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Mind Mapping

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1. INTRODUCTION
Mind map has been defined as an expression of ''Radiant Thinking'' which is a natural function of the human mind (Tony and Barry Buzan 993). It is powerful graphic techniques which provides a universal key to unlocking the potential of the brain. The mind map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance. It has four essential characteristics. They are the subjects of attention crystallized in a central image, the mind themes of the subject radiate from the central image as branchers, and branches comprise the key word printed on associated line. Topics of lesser importance are also represented as branches attached to higher level branches and the branches from a connected nodal structure. Mind map then can be enhanced and enriched with colors, pictures, codes and dimension to add interest, beauty and individuality. These will in turn aid creativity, memory and specially the recall of information. Tony Buzan in his book mind maps for kids (2003) said that mind maps are the tool of choice to help us to get our memory tuned. Mind maps work so well because they work with two sections of our memory, which are the imagination and association. He said that mind mapping is a special form of note-taking and planning that work with your brain to make it easier for you to remember things. We must use colors and images to help get our imagination whirring and the way we draw them with words or images resting on connecting, curvy lines or branches , that will help our memory make strong associations. Mind maps will help us to make a distinction between our mental storage capacity, moreover,it will assist us to demonstrate our mental storage efficiency, storing data efficiently, and multiplies our capacity. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories. By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-liner manner. Its encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks. Though the branches of a mind map represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework. It is also known as spider-gram, that are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making.

1.1 Statement of the Problem
Successful case teaching requires patience, a willingness to encourage open student participation, and an ability to subtly stimulate productive dialogue over a long period of time (Barnes et al., 1994; Rangan, 1995). Classical and traditional strategies of memorization that have been used by students can lead to storage of information for a short period . Thus, the students will not be able to recall the information after passing a long period of time. That will indicates the strategy that have been used is not effective enough to save the information into long term memory for a long period of time. Therefore, we have found mind mapping to be a powerful tool for case teaching, especially in many programs, where students are required to gather, interpret, and communicate large quantities of complex information, Moreover, they will be able to retrieve the information any time they want . It is an extremely effective technique for sharpening the thinking and learning process (Buzan, 1989). According to Buzan and Buzan (1996), the more one learns and gathers new data in an integrated, radiating, organized manner, the easier it is to learn more.

1.2 Purpose of the Paper
The main purpose of this paper is to describe the technique of mind mapping and to ascertain the effectiveness of implementing mind map technique for meaningful learning that will improve students academic performance by assess them through memorization process. We believed that mind map can be an effective teaching method for students to acquire new information. Moreover, the paper will help in bringing awareness among the teachers and students on the importance of using this technique in teaching process.

1.3 Research Questions
1) What is the students' perception about the mind mapping?
2) What are the mind mapping consequence to students' performance?

1.4 Significance of the Paper
This paper will be more useful to teachers who wants to improve their students' performance. The paper will give them one of the most effective strategies to achieve what they are looking for, which is the mind mapping. Moreover it is also useful to students themselves to apply the technique in their learning process. Thus the strategy of mind mapping will help them in fulfilling the academic purposes by enabling students to become more effective at analyzing, integrating, and consolidating new information.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 What is mind mapping?

Mind mapping was developed by Buzan in 1970. According to Buzan and Buzan (1996):

The mind map is an expression of radiant thinking and is therefore a function of the human mind. It is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlocking the potential of the brain. The mind map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.

The mind map has four essential characteristics:

1. The subject of attention is crystallized in a central image.

2. The main themes of the subject radiate from the central image as branches.

3. Branches comprise a key image or key word printed on an associated line. Topics of lesser importance are also represented as branches attached to higher level branches.

4. The branches form a connected nodal structure.

Mind mapping represents a powerful aid for stimulating whole brain thinking (Buzan, 1989). It engages the often inactive right hemisphere of the brain by emphasizing spatial and visual language; it focuses on spurring creative as well as logical thought patterns. Whole brain thinking has become more desirable in today’s educational environment as institutes must innovate to meet intense competitive pressures. Survival and growth in the workplace demand a continuous stream of new and different products and improved processes for creating and delivering value. Integrative and creative thinking requires the process of left- and right- brain thinking to produce synergistic outcomes. Perhaps mind mapping is best explained by Buzan and Buzan (1996). They stress that mind mapping works because it involves radiant thinking which is the natural and virtually automatic way in which human brains function. They state:

