This weekend I was in my summer class for my doctoral program. The instructors for this class use concept maps. While I was somewhat familiar with concept maps, I had convinced myself that they did not work for me. While I tend to like outlines as a result of the structure that they offer, after trying mind maps to help me remember content for a certification course, I gave up on them when I found them to be ineffective. However, because for this course we will be handling quite a bit of information and content, I was willing to give them another try to help me retain and understand linkages between concepts that we would be covering in the course.
TRUE STORY: I used a tool called CMAP (it’s a free download if you’d like to have your students download it to help them create their own concept maps to help them study) to create a concept map on scientific research and theory to better show and understand the linkages between the two concepts. I then went to bed and early that next morning I was able to explain the concepts and relations between scientific research and theory. So as you see, the tool had been effective for me in a short period of time. The mind is amazing because while I was asleep my brain was processing those concepts I had been toying with the night before. As a result, I am a new convert to the usage of concept maps AND also the importance of “sleeping on it.”
Do you have students that are having a hard time understanding or remembering concepts? Introduce them to concept maps and the CMAP tool to see if it helps them.
Check out these videos for more information: