Concept Knowledge Maps
Concept Knowledge Maps are a visual note taking
system that have several advantages over other note taking strategies.
These may be called patterns, mind maps, or concept grids but for this video
we’re just going to call them CK maps. A CK map starts off with an anchor represented
in this method by a line across the page. Instead of sentences CK maps
use keywords or key phrases to organize information. So write this key phrase along the main line.
Off of this line sub concepts or sub categories can branch off. It’s kind of like
the trunk of a tree. You’re going to draw new slashes off the main line that will help
you organize the information into categories and sub types. These are like the
branches off the trunk of the tree. You can also sub divide the branches to twigs
and leaves. Thus the CK map shows relationships between things. Relationships
are captured by the nodes or points between the intersections of the lines.
This of course has a similarity to point form notes when taken in outline format.
So if a CK map is just like an outline, why would you use this format instead
of a point form note? First, it’s faster; you don’t have to write
as many words to show the relationships between things. Just draw another line and
add some key words. Second, you can add the material anywhere
in the tree; you don’t have to worry about not leaving sufficient space to add
the indents. .hird, you can do things with a CK map that
you could never do with a point form note. For example, you could link different
parts of the tree structure together. You might do this to indicate similarities
between concepts, while differences branch out. You can then use a very free-floating
approach to taking your note. Fourth, CK maps are very good for tangents
where a point form note is really not that helpful. Just draw another tree beside
the first somewhere on the page. If you find that they are related later on, draw
a connection between them. This is really helpful for when professors tend to wander
around their topic and don’t have a tightly organized approach to the topic. There are some disadvantages to CK maps. The
first being it’s not a permanent note. If you leave this note for weeks or
months, it may not make any sense to you when you come back. This means you may
have to review this note within the twenty-four hour period after making it in
order to establish or establish that memory trace. So what can you do with CK maps? Well, CK
maps are great for lectures; especially fast-talking professors. Second, they make
great chapter reviews; something that’s very quick, very fast to help reestablish
or look at that neural trace. Third, they are a fast method for creating an outline
for an in-class essay. I never share strategies that I have never
used myself. In this case, for two years I used nothing
but CK maps in a biology program, and it worked: I got A’s. I hope you find this method useful as well.