Concept Maps and Clickers

Instructional Strategies – ADLT 603 – Post 9

The team presentations on concept mapping and clickers or the audience response system were both quite interesting for me. I have used concept mapping or mind mapping in the past and do use it for organizing my thoughts about a project or a paper. I’ve done it by hand writing on a blank sheet of paper and I also have a software program called MindManager http://mindmanager.com/ (it’s not free, but there are educational and nonprofit rates) that can be used to create mind maps in a graphical form. We also did concept mapping in the Org Learning and Culture class as group. This was done via a software application that we projected.


One of the interesting things for me about the concept map presentation was the idea of including images and drawings as a way to depict a concept. I really liked the video that showed the class working on a concept map on a whiteboard. This seemed to really engage the students and also give many people who may not even usually speak out a chance to participate. Personally, I liked this better than using software to create a class concept map. The software limits the actual input to one contribution at a time and only one person who actually can place a concept. And yet, creating an electronic version of a concept map allows the class to go back to it, revise it, and continue building on it. (This was a valuable experience in my Org Learning and Culture class.)

I also liked the idea of adding images or drawings when creating a map to represent ideas rather than only words. This seems to work more easily when doing a concept map by hand (although I know it can also be done electronically). It can be a help because an image immediately conveys a concept. Using images or drawings would be new for me since the recording of most of my thinking is usually done it words. I do think it would be interesting to explore this approach.

I think that a using a concept map for creating a shared vision and meaning of a relevant topic such as a reading, could really bring about dialogue and discussion. Through this learners share their meaning and also hear other perspectives. It also then gives the chance for the teacher or facilitator to add, correct, or expand on important points. I liked when we worked as a small group in the activity creating our concept map of summer vacation. I know there were things I hadn’t thought of that others in the group did think of and also I think some ideas sparked other ideas.

What most struck me about the clicker or ARS presentation was that I found myself more engaged than I thought I would be by participating using the ARS. I think if the presentation had been just a straight lecture, I would have drifted earlier if there were no other way to actively participate. And this was done without any dialogue or conversation with my neighbor learners or even the presenters! Interesting! I realize that I would have to rethink and really plan for how to use it and also think carefully about the questions, etc. I don’t see myself using this technology in the settings I presently find myself, but I could see it useful in certain situations.


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