Concept/Mind Mapping: Why Concept Mapping?

This library guide provides resources for the why and how of concept mapping.

Why Use Concept Mapping as A Teaching/Learning Strategy

Why Use Concept Mapping in your Course?

  • Help  students organize new information and connect it with their prior knowledge
  • Help students make connections between the main idea and other subtopics (brainstorming)
  • Provides an opportunity for students to construct their knowledge visually in a format that aligns to their multimedia and visual learning styles
  • It can be used individually, with small groups or with a whole classroom participating

Learning Theory Grounding for Concept Mapping

Multimedia Learning



Social and/or Cognitive Learning Theory

Strategies for Using Concept Mapping


  • Demonstrates student understanding of concepts
  • Provides an opportunity for students to learn from each other and contribute knowledge to a group map
  • Rubric for assessing concept maps (connected to the Waterloo video about concept mapping)

Alternative Presentation Format

  • Students can create a concept map instead of a PowerPoint or a website

Alternative Way to Organize Writing and Research

  • Students can use a concept map as a way to organize their writing, outline arguments (overcome "writer block" but using a visual format
  • Design a research study or conduct a bibliography search by laying out the research introduction, literature review, methods and discussion

Reading and Content Studying Aid

  • Students can map out their readings as they read or use mapping as a way to review their reading
  • You can provide an Advance Organizer (another form of concept map) to the students about the materials in the readings to help them see connections and relationships in the readings and materials
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