Kelly Geddes' Portfolio


Concept Map Logo.cmap.jpg Start the course: Concept Mapping Across The Curriculum

Check.gif Project Topic

  • A professional development course on how to utilize and implement concept maps in the LD classroom.
  • Topics to be addressed:
    • Purpose of the graphic organizer in the LD classroom
    • Concept Maps Across the Curriculum
    • Using CMap Tools to create concept maps

Check.gif Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem

  • In today's classroom, we are constantly asking our students to recall, apply, and build upon prior knowledge. However, most of the information we present them is presented in large amounts of texts, making it more difficult to complete these tasks. It has been proven that concept maps are a useful tool not only in learning content, but in "understanding the structure and inter-relations of the curriculum content" making these tasks easier to accomplish (Chiou, 2008). In addition to added retention, concept maps can help "reduce the barriers and promote student interests in learning" thus increasing student motivation (Chiou, 2008).
  • For students with Learning Disabilities this task is much more complex. As educators, we must be able to help the students to the following:
    • Sort through the information and select the most important details
    • Create understanding
    • Provide the learner with the time needed for processing
  • Lenz et al. concluded that concept mapping enhances learning more than guided questions and other traditional methods. Concept mapping provided the LD learner with the necessary visual component to sort and classify important details needed to enhance comprehension.

The Nature of What is to be Learned

  • This course will introduce teachers to content specific maps that will help the LD student understand and retain the concepts being taught.
  • This course will provide teachers with several examples of content specific maps.

About the Learners

  • All participants are special education teachers who work for Wildwood Programs. Participants stem from a self-contained classroom setting, where they are responsible for all content areas. All teachers have obtained at least a 5 year degree, with a mandatory special education degree (bachelor's or master's).
  • Participants have limited exposure to concept mapping. They have elected to take this course to learn more about various types of concept maps and when it is appropriate to use them.
  • This course will be delivered online. Most participants are familiar with online discourse but may require additional support working with the media.

Instructional Content

  • Learning objectives are clearly stated at the beginning of each unit
  • Each unit will be designed in a similar manner, building upon the previous unit
  • Participants will be expected to apply knowledge of concept maps throughout course
  • Each unit will end with a "learning log" to illustrate what was learned and any concerns that may still need to be addressed
  • Participants will be expected to fill out a course evaluation at the end of the course

Explore Instructional Problem/Solution

  • Pending

Generate Goals

  • To increase teachers understanding of how concept maps can help increase a LD student's comprehension and retention of course content
  • To increase teacher use of concept maps in all subject areas

Check.gif Task Analysis

Course Purpose

  • The purpose of this course are the following:
    • Understand how concept maps can increase the LD student's understanding
    • Identify various content specific concept maps
    • Design and implement concept maps in the classroom
    • Facilitate student learning using concept maps

Performance Objectives

General Outcomes: At the end of the unit participants will have a better understanding of how graphic organizers help the LD student. Participants will also learn how to create content specific maps to implement in their classrooms.

Specific Outcomes:

  • Participants will be able to describe concept mappings purpose in the LD classroom
    • define what a concept map is
    • identify various content specific concept maps and their intended purpose
  • Participants will be able to operate Cmap Tools Software to design concept maps
    • construct their own concept maps using CMap Tools
  • Participants will be able to implement content specific concept maps strategies in the classroom
    • demonstrate how to construct a concept maps
    • create opportunity for students to create their own concept maps


  • Content knowledge in core subjects
  • Basic understanding of concept maps
  • Moderate computer skills and ability
  • Willingness to learn, intrinsic motivation

Check.gif Curriculum Map

Curriculum Map

Check.gif Unit 1 - Graphics and the LD Classroom

Performance Objectives

  • What is a concept map?
  • What benefits does the concept map have in the LD Classroom?
  • Content specific maps and their purpose


  • Comprehension of content knowledge

Check.gif Unit 2 - Creation of Maps

Performance Objectives

  • Use of Cmap Tools to create content specific concept maps


  • Basic understanding of computers

Check.gif Unit 3 - Implementing Concept Maps in the LD Classroom

Performance Objectives

  • Demonstrate use of concept map in the LD classroom
  • Student creation of concept maps

Check.gif References

Aylward, G. (2009). Learning Disabilities.

Buehl, Doug. Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning. 2nd ed. Newark, DE: Reading Association, 2001. Print.

Chiou, C. (2008). The effect of concept mapping on students' learning achievements and interests. Innovations in Education & Teaching International, 45(4), 375-387., doi:10.1080/14703290802377240

Kemp, G., Segal, J., & Cutter, D. (2009, May). Learning Disabilities in Children. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from

Lenz, B., Adams, G., Bulgren, J., Pouliot, N., & Laraux, M. (2007). Effects of Curriculum Maps and Guiding Questions on the Test Performance of Adolescents with Learning Disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30(4), 235-244.

Pelley, J. (2000). Concept Mapping: A Tool for Both Sensoring and Intuitive Learning Styles. Retrieved November 1, 2009, from

Wayne State College. (1999, August 12). A Primer on Concept Maps. Retrieved November 14, 2009, from