Your brain’s thinking pattern may thus be seen as a gigantic, branching association machine (BAM) – a super bio computer with lines of thought radiating from a virtually infinite number of data nodes. This structure reflects the neuronal networks that make up the physical architecture of your brain. … From this gigantic information processing ability and learning capability derives the concept of radiant thinking of which the mind map is a manifestation…a mind map, which is the external expression of radiant thinking always radiates from a central image. Every word and image becomes in itself a subcentre of association, the whole proceeding in a potentially infinite chain of branching patterns away from or towards the common centre. Although the mind map is drawn on a two-dimensional page it represents a multi-dimensional reality, encompassing space, time and color.

2.2 Left- and right-brain thinking:- The upper brain is divided into two equal parts, the left and right hemispheres. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and the left hemisphere controls the right. The two sides are connected by the Corpus Callosum, a huge complex of fibres that allows both sides to be in constant communication with each other. Discovery of the dual nature of the human brain is usually attributed to the physiological psychologist Robert W. Sperry (1968). Sperry’s pioneering split-brain research and his work on neuro specificity was rewarded with the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1981 and the National Medal of Science in 1990, among other awards. Concurrent with Sperry’s work was that of Ornstein (1977) who garnered worldwide fame for his studies of brainwaves and specialization of brain function. The essence of what Sperry and Ornstein discovered was that the two sides of a person’s brain, or cortices, deal dominantly with different types of mental activity. In most people, the left cortex is concerned with logic, words, reasoning, numbers, linearity, and analysis – the so-called academic activities. The right cortex is more in the “alpha wave” or resting state; it deals with rhythm, images and imagination, color, daydreaming, face recognition, and pattern or map recognition (Buzan, 1989).

Zaidel (1983) continued Sperry’s work at the University of California. He discovered that each hemisphere contains many more of the “other side’s” abilities than was previously thought, and that each hemisphere is capable of a much wider and more subtle range of mental activities (Buzan, 1989). Buzan (1989) provides evidence suggesting that Einstein, Picasso, Cezanne, and da Vinci apparently used both sides of their brain in producing their most famous contributions. When human beings are effective at thinking creatively, they use both hemispheres. Failure to strike a balance in the double brain results in less than optimal creative thought and application. In some cases, an imbalance can result in dysfunctional thinking and suboptimal outcomes like groupthink (Janis, 1983).

In the Western world, thinking shows a decided bias toward the use of linear thought patterns when processing information, perhaps due to a high regard for Newtonian perceptions of the universe. Whatever the reason, formal learning activities in primary, secondary and post-secondary education traditionally stress linear thinking by emphasizing logic, sequence, and quantification. Linear thinking and decision making rely heavily on analysis, ordering of information in a definite pattern, and use of precise taxonomy. De Bono (1990) distinguishes between the two thought processes when he asserts that linear thinking is essentially selective in that “… one selects the most promising approach to a problem, the best way of looking at a situation. With lateral thinking one generates as many alternative approaches as one can”. For De Bono, vertical thinking is selective; lateral thinking is generative. If creativity relies on a Tao that balances the positive aspects of both lateral and linear thought processes, what mechanism is needed to accomplish this desired effect? How can the education institutions encourage thinking that is generative as well as selective and provocative as well as analytical? How can an institutions stimulate non-sequential thought? Stated another way, how can institutions internalize in their members a need to question continually all paradigms related to existing products and processes. Mind mapping provides the answer; it is a tool that requires the use and interworking of both upper brain hemispheres (Buzan, 1989).

2.3 How mind mapping works :-

In a mind map, information is structured in a way that mirrors exactly how brain function - in a radiant rather than linear manner. A mind map literally 'maps' out your thoughts, using associations, connections and triggers to stimulate further ideas. They extract your ideas from your head into something visible and structured.

Research shows that the brain likes to work on the basis association and it will connect every idea, memory or piece of information to tens, hundreds and even thousands of other ideas and concept.

2.4 How its Affect to the Memory A study by Farrand, Hussain and Hennessey (2002) found that mind mapping improver the long-term memory of factual information in medical students by 10%. They reported that ''mind maps provide an effective study technique when applied to written material'' and are likely to ''encourage a deeper level of processing'' for better memory formation. Research by Toi (2009) shows that mind mapping can help children recall words more effectively than using lists, with improvements in memory of up to 32%. Glass and Holyoak (1986) found that by gathering and highlighting key branches within a boundary, such as a highlight cloud, you are using a memory technique known as chunking. Our short-term memory is on average only capable of storing seven items of information and chunking can help us use this storage space more effectively.

