A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping one to better analyse, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Students use this technique to improve their memory and spend less time actually making notes.
The reason why mind maps work so well as a study tool is that they engage the students in whole brain thinking and allow them to see the big picture. They also help students to clarify their thoughts, simplify complex ideas, memorise information, and allow them to be creative so they do not get as bored as easily.
In an era of smart phones, tabs, and other gadgets using smart technology, students have come a long way from the time where they had to take down pages and pages of notes and remember each and every bit of information given to them by memorizing and rote.
Examples of Mind Maps Created by College Students
Below are some examples of mind maps created by college students:
The above is an example of a simple mind map for a college magazine, where all aspects of the magazine are put into the map.
Uses of Mind Mapping Software for College Students
Below are some of the uses of mind mapping for students.
- Making Notes – Mind Maps are a great way for students to make notes on all of the information they receive. Mind Maps help students to note down only the most important information using key words, and then make connections between facts and ideas visually – keeping all of the topic thoughts together on one sheet. This makes note making easier or students, as it reduces pages of notes into one single side of paper. Having one visual resource to refer to makes everything easier.
- Planning an Essay – Students get it all the time. Mind Maps help make a realistic plan for an essay, and create a logical structure for the introduction, main sections and conclusions. Mind Mapping focuses their mind on the message they want to get across and the key information they want to include, making them less likely to go off topic or start rambling – a great tool for making sure they hit the marking criteria.
- Studying for Exams – With Mind Mapping, studying and exams are no longer a terror. By simply reviewing the notes the students have made on each subject, and mind mapping the key information that they need to remember, even complex topics can be mastered in a jiffy. Students tend to remember more this way and maintain connections between ideas, which is ideal for answering examination questions.
- Creative Inspiration – Mind Mapping is a source of creative inspiration. It sparks billions of creative ideas, for students to turn into the next great novel or artwork. Mind Maps work in the same way as the human brain, meaning that when there is a thought – it could be an image, a word or a feeling – this instantly sparks off hundreds of connecting ideas. Some of the most creative plans have their origin in mind maps where people have just thrown in their random thoughts and connected them.
- Problem Solving – If there is a tough equation or obstacle to overcome, Mind Mapping can help see things clearly. When there is a problem, one normally panics. Instead of ‘forcing’ the mind to find a solution, Mind Mapping helps to open up many possibilities and options to solve the problem. One can add any ideas or resources one can think of, and the nature of mind mapping sparks off more possibilities from the original thoughts.
- Making Presentations - Making presentations at school, college or university can be daunting for students, but they are a great way of showing that they know the subject well and are confident to talk about it. With Mind Maps, presenting is a breeze for students. Reading from sheets of notes is boring for students – with Mind Mapping they only have keywords and images to stimulate their memory, so they automatically present in a more conversational way as they keep eye contact with their audience.
- Group Study – Group study can be a really fun way for students to share their knowledge, and Mind Mapping can help them to get the best out of a brainstorming session. First, they should make an individual Mind Map of their thoughts on the topic, and then they can combine the individual ideas and create a Mind Map that encompasses all the ideas and thoughts without anyone losing their personal insights and thoughts.
Examples of Mind Maps for Industrial Revolution
The above is an example of a mind map created for the Industrial Revolution and an easy way to remember all the aspects around the same.
Facts and Figures
Here are some facts and figures as to how Mind Mapping has helped college students.
- According to a study conducted by Farrand, Hussain and Hennessey (2002), Mind Mapping improved the long-term memory of factual information in their participants by 10%.
- A study by Al-Jarf (2009) confirms that Mind Mapping software offers a powerful approach for improving the ability of anyone to generate, visualise and organise ideas. The subjects taking part in the study reported that the Mind Mapping tool encouraged creative thinking in students and they became faster at generating and organising ideas for their writing.
- Research by D’Antoni and Pinto Zipp (2005) found that, from a pool of 14 physical therapy students, 10 out of 14 agreed that the Mind Map technique enabled them to better organise and integrate the material presented in their course.
- Goodnough and Long (2002) found Mind Mapping to be a useful strategy for introducing new concepts, providing a whole-class focus for a large research project, assessing learning of individuals and offering greater choice in how people chose to complete assignments and projects.
Mind Vector – Your Ideal Tool for Mind Mapping
Mind Vector is a mind mapping tool that makes the art of mind mapping simple and interesting for students.
The easy to use UI and flexibility to add images and create simple and complex maps on the automatically expanding canvas makes it interesting for students to expand their thought process and put in all aspects surrounding a subject. The ability to add notes and images to nodes and sub-nodes makes it a more user friendly tool.
Students can also create common mind maps as part of group study and collaborate amongst themselves using the collaboration feature. This helps to collectively gather all ideas and brain storm on complex topics.
Mind Vector can be accessed from the Web, and Apple mobile devices. The easy accessibility of this tool helps students access the maps anywhere and make changes to them.
We can therefore conclude that with easy availability of appropriate tools, mind mapping can become a useful technique for students to succeed in academics.
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