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Using mind maps to help students summarize their course notes, memorize them and reproduce them at assessment time

December 1st, 2020

  Amélie and Mélina Amélie and Mélina are both final year students in Business Studies. With the help of their teacher, they created a MindView mind map to summarize the steps involved in organizing a point of sale. Here is how they achieved this. Latifa teacher in management and economy at the Lycée René Cassin, France AmAmbition 21 Numavenir:
  • Reinforces academic perseverance using digital methods
  • Meets the EU objective of limiting to 9.5% the percentage of young people without any secondary education qualification or alternative training scheme
  • Supports the continuing enhancement of vocational training to provide the competencies required by today’s labor market

Using a MindView mind map to commit key ideas to memory starts in the classroom…

 The teacher starts by asking various questions related to the course “Organization of a point of sale” to help the students identify the most important ideas. To do so, they look for the answers in their course notes and dictate them to the teacher. Acting as a note-taker, the teacher lists the ideas on the whiteboard, but does not create the map. It is the students who will build the map, drawing from the information presented on the whiteboard and contained in their course notes. Constructing the mind map helps Amélie memorize the most important points of the course. By helping the students discover the key ideas before building the mind map the teacher makes them revisit all of their course notes, get a full picture of the subject and commit much of it to memory.  

…and continues right until the time of the assessment

For Mélina, the mind map is an easy way of learning the contents of the course by heart. After the class, Mélina continues to enrich her map with examples drawn from the course, which not only reinforces memory retention, but gives her additional materials to refer to during the assessment. At assessment time, reviewing the entire mind map (branches and sub-branches) also helps a great deal with answering the questions. « Because I put course examples in the mind map, I remember them clearly during the assessment, and I can choose to include them in my answers. »  

And from the teacher’s point of view, what are the educational advantages of creating mind maps?

Latifa, who is Amélie’s and Mélina’s teacher, observes that the students raise the bar higher by creating mind maps which are more and more attractive, while following the established procedure. The mind map encourages the students to structure their thought process better, avoids the stress of writing up long paragraphs which may not make much sense, and leads them to take their own corrective actions in order to optimize their learning method.   « In fact, I keep the structure in my head the whole time because I learn verbally and visually. » « It’s shorter than course notes. It’s also easier to learn, because the course notes have long pieces of text whereas in the mind map, it’s only keywords. »    


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