Concept mapping allows a group to explore conceptual connections. Conceptual statements appear on a visualisation as verbs or active phrases between nodes which represent key ideas.
Thus, concept mapping is often used for scoping activities to explore the key conceptual ideas of a topic, research design or project design.
Why is it a useful learning activity?
Concept mapping engages small and large groups in generating related conceptual knowledge together based on prior experience or knowledge. It visualises and supports open and connected thinking allowing the group to join one idea to another.
Strictly speaking, concept maps are quite structured with connecting lines being annotated to represent the conceptual relationship. In classroom practice, it is commonly used in brainstorming activities to gather together key ideas as a precursor to support more refined analytical workings.
An activity called Understanding Birthday Parties may have generated a wide range of factors and information.
For example, if the words ‘boys’ and ‘birthday cake’ had been generated and plotted onto the map diagram, the conceptual link labeled ‘usually like’ would work.