Use of concept mapping and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to promote integrative learning in athletic training and occupational therapy graduate students
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Educators are always looking for effective teaching methods to enhance student learning in the classroom. Promoting critical thinking through integrative learning is necessary to allow students to transfer knowledge from the classroom environment to the real world environment. To be an effective educator, it also is important to consider the student's learning styles and the impact of the learning style on teaching instruction. Concept mapping is a teaching technique that has been used in a variety of educational settings to promote integrative learning and can be utilized with different student learning styles. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) can be used with students to give educators insight into student preferences with learning. Concept mapping can be used as a teaching method for individual and group instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role concept mapping plays with integrative learning in individual concept mapping versus heterogeneous group concept mapping with Master of Athletic Training (MAT) and Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students. This study focused on two main points: (a) differences between individual concept maps and group concept maps; and (b) differences in concept maps between students with the MBTI – "Sensing" preference and the MBTI - "Intuitive" preference. MAT students (n=32) and MOT students (n=59) participated in this study. Students participated in two 50-minute concept mapping sessions. Students were required to complete an individual concept map as a homework assignment. Measurements for each student included an individual concept map score, time to complete the individual map, a group concept map score, a change score from individual to group concept map, and a MBTI. Findings identified a statistically significant difference between change scores from individual concept map scores and group concept map scores, supporting the idea that group work can enhance individual work. Differences between the "Sensing" student and "Intuitive" student maps were not found to be statistically significant. However, a correlation demonstrated that students who took more time on their individual maps had higher scores on their individual maps, regardless of their MBTI. This study and its application of concept mapping have practical implications for educators. Concept mapping can be an effective teaching method to use in the classroom as both an individual and group assignment. It also is optimal to mix students with different learning preferences so students can benefit from each other's preferences in a group setting.