cmapER a H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie action
This proposal focuses on the development of an advanced educational approach founded substantially on a novel application of cognitive maps and meaningful learning activities in designing technological solutions for energy retrofit. An innovative learning platform for Knowledge Integration in Energy Retrofit (C-mapER) is the main vehicle.
The objectives are to:
1) develop a conceptual framework of the key concepts and relationships that influence Energy Retrofit projects (WP1),
2) develop the beta version of the ER platform (WP2);
3) test, refine, verify and disseminate the platform (WP3).
The cognitive approach is the starting point. It emerged in the field of psychology and has brought about innovation in educating and training designers. Researchers studied its various aspects in this context, including the importance of organizing and managing knowledge. Project knowledge drew attention through the exploration of the way a student succeeds in developing meaningful concepts with the help of appropriate learning tools. Others have concentrated on training designers through the use of cognitive maps and their ability to structurally represent knowledge. Here, the need to follow a procedural logic and to have suitable tools to effectively support the knowledge process; and the development of technical skills and creative capacities are regarded as keys to success.
There are two important limitations to adopting one of these approaches in the field of Energy Retrofit. Firstly, the knowledge process in design substantially focuses on the development of individual skills and neglects the collaborative task. Secondly, the learning environment is overlooked as the creative ability of the individual takes precedence. In the energy retrofit context, both collaborative task and learning environments are important. Creativity comes about when collaboration is nurtured in such environments that engage the learners in the knowledge process.
Constructing these environments, and therefore abandoning rote learning forms, is challenging. Implementing the cognitive approach through a series of meaningful learning activities (MLAs), which are derived from the Meaningful Learning Theory is a possible solution. It can increase the quality of the integrated knowledge paths by working through concepts and connections drawn from individual and collective prior knowledge. The concepts and connections can be visualized, manipulated, organized, focused, contextualized and discussed using cognitive maps in a computer environment.