Perspec-Map: a Collaborative Digital Environment supporting Multi-Perspective Concept Maps
A Concept Map is a tool for representing knowledge in terms of concepts and relations between them, thatcan be easily shared, communicated, and learned. A Concept Map can be considered as a perspective on a given issue or topic; as a consequence, the possibility of commenting on, criticizing, comparing, and merging different perspectives is essential, in particular when concept maps are used in a collaborative learning environment.
The interplay between different perspectives actually plays a major role: even in those collaborative contexts where the main goal is usually the convergence towards a shared, common representation, it has been recognized that for users it is important to keep track of one’s own personal view.
The goal in collaboration is not to reach exactly the same perspective for all participants, but rather to help each other reaching a personal understanding of the topic under consideration.
From this point of view, both the shared perspective and all personal ones are maps representing different conceptualizations of a given issue. Clearly, the availability of tools supporting the comparison of a user's own personal map and the shared one, or between her personal perspective and those belonging to other users, are extremely important for the development of meta-reflection skills.
Perspec-Map is a prototype web application supporting collaborative conceptual mapping, that implementss such a view.