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Using E-Maps to Organize and Navigate Online Content

by Michael F Ruffini
EDUCAUSE Quarterly ()
  • ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324


Computer-generated mind maps, or e-maps, provide an outstanding e-learning tool for organizing and navigating web-based content and files. Considerable research indicates the effectiveness of using graphic organizers such as mind maps to facilitate meaningful learning. Tony Buzan and Barry Buzan argue that mind maps better harness the way the brain works than traditional linear constructions of knowledge presented to students. The radiant structure of an e-map is consistent with the radial nature of the brain's functioning, and the colors, graphics, and nonlinear branches used in an e-map stimulate the entire brain, resulting in more engaged and effective learning. Using the e-map technique gives instructors the freedom to express ideas and show interrelationships between concepts and content in a very visual and nonlinear structure that benefits their students. This article discusses the construction and instructional applicatons of e-maps. (Contains 1 table, 6 figures, and 17 endnotes.)

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