The writers from IntellectualBeam have shared some useful points about Methodology of concept maps. Lets read more about it below.

It is the tool for the development of cognitive learning through visual graphic elements that allow the student to develop spatial skills that include connecting concepts and relate to the other components that make up a content or topic that is developed to process information in a meaningful way in support of the construction of the pertinent knowledge for the different academic activities to be developed by the speakers. Therefore, we can mention some fundamental elements that this student-cantered methodology strategy must have, such as identifying the learning result that we intend to achieve or achieve to carry out the map, which the student has as a reference, such as a reading.

What is a concept map?

  • Graphic representation of the information
  • Organization and hierarchy of knowledge
  • It conforms: Concepts, prepositions
  • (Organization charts)
  • Present and socialize a topic
  • Concepts are represented in nodes

How a concept map is constructed?

Carefully read the text until you understand it clearly. If they contain words of difficult meaning, consult them in a dictionary. Find and underline the most important ideas (keywords) with which you will create the map Determine the ranking (subordination) of those words. It establishes the relationships that exist between them.

Elements with which a conceptual map is constructed

Ideas or concepts:  Each of them is presented by writing it enclosed in an oval, rectangle or other geometric figure.

Connectors:  The connection or relationship between two ideas is represented by means of a tilted, vertical or horizontal line called the connector or branch line that unites both ideas.

A concept map is a diagrammatic representation that organizes a certain amount of information. Part of a central word or concept (in a box, circle, or oval), around which other related concepts are organized hierarchically; in turn, each of these words can become a central concept and continue to add associated ideas or concepts.

Maps allow students to learn terms or facts, practice using graphics, synthesize and integrate information, have a global view of the connection between terms, and improve their creative and long-term memory skills. The result of the maps can be seen and memorized with the visual memory, which favors the memory. Instead of words or concepts you can also use symbols or images.

A good map is not the one that contains all the ordered and schematized information of the document on which it is made (this would be a “scheme”) but the one that reflects a good synthesized analysis of that document (if you need more information, the map will serve you to know where to find it in the source document).

How to create a concept map


Reading a text and identify in it the words that express the main ideas or key words. It is not about including a lot of information on the map, but the most relevant.


When you have finished with the above, underline the words that you identified; make sure that it is certainly the most important thing and that nothing is missing or missing.


Identify the   general theme or issue and write it at the top of the concept map, enclosed in an oval or rectangle.


Identify the ideas that make up the subtopics.  What does the text of the main topic or topic say? Write them on the second level, also enclosed in ovals or rectangles.


Draw the corresponding connections between the main topic and the different subtopics


On the third level, place the specific aspects of each idea or subtopic, enclosed in ovals or rectangles. The ramifications of other levels (fourth, fifth, etc.) can be included if you consider that they have sufficient relevance and provide clarity.

Applications of concept maps in classroom teaching

Concept maps are a very powerful tool to organize, synthesize and analyze information and at the same time, knowledge is shared collaboratively in training activities designed in the learning process. In addition, Concept Maps are a good methodological alternative to be able to work and evaluate both generic and specific competences.

Two exceptional people in the origin and development of Concept Maps, Joseph D. Novak and Alberto J. Cañas. Dr. Novak led the research project at Cornell University (United States) in which Concept Maps were developed. One of the first questions a student asks when starting to work with concept maps is: How can we make the questions that connect one concept with another disappear?

It is essential that a map contains linking words so that we can form propositions (unions between concepts through the linking words, we must "read sentences" from one concept to another). These linking words are what determine the quality of a concept map.

A good map is one that can be "read" and understood by someone who has not prepared it. A good practice is for someone else to read it before its final version.

Concept maps vs. mind maps

It is important to clarify the difference in nuance between a concept map and a mind map. The link below summarizes very clearly the difference between the diagrams used by all of us and our students and the conceptual and mental maps.


This Concept Maps module is part of the training itinerary that has been designed on the development of digital content at the Rey Juan Carlos University. I hope that this guide, the materials provided in the virtual classroom and the development of the webinar that has been programmed, make it easier for you to consider the use of this methodological and evaluative tool in university classrooms. You should not forget that the intention of this module is to show how concept maps can help us improve our teaching and even research work.


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