Re: Personal Concept Maps & Web Guide

Yogesh Malhotra (
Fri, 24 Jan 1997 00:44:13 -0400

Hello, Brian and Bob, nice to hear from you. I had been following
this string and thought this information _may_ be pertinent. Before I
became conversant with PCP (about an year ago), I had been thinking
of similar issues of 'personal construction', specifically as they
relate to creation of 'meaning' and 'freedom to choose'. In that
context, I had developed an informal prototype of my view
[personal construction] of issues at the intersection of information
systems and organizational issues in the form of an indexed knowledge map.

Over the time the objective became testing some fundamental hypotheses
related to technology, information, and human interaction with information in
pursuit of construction of knowledge. The whole process has been
done on the Internet in a very ad-hoc manner while I have been
doing more theoretical work off-site. The process started about
two years ago and has resulted in many insights - although many of
these, I believe are at a tacit level. The theory has informed the
online construal of the content informed by an interactive exchange
between the personal construction and the social constructions.

Since my online work has been done in a very ad hoc and unstructured
manner, although informed by, and attempting to explore, some mainstream
hypotheses, I would be very interested in knowing about the more
structured and formal approach that has been delineated by you,

The online ad-hoc construal lives at:

Best regards,

Yogesh Malhotra
University of Pittsburgh

> Nice to hear from you Brian. I'm working on a project that might relate to
> your interests. I teach political science, and I'm developing a course in
> which I plan to have students develop indexes of selected web material.
> Generally, when I send students to the web for research, they are
> overwhelmed. The digital library resources are still sparse, and the
> material on the web isn't sufficiently indexed. So I plan to have students
> develop personal concept maps of selected portions of their topic. I plan
> to use a PCP grid to assist students in developing and explicating their
> concepts. Students then will compare their grids, and develop a personal
> map as well as a group map of a particular topic. They will then turn the
> concept map into a thesaurus entry, to be used for indexing material found
> on the web. Instead of a collection of site addresses, I will ask them to
> prepare a "precis" of the topic from content found on the web - a
> collection of definitions and illustrative uses, instances, examples and
> related concepts, etc. The group will be responsible for integrating these
> personal hyper-maps into a web guide to the topic. Is this related in any
> way to what you are interested in?
> Bob Parks
> Elmira College