Including causal links in concept maps enables learners to meaningfully relate concepts to a larger context or problem in terms of how and where concepts apply within the chains of causal events that lead to a given goal or outcome. Given that higher quality maps are produced when students link and sequence events to flow temporally and sequentially in a consistent direction towards a target outcome in a map, it is highly plausible that students can improve learning transfer (the ability to apply concepts to diagnose and solve problems) by including and making more salient the sequences of causal links nestled in the semantic links in concept maps. To lay the groundwork to empirically test this proposition in future research, this study: 1) analyzes 16 concept maps presented in the Proceedings of the 8th Int. Conference on Concept Mapping to codify the diverse and sometimes incongruent syntaxes used to convey causal relationships; 2) examines how the causal link syntaxes combined with semantic links work jointly (or against each other) to create temporal flow; and 3) explore how causal and semantic links can be integrated to increase the saliency and quality of the causal networks connecting concepts to outcomes. A better understanding of how causal links are expressed, integrated, and made more salient in concept maps can reveal ways to help students create concept maps that are more accurate, meaningful, and effective in improving the ability to apply concepts to solve complex problems.

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