Mind-maps in an LMS.

Why would a teacher have the students do them in a Learning Managment System (LMS) like Moodle when they are so easy to do in a classroom?

Personal preference really but there are a few reasons why it can be an advantage.

If the students are doing group work and one of them is away or the teacher has taken too long introducing the topic then the teacher can set the mindmap for homework. This can be very convenient in that as soon as the teacher sees it arrive in the group or students account on the teachers computer they can be assessed and feedback completed all at the same time.

When the next lesson arrives the students have already completed that section of work and are ready to start on the next stage. In comparison the teacher receives the work during the lesson to mark and the students tend to be left in limbo while waiting for their feedback.

This has the tendency to ensure the slower students complete the same amount of work as the faster students even if they take longer to complete the work.

All that aside the most important point is that the students can do the work at their own leisure and as most people know the classroom is not always the best time or the most appropriate place some of the best work is done late at night, when chatting to your friends about the topics on Facebook or early in the mornings. Certainly the classroom is not always the best time or the most appropriate place to get the best performance from our students.

The Moodle module allows for group mindmaps, individual and for the teacher to create this form as a teaching aide and lock it so it is read only.

There is a huge range of open source mindmap software for Mac, Windows and Linux computers and they can all be submitted as a file to the teacher via the LMS. The single biggest advantage with the moodle version is the whole activity can be completed on line and any form of computer or operating system can be used to complete the activity.

When specific software is used to complete these types of activities the work is being sent to another computer that must have the same software to read it. This is one of the prime reasons for using the LMS as it is not operating system specfic.

In many cases students will complete work using their smart phones or tablets as they only need a web browser to work anywhere and at any time in the world.