Concept maps, also known as graphic organizers, are images used to visually represent concepts, and relationships between concepts. Concept maps that illustrate arguments are called argument maps.
|Moral Philosophy (K. Pierce)|
I use concept maps in all my courses. I teach introductory philosophy courses mostly; both online and face to face; at a state college, and at several universities.
If my own experience is any indication, visual organizers work pretty well in all of the above-mentioned environments. Students consistently report that the maps help them understand the meaning and application of, and relationships between, concepts.
I know I'd have been thrilled if I'd encountered more of these when I was in school, both as an undergraduate, and as a graduate student. My thinking occurs visually; my mind interprets concepts, and relationships between them, as images. I don't know if that's a good way of explaining it, but there it is.
Thus, using and creating concept maps comes pretty natural to me. Plus, I like to draw. So I either create the maps or graphic organizers beforehand, or draw them on the spot.
Have any of you ever used, or thought about using, concept maps in your courses? If yes:
- What topics, concepts, applications, do you use them for?
- What are, have been, the results?
- Do students like them? Why or why not?
- Do you create them yourself, or do you get them elsewhere?
- If the latter, where? (You're welcome to use mine!)
If no: Why not?
If drawing or creating images just doesn't come easy to you, and that's all that's been stopping you from trying these in your courses, you're welcome to use mine (see below for link). I've posted the application I use, below, at the bottom of this post.
Next are a couple more. Suggestions for other maps? Comments? Constructive criticism?
|"Five Branches" (K. Pierce)|
|"Ethics Mountain" (K. Pierce)|
March 14, 2011 update: Hey all, Gliffy has a collaboration feature. I'd like to update the Moral Philosophy map, per all the excellent feedback received so far (and pending). If any of you are interested in collaborating on it, sign up to Gliffy, and we can work on it together if you would like.
Here are 2 more I made a while back; perhaps they could be of use to some. Comments? Criticism? Suggestions?
|"Moral arguments" (K. Pierce)|
|"Deductive vs. Inductive" (K. Pierce)|
Explanation of "Concept Map" @ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concept_map
More of my concept maps: http://philosophy-teacher.blogspot.com/
What I use to create concept maps: http://www.gliffy.com (link fixed)
Another resource: http://chartporn.org
Added March 14: to find argument maps, go to Google Image, and search "argument map"