The main difference is that mind maps are all designed for presenting the idea or organizing/planning things together, thus all features are subjected to those needs, although you can use mind mapping tools for variety of different purposes depending on your creativity.
Learning Map on the other hand is visually and functionally designed only for educational purposes, for presenting a learning topic to the learners which must be very consistent, properly curated, meaningful and supported with appropriate didactic learning materials.
In this post I’m going to present key differences which will help you decide when to use mind map and when a Learning Map in e-learning.
|1||Mind maps are usually created by the user himself.||Learning Maps are created by educator for the learners.|
|2||Creation of mind map can be limitless.||Learning Maps usually consists of 4-5 main branches each with up to 3 sub-branches to guarantee transparency.|
|3||In mind maps you usually put only key word/image on the branch and all other notes / attached materials are visible by clicking.||Every branch in Learning Map includes all key information that is visible right away, so learners can quickly understand the whole concept of the learning topic.|
|4||Attached contents in a mind map could be different files and web links that are usually opened outside the mind map.||Attached content to the Learning Map provides more in-depth learning. So every branch can contain relevant source material like short lecture, video, quiz, reading assignment or web link. Everything is opened inside the Learning Map so that learners don’t get lost.|
|5||Mind maps track changes made by someone.||Learning Map can’t be modified by anyone else except by the educator.|
|6||Mind maps usually don’t provide any asynchronous/synchronous communication concerning the topic.||In a Learning Map you can enable discussion forum on every single branch or on Learning Map as a whole to enhance understanding.|
|7||Mind maps don’t include analytic system for monitoring the learning process.||As an educator you can gather diverse data about your learners who use Learning Map.|
From table above you can see that the mind map is surely the basis for a Learning Map with some added functionalities that are important in e-learning. So it depends on the purpose of your use of mapping tools and what functionalities you need.
But why use mapping tools in e-learning anyway:
- It helps us break out of the linear way of presenting learning contents.
- It prevents us from designing information dumps.
- It encourages learners to explore topic and to pull the content at the point of need.
- Tightly focused resources attached to map’s branches reflect in memorable learning experience.
and last but not least
- Presenting topic with a combination of colour, keywords and visual-spatial arrangement significantly improves recall when compared to the linear presentation. (A Review of Scientifically Based Research – The Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education (IARE) at AEL)
For conclusion here is an example of a Learning Map:
Now it is your turn. Tell me, have you ever tried using mind mapping tools for e-learning design? What were the results?