Concept Maps at the Beginning, Middle, and End

I’ve been collecting links to resources on the use of visual thinking in teaching and learning. Here are three resources that go well together. Each is an example of the use of concept maps in a physics class.

  • At the Beginning – “Physics 292: The Big Picture” is a Prezi that Ian Beatty (UNC-Greensboro) shared with his physics class last August. Not only is this an excellent example of how to use panning and zooming in Prezi, but it also shows how you can describe an entire semester’s worth of content in a single, big concept maps. Cognitive science tells us that experts in a field have robust mental models of the concepts and relationships among concepts in that field. Novices, like our students, lack those robust mental models. Building those models is hard work, but sharing a visualization of one’s own mental models with students helps them start to refine their own. Also, I like the idea of using a concept map like this one to give students a preview of what they’re going to learn in a course. This is a great first-day-of-class tool.

    Update (10/8/14): Ian’s Physics 292 prezi is no longer available, but here’s a similar one he’s put together: “All of Physics in One Diagram.”

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