2.5 How its affect learning Mind maps really come into their own for encouraging creativity and enabling you to generate new ideas in brainstorming sessions. The spatial layout helps you gain a better overview and makes new connections more visible so you can create an infinite number of thoughts,ideas, links and associations on any topic. Goodenough and Woods (2002) discovered that students perceived mind mapping as a fun, interesting and motivating approach to learning. Several students attributed the fun aspect to the opportunity to be creative when creating mind maps through lots of choice in color, symbols, keywords and design. Mind mapping has been shown to bring a renewed sense of enthusiasm to the classroom because it increases student confidence and sense of skill in mastering assigned material (Mento et al,1999).

2.6 How its affect teaching As a pedagogical tool, the visibility of mind mapping provides an effective approach for promoting better understanding in students learning. A teacher from Yagol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg School in the UK has noted that, mind map facilitates teachers when explaining work as they can pictorially represent a lesson plan, while for students it encourages freedom of expression when planning their work. Its flexibility also means that it processes several uses in the classroom.

2.7 Samples of Mind Mapping:-
[pic]

Mind map for the concept of acid rains

[pic]
[pic]

Mind-map for the concept of recycling

3. METHODOLOGY The research method used in this paper was document analysis and interview. According to free dictionary.com ''Document analysis is a systematic analysis of the content rather than the structure of a communication, such as a written work, speech, or film, including the study of thematic and symbolic elements to determine the objective or meaning of the communication''. Interview is defined by free dictionary.com as a conversation between two or more people where questions are asked by the interviewer to elicit facts or statements from the interviewee. The interview was conducted to record the students perception about the mind mapping and its impact to students performance. The interview participants were four of undergraduate students of educational institute in (IIUM) selected through snowball sampling technique. According to Creswell (2005), snowball sampling is an alternative to convenience sampling. In snowball sampling the researcher will ask the participant to identify others to become members of the sample. The interview questions were divided into two parts. The first part include the demographic information questions such as age, nationality, academic year, CGPA and department. The second part explore the participant experience's with mind mapping and how its role in their academic performance. All the interview questions attempt to find the answer for research question 2 which is ''What are the mind mapping consequence to students performance?''. Additional example of the interview questions that try to answer research question 2 is '' To what extend did you think that mind mapping can play a vital role in improving your academic performance?''. Document analysis was used to answer the research question 1 which is'' What is the students perception about the mind mapping?'' and ''what do you know about mind mapping?''.

4. DATA ANALYSIS
Research question 1
What is the students perception about the mind mapping? the answer for this question is answered by the literature and was discussed in the literature review section. Additional, responses to answer the question were obtained from the participants interview.
Interview question 1
What do you know about mind mapping?
Main ideas from all respondents: ← the process is so simple to understand and to integrate into one’s study methods ← It is a great way to get all of our ideas on the table, make some sense and order of them and see the "big picture". ← Mind maps are a very effective means of note taking
Explanation:-
The participants illustrate several perceptions about the meaning of mind mapping technique. Each one defined it according to his understanding, and eventually they are sharing common features of mind mapping which is ''a note taking technique, simple process and helping them to organize their ideas.

''I am really pleased with this tool. It is a great way to get all of our ideas on the table, make some sense and order of them and see the "big picture".

''the process is so simple to understand and to integrate into one’s study methods that you find yourself seeing things in “mind mapping” ways''.

The participants perception go inline with Tony Buzan definition of mind map in his book ''mind maps for kids'' (2003) .He said that mind mapping is a special form of note-taking and planning that work with your brain to make it easier for you to remember things.
Summary
Data from participants indicates they are aware of mind mapping technique and it shows their higher understanding of it process.
Interview question 2
Can you express your feeling when you used mind map at the first time?''
Main ideas from all respondents: ← It seems so strange when one learns something new such as a technique like “mind mapping” ← I could not understand how it could be useful or exactly why I should try to apply this tool. ← I was excited to learn about mind mapping ← I was happy
Explanation:-
The participants describe their different feeling about their first experience with mind map. Most of them are excited and happy while others are confused and disappointed about its ideas ,but at last they like it and become satisfy with it. One of the participant said: ''I must admit, at first glance, I could not understand how it could be useful or exactly why I should try to apply this tool. As I reflect, I am disappointed that this was my first impression. However, after seeing the mind maps that have been presented so far, I am really pleased with this tool''.

