Purpose: The study investigates meaningful learning among higher education students using concept maps (CM) as a learning strategy. The main goals were to understand whether the introduction of CM produced changes in students' academic achievement and intrinsic motivation (IM). Design/methodology/approach: In this quasi-experimental study, academic achievement was collected using achievement tests made in-class, IM through a self-reported questionnaire and the usefulness of CM using an interview. The research sample consisted of 60 undergraduate students enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate occupational therapy (OT) program of a Portuguese polytechnic institute in two different consecutive academic years. Students were assigned to 2 groups (experimental group (EG) – 23 and control group – 37). CM were introduced in the pedagogical process of the EG. Findings: CM produced better academic achievement in the EG. Nevertheless, groups presented a decrease in the levels of IM over time. Practical implications: The paper includes implications for the development of CM as a learning strategy to improve students' learning and academic achievement. Originality/value: This paper fulfills an identified need to investigate the double impact of CM on academic achievement and IM in higher education students.
- Academic achievement
- Concept maps
- Intrinsic motivation
- Meaningful learning
- Occupational therapy education