Concept mapping is a pedagogical activity designed to engage students in higher-order thinking (Novak, 2010). Unlike traditional content-driven activities designed for memorization of content and recall, concept mapping asks students to design a visual representation of their learning. As a pedagogical tool, concept mapping encourages deep learning, promotes creativity, and promotes the connection between content, theory, and practice.
This session explores the concept mapping activities of pre-service teachers in four courses during the 2017-18 academic year. Students worked in groups to create physical concept maps using paper materials and digital concept maps using a mapping software Mindomo (https://mindomo.com). After completing the concept maps, students submitted individual video reflections using Flipgrid (https://flipgrid.com) explaining (a) their concept mapping experiences in general; (b) their experience working in a group; and (c) the differences they experienced between creating physical concept maps and digital concept maps.
The results of my research identify a preference for digital concept mapping by the majority of pre-service teachers. An overwhelming majority of pre-service teachers found concept mapping to be a meaningful learning activity in a pre-service class and after the experience, suggested that they would use concept mapping in their K-12 classroom in the future.