National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 6707-6717
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Mind mapping and concept mapping are techniques of teaching, learning and research that were used from over 25 years in educational setting. As a consequence of developing concepts related to multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1999), the interest in using visual techniques in learning environments increased. Several studies demonstrated that the use of mind mapping stimulated motivation (Jones, Ruff, Snyder, Petrich and Koonce, 2012) and creativity (Wang, Lee and Chu, 2010), and determined a better level of performance in students (Trevino, 2005). Also, other studies were concerned in comparing the benefits of different visual techniques, as mind mapping and concept mapping (Brinkman, 2003; Davies, 2010). Although the use of technique expanded in the professional setting, it is still not used on large scale in specific areas as research projects, human resources development or public relations.

The first lecture of definitions and characteristics of mind mapping and concept mapping shows that the first technique is more creative and less constrained, while the second one is more formal and dependent on definitions and logic relationship between concepts. As a consequence, the first conclusion is that mind mapping brings more benefits when is used in the professional field, while concept mapping is more useful in building research frames and academic papers.

This paper explores the use of mind mapping and concept mapping in the academic field (research and teaching), comparing the advantages of the two methods. Also, the paper investigates the possibilities of using these visual techniques in practice in two professional fields (human resources and public relations), including complex aspects which might be involved as brainstorming, collaborative building of maps or use of digital tools for designing maps. All comparisons and arguments in this paper are illustrated with examples (mind maps or concept maps) obtained from the direct educational, research or professional practice of the authors.

[1] Brinkman, A. (2003). Graphical Knowledge Display – Mind Mapping and Concept Mapping as Efficient Tools in Mathematics Education, Mathematics Education Review, No 16, April, 2003, pp. 35-48.
[2] Davies, M. (2011). Concept mapping, mind mapping and argument mapping: what are the differences and do they matter?, Higher Education, 62 (3), pp. 279-301.
[3] Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed. Multiple intelligences for the 21 century, Basic Books, New York.
[4] Jones, B.D.; Ruff, C.; Snyder, J.D.; Petrich B.; and Koonce C. (2012). The Effects of Mind Mapping Activities on Students' Motivation International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6.1, pp. 1-21.
[5] Wang, W.C; Lee, C.C; Chu Y. C. (2010). A Brief Review on Developing Creative Thinking in Young Children by Mind Mapping, International Business Research, Vol. 3, No 3; July 2010, pp. 233-238.
[6] Trevino, C. (2005). Mind mapping and outlining: comparing two types of graphic organizers for learning seventh-grade life science, Dissertation thesis to Texas Tech University, available at
Mind mapping, concept mapping, visual learning techniques.