is a tool that allows you to create mind maps and concept maps, among others. It is a graphics tool that is used to structure knowledge. A concept map, for example, is a visual representation of terms (concepts) and the relationships between them. The links in a concept map can be labelled or unlabelled and a specific direction may or may not be indicated. MindManager is a user-friendly way to create this and many other sorts of visual display.

How can you apply concept mapping during classes?

The structure of a concept map is highly dependent on the context within which it is used. Students can create concept maps on their own, although working together on concept maps boosts the learning effect as it promotes collaborative learning. This is also in line with the theory of social constructivism.

Below you can find a brief step-by-step plan for using concept mapping during contact hours:

  1. Examine whether the topic that you wish to focus on is compatible with the students’ prior knowledge.
  2. Explain to the students what a concept map is and how to make one.
  3. Devise a Focus Question:a particular problem or issue that the concept map must help to resolve. This immediately specifies the concept and structure of your concept map.
  4. Identify the core concepts applicable to your concept map (usually between 15 and 25).
  5. Identify the relationships between the core concepts.
  6. Create a ‘skeleton map’: a concept map that has been half filled-in to help students complete the rest of the map.
  7. Ask the students to create a concept map on a flip chart. Using sticky notes will enable the concepts to be easily rearranged.
  8. The students must also examine and define the relationships (cross-links) between the concepts on the concept map. It is vital that understand that all of the concepts are related. At this level, the students are strengthening their synthesis and evaluation skills.
  9. Finally, the students elaborate and complete their concept map using the MindManager tool, where the results will be saved and can be retrieved and worked on at a later date.

Tips & tricks

  • Working together to create the map promotes meaningful learning among students in a number of ways: students can explain the concepts and the relationships between the concepts to each other and discuss these issues between themselves.
  • Concept mapping also helps to identify topics that students are having difficulty with, enabling lecturers to devote greater attention to these topics.

Getting started

AUAS has a broad licence for MindManager and the tool can be found in the Software Centre.

If you have any questions or require support, contact the Blended Learning Consultant.