) receive a higher map score and produce more specific matters than subjects of a control group. Furthermore the effectiveness of incorporation of grown knowledge after a learning period is examined. 39 second year medical students who were enrolled in a lab course served as subjects for the study. The concept mapping task and a questionnaire on previous knowledge were conducted in a computer-based manner. Subjects mapped their knowledge successively before and after the lab course. Results showed significant correlations between previous knowledge and map scores. In addition students that were demanded to prepare the topic of the mapping task received higher map scores and externalized more specific concepts than a control group. The data analysis of the increase of map scores after a learning period revealed no significant results. Results suggest that concept maps seem to support individual externalization of medical knowledge.
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