- Provide a simple, at glance, overview of even quite complex programmes and modules, clearly showing the interconnections and distinctions.
- Include as much detail as necessary, and allow users to delve into the detail as required, producing different views of the whole picture.
- Encourage every member of the teaching team, and perhaps also the students, to engage confidently in the learning design process.
Free to all members of the university, Mindjet Mindmanager is a sophisticated, but easy-to-use concept mapping tool. You can, for example, create spider diagrams of all of the topics in a module, with as much detail as you want (you can hide/show detail to make viewing it simpler). Use keywords to map themes across topics. Add task information to nodes, assign dates due and people to tasks. You can print out the whole map, or selected parts. Export as PDF. Upload to the internet. Give the map to students to help them navigate the complexity of a module. Or build the map with students before or during the module, as a co-designing and responsive teaching tool. You might include more detail in the map than you actually use - allowing you to work with students to explore topics in class to sufficient depth, and allowing them to explore more deeply if they want to.
- Get the software. Mindjet Mindmanager is available for free to all members of the University. On IT Services managed computers, you can install it from the Software Centre. For non-ITS computers (including student's own machines), it can be downloaded from http://www.warwick.ac.uk/mindmanager
- Watch the introductory video from Mindjet
- Look at this (incomplete) example of a module mapped out in structure and themes. Try adding to it and changing it to ge a sense of how Mindmanager works.
- Create your own map. Try entering content fast, reviewing and reorganising, and then adding more or creating themes using keywords and links across branches.
- You can show or hide detail in the map. If you print the map with parts hidden, they will print out in that way. You can use this to present different views to colleagues and students.