Moving digital libraries into the student learning space: The GetSmart experience

Byron B. Marshall, Hsinchun Chen, Rao Shen, Edward A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The GetSmart system was built to support theoretically sound learning processes in a digital library environment by integrating course management, digital library, and concept mapping components to support a constructivist, six-step, information search process. In the fall of 2002 more than 100 students created 1400 concept maps as part of selected computing classes offered at the University of Arizona and Virginia Tech. Those students conducted searches, obtained course information, created concept maps, collaborated in acquiring knowledge, and presented their knowledge representations. This article connects the design elements of the GetSmart system to targeted concept-map-based learning processes, describes our system and research testbed, and analyzes our system usage logs. Results suggest that students did in fact use the tools in an integrated fashion, combining knowledge representation and search activities. After concept mapping was included in the curriculum, we observed improvement in students' online quiz scores. Further, we observed that students in groups collaboratively constructed concept maps with multiple group members viewing and updating map details.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1217864
JournalACM Journal on Educational Resources in Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006


  • Concept maps
  • Digital libraries
  • Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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