MP logo MP title

Zoltán Tóth: The assessment os knowledge structures using knowledge space theory

This paper summarises the basic concepts of knowledge space theory developed by Falmagne and Doignon. Based on the surmise relation, the expert hierarchy of the subset of questions or problems constituting the knowledge space can be constructed. From this, an expert knowledge structure can be derived which, in turn, serves to establish the most probable knowledge state for a student. Knowing this characteristic knowledge state, two important questions can be answered: „What can the student do?” and „What is the student ready to learn?” Knowledge space theory is also suitable for determining the most characteristic knowledge structure for student groups as well as the critical learning pathway and the hierarchy of the characteristic problems. These offer the possibility to monitor the changes in the cognitive structure in the process of education. Relating expert knowledge structure and students’ response structure, the critical items can be identified and the question what the majority of students are ready to learn can be answered. This paper presents two applications of knowledge space theory. The methods for constructing knowledge structure as well as obtaining the critical learning pathway, the characteristic hierarchy of problems and the critical problems are discussed in detail, using a study of high school students’ understanding and application of basic physical and chemical quantities as an example.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 105. Number 1. 59-82. (2005)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Tóth Zoltán , Debreceni Egyetem TTk, Kémia Szakmódszertani Részleg, H-4010 Debrecen, Pf. 66.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia