How to make a concept map ▷ two steps, practical example ◁


How to make a concept map - two steps, practical example

You will learn how to create a concept map in the correct way, following the instructions of its inventor. You will know its structure, elements and characteristics of an authentic concept map explained in a few simple steps with images.  

What is a concept map?

Concept maps, also called semantic networks, are graphic representations of information, where two or more concepts, organized in a hierarchical way, are linked by means of words that describe their relationships.

The concept map was developed by Professor Joseph D. Novak of Cornell University in the 1960s, based on David Ausubel's theories of meaningful learning "the most important factor in learning is what the subject already knows"

Precisely, one of the advantages of the concept map is that it facilitates linking new information to already learned concepts, producing changes in our cognitive structure, improving our memorization,

establishing new links between concepts, finally originating meaningful learning, which is more lasting. 

The concept map turns out to be a tool for both learning and teaching, for the reasons mentioned above. It helps the student to learn and teachers to organize the teaching material, the perfect resource to represent schematically a set of conceptual meanings. 

✅ See also the new Mind Map Templates in Word for free download 👀

Structure of a concept map 

The following image shows the sequence of elaboration of a concept map according to Novak and Gowin (1988). 

You can observe the position of the concepts and the linking lines. The number of concepts per level is variable depending on the amount of information to map. 

basic structure of a concept map

Elements or parts of a concept map 

The essential components of a concept map are the following:

Rectangles, ellipses and squares: these are the figures used to represent the concepts. Some also use the hexagonal. 

Rectangles, ellipses and square

Lines: they are used to join the concepts. They are always interrupted or cut, to allow the insertion of the linking words.

How to make a concept map?

For this example we will take the concept of water. A simple concept but it will give you a clear idea of how to start making your concept map.

1. Selection and grouping: Once we are clear about the topic we are going to work with, we select the concepts making a list of them, or making use of a highlighter can also be useful.

selection and grouping of the concepts in a hierarchical way to make a concept map.

👀 Check out also the concept map templates to edit online in Google Slides and Google Docs, they are free.

2. Represent and connect: We represent and place the concepts in the diagram to make the respective connection between them, taking into account the hierarchy, from the most abstract and general to the most concrete and specific.

steps to make a concept map correctly

This is the most important part of this process, since it corresponds to link and relate two concepts and create the correct idea of the meaning.
Finally we must check if our semantic network has errors, reflect on the map and verify that the concepts correspond to the chosen topic.

In the following gif image, the process of realization is observed in a more interesting way.

How to make an authentic concept map according to Novak

I hope that, with this brief explanation on how to make a concept map the right way and according to its inventor Professor Joseph D. Novak, you will learn how to do it yourself. 

We did our best to make the tutorial as simple and practical as possible, so that you have a clear idea of concept mapping. 😊