Have you ever run into the concept of concept maps? This idea has been a revolution in the field of education for over some decades now. The idea is brilliant and it did not start as a way to educate people. It started more like a way to explain things easily in environments less formal than school and university. However, the response has been wonderful and now it is used on many occasions. When we want to decide which college we will choose to send our kids to for studies we have to take things like these into consideration. Make sure that the university uses all kinds of techniques to educate its learners and do not compromise for institutions that have not cared enough to see what’s new in education.
Today we will analyze everything you need to know about this revolutionary educational tool that you should be expecting to see in all schools and universities with a good reputation.
The use of concept maps in education
The use of concept maps is double. Sometimes you will see them being used for evaluation of the learning process and the level of performance of students. In addition, they can be great tools to just teach students since they are exciting and they wake up people’s imagination and critical thought. Besides,, who said exams and learning cannot be combined? Recent approaches want the examination process to be a part of the learning concept. People should not be thinking they are being evaluated but rather focus on the idea that someone asks their opinion on a particular matter and they are expected to help. The goal is to finally manage to approach exams with that level of confidence without having any second thoughts about ourselves.
Identifying the form of a concept map
But what are the concept maps in reality? Theoretically, these ”maps are supposed to be the graphic representation of a student’s knowledge. But to make it easier for you to understand what one should expect let’s try to picture it. Imagine a piece of paper with circles or boxes and arrows that point from one circle to another. In each circle or box, there is a word that describes a concept. For example, you can see the words ”free time” in one box and then an arrow that leads to the next box which includes the word ”creativity.” This way one understand that in order for someone to be creative they need to have the luxury of having some free time. On the top of the arrow, you can put another word like ”inspiration” implying that inspiration is essential for creativity. Now, consider this structure with more complex concepts and think about how valuable this can be. Many chemical reactions can be approached this way and phenomena like, the greenhouse effect can be represented in this simple and comprehensive way.
Ways to implement them
There are many ways to introduce this idea to the learners. The first way is simple for the teacher but challenging for the students. It is to ask them to create a concept map regarding a particular phenomenon, a historical event, or whatever. The teacher does not need to think about lots of things but students are really challenged and perhaps they will mess up especially if they are not familiar with the process. To avoid all the confusion it is better to start with something easier. The layout can be ready from the professor but the boxes can be blank. Students can be asked to fill in the blanks with the right words.
This allows them to show their level of knowledge regarding the objectives but does not expect them to develop their critical thinking. In any case, they can learn faster because they have a picture of the issue you talk about. Some people want to see things to understand them deeper while others want to hear them in order to comprehend them. Those who belong in the first category will be greatly benefited by concept maps. Every learner has things to gain and this is why all universities should include them among the tools they use for teaching and evaluating students.
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