Mindmapping has been mentioned several times in this blog. This blogpost wants to go a bit more in depth based on several requests we got from colleagues. It is a method for learning in which participants utilize a specific process to recognize both the content and the structure of their thinking. Let’s explore some concrete uses of mindmapping in a ITC-ILO context.
Picture: mindmap technique used in a course on wage policies
Group mindmapping to enhance brainstorming
- let participants construct their own individual mindmap
- let them come together in small groups to discuss their mindmaps and blend their ideas in a larger mindmap
- discuss the basic ordering of ideas in a small group. Ensure that all ideas are accepted. The ones who do not fit immediately can be captured in a miscellaneous branch
This method ensures that every participant had the time to generate his or her own thinking and that all ideas are equally shared. The discussion on the relations and the order of ideas is a good exercises that leads to a good representation of the group’s thinking. It also stimulates the group to explore connections between concepts and branches.
Run your workshop with a mindmap
Use a mindmap as a primary facilitation tool. Integrate it in the workshop as a way to do a strategic analysis and cover a SWOT with your mindmap. As you could see in the wage policies course it was used for problem solving. Through the use of three different colours (problems, observations and proposals) a gradual thinking process was stimulted during the workshop and the final result was a tree of ideas and concepts that served as a base for the rest of the course.
Let participants report with a mindmap
Reporting is important, especially if we want to debrief after discussions, group work or participatory exercises. An easy way to take note is let the reporter come up with a mindmap that captures the main concepts and key issues. In the debriefing part you immediately can start with the visual overview and focus on the relations and connections between the main concepts.
Any other suggestions?