Creating Effective Concept Maps for Learning
Concept maps are ideal for learning specific concepts, as shown by this concept map created with Algor Education on the Victorian Age.
But what are the steps to take to navigate among the numerous available possibilities? The best way to discover your path in the world of maps is to ask yourself three basic questions about what you expect from your work.
- What do you need the map for that you are creating? If you are summarizing or studying, it will be better to focus on concept maps, while if you are creating an interdisciplinary path, it will be better to opt for a mind map. As for game-based learning and teaching, you can choose based on the activity you want to propose to your students;
- Is there a verification occasion for which you are using the map? If you are preparing for a test, try to optimize your work: in the case of an oral test, choose less detailed maps so that you can go through them again by repeating; in the case of a written test, focus more on the visual aspect, in order to reactivate visual memory;
- Do you want to work on the map in paper, digital, or mixed mode? The type of support used can completely change the didactic experience, because on the one hand, analog work activates specific motor neural processes, while on the other hand, digital allows the insertion of audio and video files that can be consulted at any time.
2. Never create overly complex maps
The purpose of maps, especially when used in the learning of concepts, is usually to summarize complex and detailed material. It is precisely because of this similarity to the world of summaries that we derive the second mistake to never make: having the pretense of creating a complete final product in its smallest details.