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The Use of Mind Maps as an Assessment Tool

Author Robbie O'Connor,
Abstract Mind maps are a well established study aid tool. For visual learners they provide a very useful technique to represent a complex topic in a form that will help a student remember details that would otherwise be difficult to represent in text. The school of Engineering in IT Tallaght have recently developed a course in Energy and Environmental Engineering. The course introduces modules into the first semester that give the student a general context for the detailed technical content covered in the rest of the course. Given the increasingly diverse nature of our students' academic background, age profile and learning styles, we have had a difficulty assessing the student's understanding of these modules without resorting to essay type exam questions or assessments. A number of assessment techniques were employed including online testing of specific details of each topic and the assessment of a mind map completed by each student on that topic. The aim was to test the students ability to recall the salient details and then to assess the students understanding of how the different elements relate to each other. This paper deals with the experience gained through the assessment of over 1500 mind maps over a three year period. The paper outlines an assessment rubric that has been developed over this period and deals with the experiences gained.
Keywords Mind maps, assessment, Rubric, Global / Visual thinkers.
Published In ICEP Proceedings 2011
Date 2011
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