In this paper we describe the architecture of an e-learning environment that blends concept maps with Online Labs (OLabs) to enhance student performance in biology. In the Indian context, a secondary school student’s conceptual understanding of hard topics in biology is at risk because of a lack of qualified teachers and necessary equipments in labs to conduct experiments. Concept map provides a visual framework which allows students to get an overview of a concept, its various sub concepts and their relationships and linkages. OLabs with its animations, videos and simulations is an interactive, immersive approach for practicing science experiments. The blended e-learning environment was tested by systematically developing a concept map for the concept “Photosynthesis” and by successfully integrating it into the OLabs environment. Our blended approach to concept understanding has interesting implications for the teacher who is engaged in training programs.
Raghu Raman, Haridas, M., and Prof. Nedungadi, P., “Blending Concept Maps with Online Labs for STEM Learning”, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol. 320, pp. 133-141, 2015.