Create a concept map in class
A concept map is a diagram that shows the links between concepts in a knowledge field.
LinkNotions maps are interactive and allow to give content to the notions and to the links.
Thus they become self-explanatory.
You can build two types of concept maps:
Maps with calculation: the focus will be on calculating the value of notions. Examples: exercises in physics, economics,…; calculators and simulators.
Maps without calculation: the focus will be on the influences between notions. Examples: influences in ecology, psychology, sociology, …
In this page, we will limit ourselves to maps without calculation, but you can easily introduce the calculation in such maps. For more information on the calculation, please go to the LinkNotions Calculation Introduction Page and the LinkNotions Home Page.
Below: the example of a concept map that we will build: interactive, multilingual, with content in notions and links. Try it by clicking, right-clicking or double-clicking notions or links!
Creating a concept map is done in several steps.
The order of construction that we propose is not absolute and you will, with experience, modify the way to build a concept map.
Here are the steps we propose:
- Develop the central question
- Detect concepts (notions) around the central question
- Insert notions into the conccept map
- Classify the notions in the concept map
- Formulate link types
- Add a link type into the concept map
- Link the notions with the appropriate link types
- Add content to notions and links
- Add an image over notions and colorize notions
- Other features
- Some practical aspects of procedure
1. Develop the central question
You can propose the central question yourself or ask the students to formulate it in relation to a given topic.
Example of topic: Global warming.
Central question: What are the causes of global warming?
To create the start map, proceed as follows:
- Create your LinkNotions account by requesting a one-month free trial or by purchasing a license (6€/year for education).
- In your account, click “Create Workspace”. Enter the title and the number of columns and rows.
- Click “Create”. The map is opened in edit mode. You can change it.
- To return to your account, click on the LinkNotions logo.
2. Detect concepts around the central question
In our example, these are the causes of global warming. We propose:
3. Insert notions into the concept map
4. Classify the notions in the concept map
- Put the notions in a logical order.
- This order will enable to read the map pleasantly.
- Use the space of the map rationally. As the screen is wider than high, organize the notions so as to fill this space.
5. Formulate link types
We are in the case of a causal map.
We propose two link types:
1. Notion A « has an influence in the same direction on » Notion B
If notion A increases, notion B increases too
If notion A decreases, then notion B decreases too
But other link types could be conceived.
Of course, you can determine the link types while you progress in your map.
6. Add link types into the concept map
7. Link the notions with the appropriate link types
To create a link between two concepts, proceed as follows:
- Place the cursor on notion A. Two gray dots appear on the notion. (1)
- Click the lower gray dot. The map loses color.
- Click notion B. (2) The “Link properties” window opens. (3)
Choose the appropriate link type from the drop-down list. (4)
Click “Save”. (5)
- Under “Settings” (top right of the screen) you can determine whether the lines of the links are straight or whether they run along the corridors.
8. Add content to notions and links (this is only possible with LinkNotions software)
Each notion and each link can be filled with:
- Texts (definitions, explanations, …).
- Links to web pages
- Links to other concept maps
You can structure this content yourself using tabs and fields.
To add content to a notion:
- Double-click the notion
- In the contact window that opens, click “Modify” (1)
- In the “Notion properties” window, add information (texts, images, documents, …)
To add content to a link:
- Double-click one of the two notions of the link
- In the contact window that opens, double-click the link to which you want to add content (2)
- In the “Link Properties” window, add information (texts, images, documents, …)
or: Double-click the line of the link and proceed as in 3. above (3).
To add an image above a notion:
- Double-click the notion and click “Modify” (1)
- In the “Notion Properties” window, click on “Picture : +Upload” (green button at the top)
- Choose an image from your computer.
10. Other features of LinkNotions
Here are some links to learn how to read and create concept maps with LinkNotions:
- Creating a concept map (in short)
- Complete instructions for creating concept maps
- Reading a concept map (in short)
- Complete instructions for reading concept maps.
The LinkNotions software has a range of useful features. It is up to you to discover them according to your needs. Let us quote a few, without being exhaustive:
The function “X to Y”. It shows you the possible paths from one concept to another.
Create a new map from a subject group. You choose concepts in a map and you create a new map with the content of concepts and relationships between them. This function is interesting, if you have a large map and want to make smaller sub-maps.
Create a subject group. A subject-space makes it possible to highlight notions having a common characteristic.
11. Some practical aspects of procedure
A. Teachers can create a map together with students in class
B. The teacher may ask students to:
- Create a map based on a list of concepts provided by the teacher
- Complete an incomplete map
- Correct a map containing mistakes
- Give content to concepts and links (definitions, explanations, articles, pictures, tables, links to web pages and links to other maps, …)
- Create a map to summarize a film, a conference or a reading (article, novel, scientific study)
- Plan an event with a map
- Plan a study using a map
C. Student work can be done individually or as a team
D. A map can be discussed and completed in class
E. A map may be published on the school or classroom website.