Backgrounds and Objectives:The use of concept maps is one of the new educational approaches that is rooted in the constructivist approach. In constructivism, the importance of knowledge is emphasized by relating the learned information to the new one. In this relational view and based on the concept map approach, people search between previous and new learning, people make their own schemas or mind maps, and in new learning, these mind maps are extensively revised and reconstructed. Concept map is a tool for showing the relationships between concepts in a coherent and hierarchical way that facilitates meaningful learning, because in this method the concepts are not scattered components but are in the form of a network of relationships to each other. Concept maps are also effective in facilitating creative thinking due to their unique features. The present study describes effectiveness of conceptual map implicated through multimedia on social skills improvement among learners with mental retardation. Teaching on the basis of concept mapping known as an active method to teach social skills for learners with special learning needs (as mental retarded).
Methods and Materials: Quasi-experimental research method is used with pretest-posttest instrument. Sample of the study is equal to society includes14 mild mental retarded students (aged 16-14 years). It is a researcher-made questionnaire measures learners with mental retardation social skills improvement included three components as interaction with others, social adaptive behavior and self-control. Questionnaires' Reliability estimated by Cronbach's alpha (0.80). Mann-Whitney U test used to analyses the data, compartments of the pre- post-test scores in experimental group after the intervention. The Wilcoxon Signed rank test with the effect size is also approached to data analyzing
Findings: It is revealed that there is a significant difference in pre-test and posttest scores of students in different level of social skills. So implementation of concept mapping plus to using multimedia could enable mentally retarded students as it is suggested to construct their minding's as well improvement of their social skills.
Conclusion: Learning to apply a concept map in the form of multimedia can improve the learning of subscales in the social skills subset, adaptive social behavior, improve the learning of social skills in the form of interaction with others, learn social skills in the form of self-control and keep components such as having clean your own desk, discussing your feelings and emotions, reacting appropriately to strangers, separating good and bad habits, and expressing happiness will be effective when you succeed in your control component. Experience of teaching with teacher-made concept map methods in combination with multimedia shows the effect of using active and modern methods in education for meaningful learning in children with mental disabilities, objectifying the teachings of students with mental disabilities with up-to-date and effective educational media such as photos, videos, animations and other educational software, providing educational resources required for social skills appropriate to the appropriate time conditions for children with mental disabilities and drawing maps to communicate between the main and secondary components of concepts related to social skills. Educational groups and organizations are recommended to pay attention to this group of students in developing and improving their learning.