Concept Mapping Templates
Concept mapping is a technique for representing knowledge in graphs. Nodes represent concepts and links represent the relations between concepts.
Concept Map Example
To do a
Map, write the main idea in the centre of the page - it may be a word, a phrase,
or a couple of juxtaposed ideas, then
place related ideas on branches that radiate from
this central idea using the built-in concept map symbols.
Click here to download Concept Map Freeware.
Advantages of Concept Mapping
Mapping may be seen as a type of brainstorming. Both Mapping and
brainstorming may be used to encourage the generation of new material, such
as different interpretations and viewpoints. However, Mapping relies less on
intentionally random input, whereas, during brainstorming, one may try to
think up wild, zany, off-the-wall ideas and connections. Brainstorming
attempts to encourage highly divergent "lateral" thinking, whereas Mapping,
by its structure, provides opportunity for convergent thinking, fitting
ideas together, as well as thinking up new ideas, since it requires all
ideas to be connected to the centre, and possibly to one another.
Paradoxically, the results of brainstorming usually appear on paper as lists
or grids -- both unavoidably linear structures: top to bottom, left to
right. Mapping is less constrictive -- no idea takes precedence arbitrarily
(by being at the "top" of the list).
are some advantages of Mapping, which will become more apparent to you after
you have practiced this technique a few times:
clearly defines the central idea, by positioning it in the centre of the
allows you to indicate clearly the relative importance of each idea.
allows you to figure out the links among the key ideas more easily. This
is particularly important for creative work such as essay writing.
allows you to see all your basic information on one page.
a result of the above, and because each Map will look different, it
makes recall and review more efficient.
allows you to add in new information without messy scratching out or
makes it easier for you to see information in different ways, from
different viewpoints, because it does not lock it into specific
allows you to see complex relationships among ideas, such as
self-perpetuating systems with feedback loops, rather than forcing you
to fit non-linear relationships to linear formats, before you have
finished thinking about them.
allows you to see contradictions, paradoxes, and gaps in the material --
or in your own interpretation of it -- more easily, and in this way
provides a foundation for questioning, which in turn encourages
discovery and creativity.
Concept mapping can be done
for several purposes:
- to generate ideas
(brain storming, etc.);
- to design a complex
structure (long texts, hypermedia, large web
- to communicate complex
- to aid learning by
explicitly integrating new and old knowledge;
- to assess understanding
or diagnose misunderstanding.
Concept Map and Mind Map
Mind Map is a popular
related technique, invented (and copyrighted) by
Tony Buzan in the UK. He describes mind maps as: "a
mind map consists of a central word or concept,
around the central word you draw the 5 to 10 main
ideas that relate to that word. You then take each
of those child words and again draw the 5 to 10 main
ideas that relate to each of those words."
The difference between concept
maps and mind maps is that a mind map has only one
main concept, while a concept map may have several.
This comes down to the point that a mind map can be
represented as a tree, while a concept map may need
a network representation.
Other relative links
How to Draw a
How to Create a Good Concept Map