How Is Concept Mapping Used In Your University?
As a measure to organize thoughts “concept mapping” a graphically organised diagram is used. This especially comes into play where complex thought process needs to be organized. The different concepts are represented by a word or group of words. They are connected using linking words. The map is designed in a hierarchical fashion with main concepts represented towards the top. As many key words are related, cross links are also used to represent ideas along with examples.
Benefits of Concept Mapping
Concept mapping has a plethora of benefits, especially for a student to deal with her/his chapters & assignments.
A few prominent benefits include-
- Brainstorming- When creating a concept map, need would be to develop ideas about the concept. Hence, out of compulsion brainstorming would be done and the concept would have diverse threads of understanding. This is a very important benefit for writing good solution/assignment, when analysed from student’s point of view.
- New concepts learning- This tends to be a learning activity for students. Brainstorming requires the student to read and learn new concepts. Also connecting them to complete the diagram, helps them associate concepts. This helps promote analytical skills too.
- Enhanced Communication- As the concept demands connecting the main thread or idea with linking words, using concept maps help students communicate better. Also, enhanced communication promotes clear understanding.
- Integration- Not just limited to learning new concepts, concept mapping helps a student to relate old and new concepts.
- Knowledge gain- With all the concepts learned, a student develops knowledge and brushes it with practice. This is a long term benefit associated with concept mapping.
- Evaluation- Among the other levels of cognitive thinking, evaluation is a major aspect required for information processing. For a student learning the art of evaluation is very much required when writing reports. Also, as a general developmental aspect, evaluation helps in decision making.
Not only for completing a task and understanding a topic, concept mapping is a very important tool in terms of career development as well as knowledge enhancement. The tool acts as a motivator to learn new concepts promoting diverse knowledge gain in topics conducted. Beyond all these long term benefits, an immediate benefit that all student would profit from is fact retention and knowledge comprehension associated with the process.
Point of differentiation that segregated concept mapping with other similar tools are its characteristics
How to Make a Concept Map?
A main idea is generated from the main stem and are extended to the various key ideas. The tool majorly known to structure ideas by promoting knowledge, needs to be prepared following a few steps. To elucidate upon, the main steps would include-
- Choosing a preferred drawing platform– Based on accessibility and personal preference an individual needs to choose a platform on which he/she prefers to draw the concept map. The various options available as drawing platforms include:
- The traditional tool-A pen and paper
- Online software(personal)
- Cloud-based online software
Though many prefer the traditional tools over others, the online tool does have lot of benefits and ease when using.
- Choose the main stem– Main stem refers to the central idea or theme or subject which has been chosen to formulate the concept map. Choosing this is very important to identify correctly the different keys that would help generate ideas when going down in the hierarchical structure. The main stem can be a preferred domain of study or even small as a typical question given in an assignment. All ideas written below it in form of keys need to pull you back to the main stem. If you can do so, you are on the right track.
- Key Concepts- Key concepts come after the main theme idea or central idea is chosen. Central idea refers to the main task chosen to create the concept map. It can be a subject, an event, a study topic or even a phrase. Alternatively, you can term them as the direct related dimensions that can be allocated to the main concept. Brainstorming comes into play at this stage.
Choose the correct shape for the correct idea– A concept map has different ideas involved. There is a main concept, there are linking words, there are key ideas as well as specific ideas. Putting all of them under a square, will later confuse you as to which was a key idea and which was specific. To avoid such situations a specific type of box is chosen and line created for a specific type of idea. When doing online, an alternative could be the colour of box to differentiate the type of idea and information.
- Recheck correctness: After all ideas are added based on planned choice of boxes and colours, a reconfirmation of added ideas, key words, linking words is a must to avoid blunders.
Check specifically on-
- Correct fit of ideas to that of main and key ideas
- Can the idea be better placed under a different head?
The tool acts as a motivator to learn new concepts promoting diverse knowledge gain in topics conducted
Create your own Concept Map for Free
Try out now. Create a concept map of your own for free. Just drag & drop shapes and get going.
Also learn to create your concept map with example to assist. Please click the link in the website arrow marked below to see how the map is created.
Other Similar Tools used for Concept Mapping-
Different Concept Mapping Aspects used by Professors
According to assignment help experts, the point of differentiation that segregated concept mapping with other similar tools are its characteristics. It is on basis of these characteristic aspects that are preferred by professors.
The prominent characteristics include-
- Propositional Structure: The concept is linked with an idea by use of a proposition in a concept map. This is a unique feature when compared to other similar tool. This brings in a preference for the tool among professors. This feature helps avoid understanding gap, at a later stage after the map is complete and comprehending ideas is conducted by writing or jotting as elucidation.
- Hierarchical Structure: True to specific characteristics, a concept map is in a hierarchical structure. But the flexibility of the tool allows more than one central idea or topic. Also, cyclic processes can be represented well. This breaks the concept that concept map being of hierarchical structure does not allow cyclic processes to be represented.
- Focus Questions: Focus questions form the basis of concept maps. A correctly formulated focus question can help develop richer output. The tools give an opportunity to develop a concept map with over than one focus question.
With all appended flexibility and benefits, concept map has helped students to excel in their different courses including assignment. Try using it with your next assignment. The results would definitely impress you.
Enjoy Creative Concept Mapping!!