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#JISCExpert11 – C-Link- Concept Linking – Seven steps to Kevin Bacon?

March 23, 2011

Today I had the very great pleasure of chairing a session at the JISC Learning and Teaching Practice Experts Group meeting in Birmingham. The session was run by the very animated Professor Peter Hartley, technology evangelist from the University of Bradford.
Peter shared the fruits of a JISC rapid innovation project, in the form of the C-Link concept mapping tool

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The tool enables teaching staff or learners to develop their understanding and critical thinking by providing a intuitive and highly visual concept map to be created linking any two terms.
C-Link searches wikipedia to to identify the terms being selected, and then automatically searches for links between them. The resulting map can bee zoomed into, and moved around the screen to better identify links and paths. The tool can export the map as .cxl format files which can be mainpulated in the Free Open Source C-Map tool http://cmap.ihmc.us/

Whilst the tool currently searches wikipedia, it can equally search any modern database, or with a little manipulation, open data source.

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The team are in ongoing discussions with the dynamic learning maps project at Newcastle, and feel the tool has uses in He, FE and wider education.
I think they are right, I can imagine using the tool to stimulate discussions in sessions, to challenge thinking and generally engage the learner, or support the researcher.

The only downside for me is that it runs on Silverlight, which doesn’t play nicely on my old PPC mac. The tool is open source and you can look at the code here: http://code.google.com/p/conceptlinkage/
The team are also keen to hear from sources of further funding.

http://www.conceptlinkage.org

http://www.conceptlinkage.org/clink/

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