Students tend to take notes in a linear fashion, recording points in the order in which the information was provided. This approach is familiar to most people but it’s often time-consuming and isn’t always useful in creating an understanding of a syllabus or committing key information to memory. Non-linear note-taking, using tools like Mindmap, helps students to take fewer, more meaningful notes and deepens their appreciation of the connections between concepts and topics, improving knowledge and understanding. This activity introduces students to digital mindmapping as a creative, playful and impactful approach to note-taking.
On completing this activity, students will:
- Appreciate non-linear notetaking with mind maps as a stimulating, playful and creative approach to notetaking.
- Understand the basic rules and concepts of mind mapping in physical and digital formats, and the benefits of using a digital too.
- Be able to apply structure their mind maps so they can get a useful outcome from the notes takes. This also supports memorisation and understanding of a subject area.
HOW TO DELIVER THIS ACTIVITY
In this activity, students practice by transferring linear notes taken on texts or in lectures into non-linear notes using a digital mind map. This helps them to: create a visual overview of contexts, relationships, and networks in a given topic; organise and structure knowledge from previous notes; and link knowledge to reduce complexity.
BEFORE THE ACTIVITY
Ask students to bring to class the following: an article, notes they have made from a previous lesson, PowerPoint delivered during a previous less, lesson plans / reading lists and links to relevant online sources.
THE ACTIVITY: STEP BY STEP
After the activity
- What have they found most valuable in the activities?
- Is mind mapping important for creating an overview of a topic?
- If/how they think mind mapping can be important for their learning in the future?
Review some of the external resources below to help prepare your presentation on digital mind mapping and its value as a notetaking tool.
Select the mindmapping software you intend to use (see ‘External Resources’).
Rustler, F. (2012). Mind mapping for dummies. Wiley
Andersen, K., Jensen, CB. (2015). Visual mind mapping. (Mnemosyne Kurser and Forlag).
Kibenich, M. (2007). Mindmaps – a shortcut to an overview. (Jurist og Økonomforbundets Forlag).
Effective Note Taking in Lectures and Class Using Mind Maps blog post
15 Creative Mind Map Examples for Students blog post
Birgit Larsen from VIA University College, Denmark.