As part of the Sidewalk Project's exploration of the use of superimposed information in an educational setting, we've developed a set of web-based tools for integrating strand maps into a curriculum.
About Strand Maps
Strand maps organize and present sequencial learning items (called benchmarks). Project 2061 offers a number of sample strand maps. A strand map is like a high-level map of learning objectives, with directed links between them that state that, for example, you must know the earth is round before you can understand that it rotates around the sun.
About Our Work
The 2061 project's use of strand maps applied them primarily to the k-12 setting, over the subjects of science. While the tools we're developing should be generic in nature, we've chosen to use strand maps with a class on relational databases.
To begin our research, we conducted a Survey of Concept Mapping Tools which compares the features of three popular concept mappers. As the concept map model is very similar to the strand map model, this investigation served as a good starting place for implementing new tools.
The tools we've implemented so far include a Flash-based strand map presentation tool for the web that allows a teacher to link from the strand map to their course material.
We've also added support for subdocument addressing, so that we can "mark into" a digitized version of the text book -- link to a specific section of what could be a very large chapter in a book, without modifying the base layer.
For more information on superimposed information, see the SPARCE architecture.