Active Learning Strategies: Mind Mapping

A mind map (also called "concept map") uses words, lines, logic, colors, images, and even sounds to stimulate the brain. Mind mapping has four important characteristics:

  1. The subject is represented by a central image.
  2. The main themes of the subject radiate from the central image as main branches.
  3. Minor themes are linked to the main themes.
  4. All the branches are connected forming a nodal structure.

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How to mind map

Advantages of mind mapping

Possible mind mapping assignments include:

Example 1: Create a mind map of the therapy process.

Example 2: Map the process of nursing management for a patient on dextroamphetamine therapy.

University of Vermont School of Nursing


Example 3: Develop a mind map depicting the discharge plan for a specific patient/family.

Mind maps can be placed in the student's portfolio, drawn and faxed to the instructor who can scan one or more to post online for others to preview , or created with word processing software using flow charts and drawing tools or using specialized software products (most offer free demos):

  • MindMapper (
  • SmartDraw (
  • Concept Draw (
  • SMART Ideas (
  • Inspiration (
  • Knowledge Manager (
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