Regarding to what our participant respond the Deming (1994) discusses this phenomenon when he says that people are motivated to produce high quality work when they take “pride and joy in the work”.
Summary
We can be concluded that, our participants are happy and satisfy with using mind mapping.

Research question 2
''What are the mind mapping consequence to students performance?'' the answer for this question was found from interviewing four of undergraduate students .The following quotes are the students respond to the interview question. Which indicates how mind mapping affect their academic performance.
Interview question
To what extend do you think the mind mapping can play a vital role in improving your academic perform?
Main ideas from all respondents ← I even started taking notes using a “mind mapping” technique. ← I plan to use this tool to prepare for presentations. And for my final exams because it really helps me a lot since I stared using it. ← It will help teachers to improve their students outcomes if they teach them the effective and efficient way to practice it.
Explanation:-
According to the data acquired from the interviews, the issue of mind mapping affects students academic performance. According to participants, mind mapping play a great role in assessing and developing their academic purposes. Also one of the respondent indicates how mind mapping helps him to overcome his memorization problems. ''.....one of my many weaknesses before starting using the mind map I was not able to recall the information easily. I have overcome this challenge and the mind map will only increase my confidence and my academic performance''. (participant No 4)

''My challenge of change is the use of “mind mapping” to learn things in a new way with both retention and understanding not always existent in the past''. (participant No 1)

Summary
It can be summarized from the above explanation that mind mapping is a powerful technique that students ever have. And it can be the first choice among the other tools that the student can practice, to help them in their memorization process.

5. DISCUSSION
Research question 1
What is the students perception about mind mapping? The present study explored the students perception about mind mapping. The results revealed that, the students are aware of mind mapping technique. They indicate different definition of mind map. One of the participant said that , ''mind map is a great way to get all of our ideas on the table, make some sense and order of them and see the big picture". The other participant said that ''Mind maps are a very effective means of note taking''. This finding concurs with what has been defined in the literature by Tony Buzan in (2003) . He said that mind mapping is a special form of note-taking and planning that work with your brain to make it easier for you to remember things. Regarding to the interview question 2 ''can you express your feeling when you use mind map at the first time?'' The respondent describe their different feeling about their first experience with mind map. the respondents are happy and satisfy with using mind mapping. So the finding for this research question, we can say that the students have high understanding and awareness of what mind map is. Moreover, they are happy using this kind of memorization tool. And they are very satisfy using it.

Research question 2
What are the mind mapping consequence to students performance? According to interview data the mind map contributes significantly to the students performance. For example, one of the respondent confirmed that mind map helps him a lot in recalling the information which was a big problem he has faced before start using mind mapping technique. He said that,

''.....one of my many weaknesses before starting using the mind map I was not able to recall the information easily. I have overcome this challenge and the mind map will only increase my confidence and my academic performance''.

This finding indicates that how mind map can be an effective strategy to help the students to recall the information easily which can lead to automatically and logically increased academic performance.Therefore, it is important, effective, and useful for students to structure their understanding of any concepts in a way which can help the students to be an effective note takers and which can generate new ideas and associations that they have not thought of before.

6. CONCLUSION The basic aim of this paper is to find out students perception of mind map and to explore to what extent the use of mind map can help them increase their academic performance. The finding of the study reveal that the use of the mind mapping technique does assist the students in enhancing their performance in different fields. Furthermore, the finding indicates that students agree that mind mapping strategy is very useful specially in memorization. In addition, it also help students to increase their confidence in themselves by bringing a renewed sense of enthusiasm to the classroom because it tends to increase one’s sense of competence in mastering the assigned materials. Therefore, the use of this technique is highly recommended in order to ensure students improvement in all subjects. From the viewpoint of teachers, they believed that mind maps can have great contributions to their effort to achieve the objectives of education by helping them to summarize some subjects and facilitate meaningful learning and improve creativity. By using concept and mind mapping methods, the students’ active and collaborative learning approaches are emphasized, and their skills of sense making and knowledge integration within a multi-disciplinary subject are developed.

