Concept mapping | types | importance | example

Concept mapping

I am going to discuss Concept mapping in this article. Concept mapping was developed by Joseph D. Novak. and his research team at Cornell University as a means of representing the emerging science knowledge of students. It is a graphical tool to organize and represent knowledge. It forces us to think outside the traditional outline.
Later, I will also explain the need and the importance of concept mapping i.e. why has it been developed, what is the benefits of concept mapping, which type of concept mapping should be used for a topic to make an effective learning. I will also illustrate it by making a concept mapping on coordinate geometry and will also discuss its rationales.
At last, I will conclude my experience of making this article. 

Concept mapping is a graphical tool that visualizes relationships between concepts. It is an individualized technique of summarizing the relationship among different ideas in graphs while engaged in learning activity.

According to Joseph d. Novak,

“A concept mapping is a visual representation of hierarchy and relations among concepts within an individual’s mind.”

There are many tools available to create a concept map. Digital concept map are easier to edit and organize. Now a day, there are many software tools like Camp tools, VUE, Draw.Io, MindMeister, Lucidchart, gliffy etc. available which help us to create a concept map.

There are mainly four types of concept mapping.

  1. Spider Map:- Spider map is also called semantic map. It is a graphic organizer which starts with our core ideas at the centre, and then branch outwards to subtopics in a radial pattern. Our subtopics can branch out into smaller subtopics, and so on.

It is used only when we have single theme or idea that we want to build upon

2. Flow Chart:- This is a type of concept map which shows the steps of a process. It is a chart where we show the flow of activities that we are planning to do.   

It is used to understand a process or make a decision.

3. Hierarchy map:- A hierarchy map is a type of a concept map that shows the order of something.

It is used when we need to understand the elements of a system, alongwith which elements are in the highest position and which are in the lowest.

4. System map:- A system map is undoubtedly the most complex of all types of concept maps. It shows all the different parts of a concept and how they are interrelated. They often end up looking like webs, but they don’t necessarily need to move outward from the center the way a spider map does.

 It is used when we need to understand the inner      workings of how a system or team is functioning.

Some other concept maps are Picture landscape concept map, multidimensional/3-D concept map, Mandala concept map etc.

Need of Concept mapping

Concept mapping should be used to gain insight into the ways student view a scientific topic.

It is used to investigate how well students understand the disciplinary-acceptable connections.

It is used to capture the development of student’s ideas over time.

It is used to examine valid understandings and misconceptions the students hold.

It is used to assess the structural complexity of relationships that students depict.

Importance of Concept Mapping:-

The implementation of concept maps in the classroom allows both the teacher and the student discovering and describing meaningful relations among the concepts.

A concept map helps to connect new ideas to knowledge that the learner already have.

They are a handy way to take notes during lectures and are excellent aids to group brainstorming.

They assist in planning studies and also provide useful graphics for presentations and written assignments.

A concept map can be used not only as a learning tool but also an evaluation tool.

It facilitates the creation of shared vision and shared understanding within a team or organization. 

It helps the learners to refine their creative and critical thinking.

It is a good tool for classroom instruction and formative assessment.

The necessary time to process contents decreases very fast, interaction with contents is rendered more effective.

It speeds up learning process.

Advantages of using Concept Maps:-

Concept maps are good for processing and storing large amount of information.
It allows quick interpretation.
It helps students develop meta cognitive skills.
It helps visual learner grasp the material.
It utilizes the full range of the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
It helps students evaluate assumptions.
It helps memory recall.
It helps to clarify and structure ideas.
It encourages students to think creatively about the subject.
It helps student to synthesize and integrate information, ideas and concepts.
It helps students to be more active.
It develops communication skills through the presentation of conceptual maps and discussion.

Disadvantages of using Concept Maps:-

The use of Concept maps makes comparative ranking of students’ work difficult. Sometimes all concept maps look similar.
Evaluation is more time consuming for the instructor.
Students who are used to think at higher level may find concept maps boring and time consuming.
Students who have developed strong skills for factual memorization might resist and be intimidated by concept maps that require their seeing relationships between concepts, ideas, theories, questions, etc.
Sometimes relationships on concept maps become difficult to interpret.

Rationale of Coordinate Geometry

Coordinate geometry is one of the most important branches of mathematics. It provides a connection between algebra and geometry through graphs of lines and curves. This enables geometric problems to be solved algebraically and provides geometric insights into algebra.

It mainly helps us to locate the points in a plane.

It has many applications in fields of trigonometry, calculus, dimensional geometry etc.

It has a practical application in the field of GPS, printing, computer-aided manufacturing, etc.

It is also very useful in our day-to-day life. For example :- If I plan to place different pieces of furniture in a room, I will take the help of coordinate geometry to adjust them in a proper way.    

Scanner and photo copying machine also uses coordinate geometry to produce the exact image of the original image provided to it.


After completing my article, I conclude that concept map is a pictorial representation of concepts in different hierarchies. It supports an effective learning within an appropriate teaching ecology. It begins with a main idea or concept and then branch out to show how the main idea can be broken down into specific topics. It can be utilized by both teachers and students. It helps a student to learn more efficiently and effectively and to improve their performance. It provides a teacher with the possibility to hold lessons in a more creative and constructive way. Concept maps are facilitative tools which help to improve learning, creating, and using knowledge based on reasoning and sense making. They help to develop a way of organized thinking which can be applied as well in everyday life.

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