The use of an interactive concept map is a breakthrough learning tool. Though the traditional ‘outline’ will continue to have a place in education, some ideas don’t fit neatly into a linear form. Ideas with complex relationships can be laid out and then altered as understandings change and intellectual views of concepts and their relationships deepen.
Webspiration is one tool that allows you to build a concept map alone or with a group, and share your ideas with anyone inside or outside your group of collaborators.
Below is a concept map that illustrates the complexity of instructional design and the many factors that influence the design of instruction. (If you click on the image you can see the map full screen.) Without a non-linear way of describing instructional design, it would be challenging to describe the array of factors involved as concisely as this one picture does.
Concept maps can also be used to show simple relationships, as well as map out procedural steps in a task. Concept maps make visual information that is stored in the semantic networks in the brain, and not only illustrate our understandings of concepts, but help connect to information stored in long-term memory.