in Instructional design

Learning map combining lesson plan, guidance and content at once

To conduct a successful lesson we need a detailed description of the instructions about what students should learn and how will they learn it. That means that we as educators should prepare a lesson plan with all objectives, description of teaching and learning activities with list of suitable learning materials.

Usually these elements are presented with different – let’s say files. One includes a lesson plan and the second one includes prepared activities and learning materials in detail. Have you ever considered merging everything together in one source that will serve as a lesson plan, lesson guide for your students and lesson content in one? I’ll show you, how you can do this using a Learning map form.

1. Outline learning objectives

First you should determine what you want your students to learn, why should they learn it and what will they be able to do at the end of the lesson.  Provide a short introduction to engage the student using real-world examples, asking questions, etc. For every objective create a single Node of a Learning map – “Objective node”.

Objective node

2. Prepare learning activities to meet each objective

Usually we prepare and combine different ways of explaining the topic to appeal different learning styles:

  • Reading, watching or listening activities (textbook, blog, report, video, micro lecture, slideshow, audio, etc.)
  • Exercise activities (quizzes, case studies, simulations, games, etc.)
  • Applying activities (questioning activities, etc.)

Put every single activity or two in a different Node with regard to the objective to which it belongs to – “Activity node”. That doesn’t mean that you should write “micro lecture about linear function”  inside of the Node, but actually just attaching specific video to the Node, so that the student just clicks on the Node and starts listening to the lecture.

Define the sequence of activities that student should follow by numbering Nodes.

Sequence activties

3. Prepare the summary or the instruction for each activity

Thus you provide a quick preview of the learning content, stimulate interest, encourage thinking and also give student  the chance to skip it in case he’s already familiar with specific part of the lesson or only wants to refresh certain part of the content when returning to the topic.


As I said in the beginning, the lesson prepared using Learning map serves to three different purposes at once:

  • Learning map is like the educator’s road map for conducting a lesson.
  • With Learning map students know what they will be learning and doing and it helps keeping them more engaged and on track.
  • Learning map is a lesson content itself.

That means that with a Learning map you can prepare everything for the lesson and conduct the lesson from one single place.

Learning map

What about you? Do you have any experiences with that kind of building and conducting a lesson?

  • Estelle Burton

    Yes – have done this sort of thing with mind mapping tools (inspiration) – started around 2002/3. In the beginning it was simply a way producing a resource repository but was latter used to for lesson plans/resources, students eportfolios, and coursework progression/evidence.

    • Jana Jan

      Thank you, Estelle for sharing your experience with us.