It does not matter how good an idea you have in your mind; it will only be worth something once you explain it perfectly to the right people or you work on it yourself. This is the case with many people these days, as they can't explain what exactly they have in mind, and the idea remains invisible.
If you want to learn more about your idea or are looking forward to explaining it to others effectively, a concept map will help you do that for sure. They enable you to organize your information in a way that everyone can understand the concept super easily.
This article presents a comprehensive discussion of a concept map, its applications, and its types. In addition, you will also see a complete guide to making this diagram.
In this article
What is a Concept Map
A diagram designed to show the relationship between different concepts or ideas is commonly called a concept map. It is sort of a graphic organizer or a mind map. When understanding a complex subject or recalling some information, the human mind processes visuals or graphics faster than text-based information. This is why conceptual maps play a crucial role in this regard.
The best thing associated with the map of concepts is that they give a solid boost to your understanding of complex ideas. In addition, they enhance memory retention and promote better thinking abilities. Be it a business, engineering, or education sector, these maps are equally beneficial.
The concept map meaning covers digging into a particular subject in detail, organizing thoughts, displaying relationships of concepts and ideas, and presenting a big picture by connecting concepts, ideas, and thoughts. These concepts are connected with the nodes, whereas nodes are linked to each other with the links.
What you can do with a basic concept map includes generating new ideas, simplifying complex concepts, recalling facts, organizing information, visualizing strategies, and much more.
When a concept map organizes information, it becomes easy for learners to gain new ideas. It provides them with long-term retention abilities. In addition, you can identify resource gaps or missing connections with the help of the organized information in a simple concept map.
Components of a Concept Map
Now that you know the purpose of the map of concept, it is time to get into the specifics of what makes this map. A concept map can be of different forms, but they all share some key components, as listed and discussed below.
- Nodes: They are also known as concepts. A node is a central and the most important component of your map. You can use different shapes to show the concept or idea of your map. These shapes may include squares, boxes, ovals, and more.
- Links: In a concept map, arrows and lines are used to link various ideas that fall under the same domain. They are called links.
- Cross-Links: Cross-links are used when it comes to linking various concepts that fall under different domains. They are also mostly denoted with arrows or lines.
- Linking Words: When you see the map concept, you will see some text written between "links and cross-links" or next to them. This text shows the relationship between different ideas. These phrases or words are called linking words.
- Semantic Units: They are also called propositions. The sentences structured with two or more ideas and linking words are known as semantic units. A single concept map visualizes different semantic units or propositions that surround a particular subject.
- Hierarchical Structure: A good map always follows an easy-to-understand hierarchical structure to make it easy for the viewers to understand the complete diagram in no time. It shows that broader concepts are placed at the top of the diagram, whereas specific ideas appear at the bottom of the map.
- Focus Question: If you are on the hunt for particular answers, it is better to keep your main concept on the question instead of focusing on a phrase or word.
The Applications of Concept Maps
Now you are well familiar with the concept map and its components, let's go through the potential applications of this useful diagram.
1. For Business
The collaborative and visual nature of conceptual maps makes them popular for business analysis across the world. Millions of businesses worldwide use these diagrams to brainstorm ideas, find problems, identify potential solutions, encourage innovation, and implement different processes.
You can use concept mapping in your business in different ways. For example, you can use this map to enhance the efficiency of the team by modeling and streamlining the workflows of different departments. Similarly, you can use the map of concept to find out the strengths and weaknesses of an organization.
In addition, a concept map can also be used to explore the current market to promote your services or products effectively.
2. For Education
Conceptual maps play a dual role in the education sector. You can use them as both evaluation and learning tools to monitor or determine students' success. Both teachers and students can benefit equally from this diagram.
These maps create a solid connection between what students already know and what they study to get the maximum output. They offer quick analysis by organizing information around a specific subject. Moreover, teachers can use these diagrams to identify the areas of improvement in the student's performance.
At the same time, a simple concept map helps educators plan complex curriculums and organize study guides. Furthermore, you can create outlines of writing projects and research papers with this tool.
3. Individual Development
A map of concept has also proved to be a wonderful tool for individual development, be it professional or personal. This is because this map allows everyone to explore more opportunities and visualize goals.
If you want to brainstorm various career opportunities or paths, using conceptual maps will be worth it for sure. At the same time, this diagram also enables you to determine your professional or personal goal to think out of the box and achieve something big.
4. Qualitative Research
When it comes to qualitative research, having a methodological research strategy is a must, and this is where a concept map plays its part. The common uses of this diagram in qualitative research include:
- Organizing the collected information or research material for a quick analysis.
- Converting bulk text-based information into easily understandable and manageable stuff.
- Planning a research project efficiently and effectively.
- Presenting outcomes in a meaningful way.
- Determining relationships between ideas of a study.
How to Create a Concept Map Instantly
Do you need an efficient tool to create your concept map within minutes? Wondershare EdrawMind is the tool you need. It enables you to create a map of concepts in a matter of minutes. Let's look at the steps required to create this diagram using EdrawMind.
Step 1: Download and install EdrawMind. Tap on the “MindMap Gallery.” You will see this option in the left pane.
Step 2: Now, type "concept map" in the search bar to find pre-built templates. Choose the one that best matches your needs.
Step 3: As soon as you click on the desired concept map template, the diagram appears on your screen. You can make the changes you need to fulfill your requirements. For example, you can replace your central concept, key ideas, and other similar parameters. The image below presents a template of a conceptual map of globalization.
Step 4: Once your map of concept is ready, you can either download it to your device in different formats or share it online with the digital community.
To download your concept map, tap on the “Export” option from the left panel, select the right file format, choose a location to save your map, and hit the green-colored “Export” button.
This is how, with simple 4 steps, you can make a creative concept map in Wondershare EdrawMind.
👀 Wanna learn more step-by-step guide about how to make a concept map easier with EdrawMind? You can create your own concept map whether based on a template style or from a sketch.
A concept map is a visual diagram that helps you better understand complex subjects. It not only assists you in organizing information but also promotes easy learning and improves memory retention. This map is used frequently in different domains, including but not limited to education, business, individual development, and qualitative research.
A number of tools are available these days to create conceptual maps. But, finding a trusted one is not as easy as it seems, as it requires a lot of time to use every tool and determine its potential.
If you are looking for dependable software to make creative concept maps, look no further than Wondershare EdrawMind. You can use this tool both online and offline, keeping your requirements in mind. It also offers a free trial for new users.