The network approach to assess the structure of knowledge: Storage, distribution and retrieval as three measures in analysing concept maps
We present three new standardised network concept map (CM) measures that can provide unique information about learning‐related progress, which cannot be determined from previously known measures. Grounded in cognitive development theory on the one hand, and network theory on the other hand, our measures reveal how knowledge is stored, distributed and retrieved. We validated the new measures by testing their ability to discriminate between CMs of respondents with different levels of competency in statistics (students before and after taking an introductory statistics course and experts in the field of statistics). We also validated our measures against the most commonly used traditional and network measures. Based on a small sample of respondents, we show that two of the newly proposed compound measures reveal significant differences between experts and novices in the field, with higher values for experts, showing that expert knowledge is better distributed, more connected and balanced. More importantly, our measures were sensitive enough to show learning‐related progress for students, albeit statistically non‐significant, while common indicators from network theory did not demonstrate these small shifts. The validity of our new measures can be inferred from the consistency of the results from different sets of measures.