The CONTEXT tool ?Ǩ going beyond the narrative

Jane Alexen Shuyska


This paper discusses a new teaching and learning tool, CONTEXT, which utilises computer technology to support analytical thinking in students. The tool uses a combination of computerized concept mapping and hypertext writing in a wiki to engage the learner in thinking deeply about the complex material that is being studied. This paper presents a draft of a theoretical model aimed at explaining the interplay between the cognitive and the technological aspects of CONTEXT.

The CONTEXT tool was trialled in a small-scale case study, aimed at assessing the potential of the tool. An A-level history class participated in the case study. Two class sessions were planned in collaboration with the class teacher and subsequent interviews were held with some of the participating students to gain feedback. The data gathered from the case study were analyzed using the model as a framework.

Although the implementation of CONTEXT explored in this paper was far from optimal, the tool showed potential for promoting a coherent understanding of the studied material in the students. Overall the students found CONTEXT useful and motivating to work with. Although serious modifications of the tool are needed, the teacher was interested in continuing the development of CONTEXT for next year?ǨѢs students and broadening the application of the tool.

Full Text: PDF

Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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