Concept map pedagogy

Two types of visual representations should be distinguished:

Mind map

Definition: The Mind Map is a visual representation of ideas and information in map form. Deployed around a central notion, it organizes information taking the form of a star, a hierarchy or a tree.


  • Starts from a central concept
  • It is linear
  • It takes the form of a hierarchy, a star or a tree.

Concept map (Knowledge map)

Definition: A concept map is a graphical representation of interconnected concepts to explain an idea or a field of knowledge. It usually takes the form of a network analysis.


  • Answers a central question
  • Generally not linear
  • Often has the form of a network (crossings of links, circles)


Allows to quickly create a visual representation of a situation and an idea.

Often used to transcribe the result of brainstormings.


Allows to represent non-linear links as they are found in complex systems (economics, psychology, history, schedules, …).

Deepens a question in a field of knowledge.

The pedagogical value of a concept map

Allows to link concepts

  • Detect and analyze mechanisms (even if they contain several steps)
  • Detect and analyze processes (planning)
  • Analyzing a phenomenon (psychology, economy, history, …)
  • Analyzing a work (book, novel, film, …)
  • Useful as a basis for discussion
  • Allows to organize concepts / knowledge and to structure them

Get a global view of a knowledge field

  • Better detect gaps and contradictions
  • Comparison of two maps (2 students / groups)
  • Allows to synthesize knowledge

Gathering knowledge in small steps

  • Complete gradually
  • Be aware of once knowledge and be able to see it from the outside
  • Use it as a basis for writing a document

Help to better memorize and understand

  • An image says more than a long speech

Can be easily shared

  • by email
  • by Internet

Benefits of LinkNotions concept maps

  1. Notions and links may have content

  2. The map is interactive

  3. Possibility of introducing calculation between notions

  4. Links can run in corridors or in straight lines

  5. Possibility to set links to web pages and other concept maps

  6. Can be shared (mail, website). The receiver can read and modify the map.

  7. Export the content to an Excel file

  8. Can be printed

  9. Export a part of a map (with content)

  10. Import one map into another (with content)

  11. The function “X to Y” allows to see the paths from one notion to another (chain of influences)

  12. The same map can have the content in several languages (one click to change language)

See all the features of a LinkNotions concept map

Example without calculation : the accent is put on the links (influences) between the notions

LinkNotions map: interactivemultilingualwith content in notions and links. Try by clicking, right-clicking or double-clicking notions and links in the map below!

Example with calculation : the accent is placed on calculating the value of a notion based on the values of other notions

LinkNotions map: interactivemultilingualwith content in notions and links. Try by clicking on one of the elements, for example A2 in the map below!

Change the value for instance of the notion Number A (A2) by entering the new value. Then hit the “Enter” key or click anywhere in the diagram.

The software will recalculate the value of the notion Number B.

Creating a concept map in class

This page shows how and under what circumstances the teacher can construct a map with his students

Examples of concept maps sorted by school subject

with Calculation

Economics :

Value of a share and purchase decision

Keynesian model

Physics :

Speed; Distance; Time

Aviation :

Decision making

Open the above diagrams by clicking on their image. You can click elements and change the figures by entering the new value. Then hit the “Enter” key or click anywhere in the diagram.

Try, it’s funny!


Calculate with LinkNotions: calculate the value of a notion with values of other notions.
The concept map becomes a visual spreadsheet! Examples.

Examples of concept maps sorted by school subject

without calculation

View and edit the interactive diagrams above for free.

  • To view a diagram, click on the diagrams and enjoy the information they contain. User manual for view mode.
  • To edit a diagram, copy it into your account and edit it. So you do not need to start from scratch when you want to build a diagram in one of the knowledge fields proposed above. (Create your LinkNotions account by purchasing a license or by asking for a one month free trial)