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Articulating ideas through concept mapping.


Finding it difficult to understand some concepts for your research? Concept mapping might help you to understand and arranged ideas visually and encourage a new way of thinking.

Concept Mapping

What is Concept Mapping?

Concept mapping is a technique/learning tool for articulating, organizing, and communicating knowledge (Colosimo, A., 2023). It aims to visualize the relationship of concepts and understanding the concepts based on what the learner already knows. It also highlights how one concepts relates to another. 

Concept Maps

Concept maps are representations that shows explicit relationships between concepts using linking words between concepts and arranging the ideas expressed in a hierarchical form (Canas, A. J. & Novak, J. D., 2009) . 

Humble Beginnings

  • First developed in 1972 in the course of Joseph Novak's research program at Cornell University where his team sought to follow and understand changes in children's knowledge of science by analyzing interview transcripts (Canas, A. J. & Novak, J. D., 2009). 
  • Adopted the fundamental idea in Ausebel's cognitive psychology wherein learning takes place by the assimilation of new concepts and propositions into existing concept and propositional frameworks held by the learner (cognitive structure) (Canas, A. J. & Novak, J.D., 2009).
    • Their work focused on human learning and knowledge creation, with the idea that the single most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. When you create a concept map, you demonstrate your understanding of an area; your map grows as you visualize the learning process (Colosimo, A., 2023)















A concept map showing the key features of concept maps.

Credit: Canas, A. J. & Novak, J. D. (2009). The Origin and development of concept maps.


Canas, A. J. & Novak, J. D. (2009). The Origin and development of concept maps.

Colosimo, A. (2023). Concept mapping libguide.

Kane, M. & Rosas, S. (2018). Simple rules for constructing group knowledge: The What and how of GCM. (vols. 1-0). Sage Publications, Inc.

Maiorani, S. (2022, Dec. 1). Concept mapping: Core RW1299.

Moon, B. M. (2011). Applied concept mapping: Capturing, analyzing, and organizing knowledge (1st ed.). CRC Press,


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