THE EFFECT OF SEMANTIC MAPPING ON STUDENTS' COMPREHENSION OF MEDICAL TEXTS

Journal Article
Publication Abstract: 

Nursing students at King Saud University (KSU) are considered to be low achieving readers. They face difficulties with understanding and recalling medical texts. Thus, the researcher used computer-assisted semantic mapping (CASM) with level-three (114 NAJM) nursing students to map medical passages for the purpose of helping such students in comprehension. Participating subjects were of two groups: Group A (n = 32) and Group B (n = 26). The control group (n = 26) received traditional in-class instruction that depends on the textbook only and the experimental group (n = 32) received a combination of traditional in-class instruction and semantic mapping (SM) instruction using a software (FreeMind 0.8.1). A pre- and post-test were utilized to assess student reading skills before and after the intervention. The semantic-mapping treatment lasted 8 weeks. Results showed that SM was ineffective in improving student reading comprehension. This lack of progress in reading is attributed to the program's incapability of reinforcing reading comprehension skills such as inferencing and understanding causal relationships in a text. Further, students lack some necessary background knowledge that might aid them in making inferences and in comprehension. Also, SM needs more of teacher modelling and student training.

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