The best online tutors use a variety of techniques to boost e-learning performance. The use of mind mapping is one of them. Mind mapping is the process of creating a visual hierarchy between pieces of the whole. Therefore, organizing information via diagrams (mind maps) is crucial to the online tutoring practice.
What is a mind map?
Mind mapping is the process of creating a visual canvas about a subject or some type of information. Mind maps combine both the logical and creative aspects of an idea. Therefore, it is a strategy that is highly effective, as well as being a mighty memorable tool, especially in the virtual classroom where it is crucial to grab the audience’s attention and to be an interesting online tutor.
All mind maps have a natural organizational structure. It all starts from the center and combines lines, symbols, and words. The information is presented in a condensed and visually attractive way.
The brain-friendly diagrams represent key thoughts and easily guide the thought process. Moreover, mind maps create new shortcuts to basic concepts. They are also a great tool for brainstorming since their meaning is ever evolving.
Online tutors in the virtual classroom can especially benefit from the exploding dynamics of mind mapping. It is useful for both online teachers and students and can take the e-learning process to the next level. Use mind maps in your online practice to:
- Help online students explore an idea or concept
- Create new solutions to an existing problem
- Organize ideas
- Structure information
- Recap/summarize facts, data, etc.
- Transform the relationships between things into an understandable sequence
- Teach students how to organize or prioritize tasks
- Boost brainstorming practices
- Create storyboard presentations
- Improve critical thinking
- Outline written documents
- Conduct research
Why it works
There are no hidden powers behind mind mapping. It always works and there is an easy explanation for this. On the one hand, our brain more easily takes in visual information. On the other hand, it combines both creativity and logic. Therefore, mind mapping triggers both hemispheres of the brain.
Our brain is divided into two halves. Each half is responsible for certain functions. The left brain is more verbal, analytical, and orderly than the right brain. The right brain is more visual and intuitive.
Mind mapping includes the whole range of intellectual tasks. The more activities that are integrated into the e-learning process, the more the ability to memorize and to process information are boosted.
Using mind mapping in the virtual classroom engages both brain hemispheres. It combines words in images, creativity, and logic. Therefore, it is the ultimate thinking tool.
Mind mapping in education
Online tutors have been explaining concepts and challenging their students’ imagination for a long time. The virtual classroom has a wide range of mechanisms to engage students and to transfer a large amount of data and facts into time resistant knowledge.
Mind mapping tools can be used either with software or with a pen and paper. Regardless of the method, visually explained content is easier to organize.
Mind maps provide online tutors with the ability to review their students’ work and progress. It is an excellent way to evaluate the level of understanding of their students.
Whatever the particular goal, there are certain characteristics that mind maps share:
- The main idea is the central image
- The main themes radiate from the central image in different directions
- The branches comprise a key image or keyword
- Topics of lesser importance are represented as “twigs” of the relevant branch
- Adding images invokes thought or helps to make the message better understood
- The branches form a connected nodal structure
Mind mapping tips for beginners
Mind maps can be used for literally any thinking or learning task, from studying a subject to building better habits.
Here are some key points you can start from:
- Take a blank page and position your idea at the center. Give your brain freedom and let the process flow.
- Insert an image to support your central idea. Then you can add a mood or brainstorm another idea.
- Connect the main branches to the central idea. Then multiply them.
- Create different levels of associations. Your brain will love it.
- Try to think of at least two main points for each subtheme that you created and create new branches.
- Use short phrases or even single words for each idea.
- Be bold with the use of colors. For some people making associations happens much easier when color is incorporated.
- Don’t stay in the box. Use curved, colored, or any kind of lines that you want. When it comes to mind mapping, linear thinking is an enemy of the brain.
- Focus on a single keyword per branch. It will give your brain both focus and freedom.
- Use plenty of images. Your mind map will evolve over time. Therefore, give yourself time and space to make new associations.
- Revise concepts often.
- Don’t forget to have fun!
You can create a mind map on paper, in a drawing app on your tablet, or on one of the many popular mind mapping software tools.