Concept Maps

Yesterday in class I asked you to sketch out concept maps for the entire course. Some of you missed the mark, most often by failing to label arrows between concepts with descriptions of the relationships between those concepts, but some of you did really great work. I wanted to share a few of your concept maps here on the blog so that you can perhaps learn a bit from each other.

Here’s one from Lester and Taylor:

(Click on any of these concept maps to see a larger version.)

Check out all the connections they made to confidence intervals. Their “linear regression” box is off floating by itself. What connections would you make between linear regression and other concepts in this course?

Here’s a concept map from Graham and Richard:

They didn’t label their arrows, but I like their use of doodles to make particular concepts jump out. I don’t get the sailboat for R/RStudio, but I think that’s a Pokemon representing Diigo.

Nathan used some interesting visual techniques, too:

The use of a tree diagram to represent, well, a tree diagram is clever. And Nathan’s map was one of two that included hypothesis tests about concept maps.

Here’s another map that used visuals in interesting ways. This one is from Chris:

See how “confidence interval” is written like an interval? And do you get the visual metaphors for paired data and point estimates?

Irene and Tara went with a comprehensive approach with their concept map:

Excellent use of labels on arrows here, but nothing about confidence intervals? And I think the Central Limit Theorem is perhaps more central. I wonder what a concept map that put the CLT right at the center would look like.

Ted’s concept map is pretty comprehensive, too:

Some of his arrows could use labels, but check out the host of concepts he connected to “probability.” Ted also included a few of the course activities, like social bookmarking and clicker questions, even making a connection between those one of those activities (social bookmarking) and a course concept (visualization).

Here’s one more comprehensive map, this one from Megan and Kasey:

Here’s a challenge for you: Take Megan and Kasey’s concept map and label all the arrows. Also, did they miss any key concepts?

Siana, whose data visualization sketch (with Tim) way back at the start of the semester was pretty impressive, turned in another nice sketch yesterday:

Perhaps not the most comprehensive or complex concept map, but the aesthetics certainly grab and keep your attention. I also like the idea of connecting the normal distribution to other concepts through the Central Limit Theorem, since it was the CLT that (in most cases) lets us invoke the normal distribution.

I hope this activity was helpful to you as you head into the final days of the course, both as a visual thinking exercise and as a way to see the “big picture” in this course.

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