REFERENCES • Barnes, L.B., Christiansen, C.R. & Hansen, A.J. (1994), Teaching and the Case Method: Text, Cases, and Readings, 3rd ed., Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA. • Buzan, T. & Buzan, B. (1993) The Mind Map Book,London, BBC Worldwide Limited. • Buzan, B. (1996), The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential, Plume, New York, NY. • Buzan, T. (1989), Use Both Sides of Your Brain, 3rd ed., Plenum, New York, NY. • Buzan, T. (1970), Make the Most of Your Mind, Colt Books, Cambridge. • Creswell, J.w. (2005). Educational Research: planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Pearson Education, New Jersey. • De Bono, E. (1990), Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step, HarperCollins, New York, NY. • Deming, W.E. (1994), The New Economics: for Industry, Government, Education. 2nd ed., Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Engineering Study, Cambridge, MA. • Farrand, P., Hussain, F. & Hennessy E. (2002), The efficacy of the ‘mind map’ study technique. Medical Education, Vol. 36 (5), pp 426-431. • Glass, A.L. & Holyoak, K.J. (1986). Cognition. New York: Random House. • Goodnough, K. & Woods, R. (2002), Student and Teacher Perceptions of Mind Mapping: A Middle School Case Study Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, 1st to 5th April 2002. • Janis, I.L. (1983). Victims of Groupthink: A Psychological Study of Foreign Policy Decisions and Fiascoes, Ho ughton-Mifflin, Boston, MA. • Mento, A. J., Martinelli, P. & Jones R. M. (1999), Mind Mapping in Executive Education: Applications and Outcomes. The Journal of Management Development, Vol. 18, Issue 4. • Ornstein, R. (1977), The Psychology of Consciousness, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, NY. • Rangan,V.K.(1995).Choreographing a Case Class, No. 9-595-074, Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA. • Sperry, R.W. (1968). “Hemispheric deconnection and unity in conscious awareness”, Scientific American, Vol. 23, pp. 723-35. • Toi, H. (2009). Research on how Mind Map improves Memory. Paper presented at the International Conference on Thinking, Kuala Lumpur, 22nd to 26th June 2009.. • Zaidel, E. (1983). “A response to Gazzaniga: language in the right hemisphere: convergent perspective”, American Psychologist, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 542-6. • http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Document+analysis. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interview.

APPENDIX
Student 1.

I consider myself a "visual" person, whereby I can remember where on the page of a reading a certain sentence or thought appeared. For me, that’s a first remembrance – better than the content of the message itself. Consequently, utilizing "mind mapping" to convey to the class (and to myself) the meaning of some of our readings was a revelation. It seems so strange when one learns something new such as a technique like “mind mapping” and the process is so simple to understand and to integrate into one’s study methods that you find yourself seeing things in “mind mapping” ways. I even started taking notes using a “mind mapping” technique. My challenge of change is the use of “mind mapping” to learn things in a new way with both retention and understanding not always existent in the past.

Student 2.

The first tool I was exposed to it was mind mapping. I must admit, at first glance, I could not understand how it could be useful or exactly why I should try to apply this tool. As I reflect, I am disappointed that this was my first impression. However, after seeing the mind maps that have been presented so far, I am really pleased with this tool. It is a great way to get all of our ideas on the table, make some sense and order of them and see the "big picture". When reading books or business documents, often times so much information is presented that it is difficult to organize and truly understand the total meaning and concept. This tool goes a long way to solve that problem. Unfortunately for the any education institution, these could be the best learnings and ideas. Finally, for me personally, I plan to use this tool to prepare for presentations. And for my final exams because it really helps me a lot since I stared using it.

Student 3.

I was excited to learn about mind mapping. I had not heard of this, and I find it to be a fascinating exercise. I have never been fond of public speaking but I think that this type of mapping will make speaking in public and even chairing meetings more productive and less threatening. Moreover, it will help teachers to improve their students outcomes if they teach them the effective and efficient way to practice it.

Student 4.

Mind maps are a very effective means of note taking. They are highly personalized (when done properly) and can be used very effectively for presentation. I was fortunate to have the task of preparing a mind map for one of my courses. I was able to talk at length about an article I had read only twice and at times during the presentation I added to the article. I also tested the usefulness of mind maps by not looking at it for three days before the presentation. The result: I was happy with my presentation and now I have a useful tool to add to my repertoire. In addition, one of my many weaknesses before starting using the mind map I was not able to recall the information easily. I have overcome this challenge and the mind map will only increase my confidence and my academic performance.

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