Teaching, Designing, and Organizing: Concept Mapping for Librarians

  • April Colosimo McGill University Library
  • Megan Fitzgibbons McGill University Library

Abstract

Concept maps are graphical representations of relationships among concepts that can be an effective tool for teaching, designing, and organizing information in a variety of library settings. First, concept mapping can be used wherever training or formal teaching occurs as a visual aid to explain complex ideas. They can also help learners articulate their understanding of a subject area when they create their own concept maps. When using concept mapping as a teaching tool, students may have a more meaningful learning experience when they add information to a concept map that is based on their current knowledge. Next, concept maps are an effective design tool for librarians who are planning projects. They can also serve as a reference point for project implementation and evaluation. The same is true for the design of courses, presentations, and library workshops. A concept map based on the content of a course, for example, is valuable when selecting learning outcomes and strategies for teaching and assessment. Finally, concept mapping can used as a method for capturing tacit or institutional knowledge through the creation and organization of ideas and resources. Librarians can collaborate on concept maps with each other or with non-librarian colleagues to facilitate communication. Resulting maps can be published online and link to documentation and relevant resources. This paper provides an overview of the literature related to concept mapping in libraries. Concrete applications and examples of concept mapping for teaching and learning, designing, and organizing in library settings are then elaborated. The authors draw from their own success and experience with different concept mapping methods and software programs.
Published
2012-06-04
Section
Innovations in Practice