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Mindmap Activity

The mindmap activity is included in LAMS v2.3 and above.

The new Mindmap activity allows Teachers and Learners to create, edit and view mindmaps in the LAMS environment.
Mindmaps allow for the organising of concepts and ideas, and exploring how these interact.

This animation describes how to create and use the Mindmap activity.

(info) For more information on using mindmaps, view here.

Mind Map Activity Authoring

All properties sheets contain three tabs:

  • The Basic tab controls the content of the activity.
  • The Advanced tab controls how the activity behaves.
  • The Instructions tab allows authors to comment on the activity itself.
  • An additional Conditions tab is visible where the activity allows Authors to customise the activity outputs for branching or grouping operations.

Basic tab for the Mind Map Activity

View of the Mind Map Activity Basic tab.

There are two features on the basic tab common to all activities:

  • Title: All Activities have a web page title which is presented at the top of the activity page when displayed in the Learning Environment. This is NOT the same title as the Title that can be set using the Properties Inspector.
  • Instructions: All Activities have a text area that is presented beneath the title. This is where the main activity text to be displayed to learners is entered. The text can be formatted using the Rich-Text Editor. Image, Video, Audio and URL content can also be displayed in the Instructions area.

Specific Features for the Mind Map Activity

  • Mind Map Tool:
    The mindmap section of the authoring page allows the author to set up the initial framework for concept mapping.
    On the mindmap, you can add or remove thoughts (nodes), move existing nodes and change the colour of nodes.
    The best practice is to put the primary topic for discussion in the centre of the Mind Map. (Marked 'Main Idea' by default.)
    (info) For more details on using the mindmap, view the interface guide.

Advanced tab for the Mind Map Activity

View of the Mind Map Activity Advanced tab.

  • Lock When Finished:
    Enabling this option on the Mindmap means that Learners will not be able to edit or change the mindmap they have created once 'Next Activity' is reached.
    Learners can still return to the mindmap using the progress bar to view the activity but recieve this notice:

    (info) The instructor has set this activity not to allow notes after you have finished it.
    As you are returning to this Mind Map, you are able to see your notes but not allowed to add more.

    If disabled (by default) Learners can edit or add to the mindmap at any time while the sequence is running.
    (warning) See the note below for how this option works with multiple users.
  • Add Notebook... : This option is available on all Activities. Enabling this option creates a Notebook as part of the Activity, which Learner's can use to reflect on the activity just completed. The reflections are personal (ie: not shared with other learners).

Advanced Features Specific to the Mind Map Activity

  • Enable Multi-user mode:
    Enabling this option switches the mindmap into a 'live' collaborative mode, where the changes made by each learner or monitor appear for all members of the lesson.
    (/)For large lessons or groups, this can quickly get confusing, so this mode is best suited to smaller groups or class sizes.

    When disabled, by default, each learner has their own mindmap (based on the initial set up in Author) which is submitted at the end of the activity.

    (warning) If both Lock When Finished and Multi-User Mode are enabled, learners who finish the activity will not be able to return and contribute to notes added by other learners. They are still able to view contributions made since they finished the activity.

Instructions Tab

View of the Instructions tab. This is the same for all activities.

The Instructions tab contains the same features for all Activities.

It allows the Author to create specific instructions for the activity, as well as upload files that may be useful for running the activity (ie: support documents, etc.). It is a resource that can be used by teachers who are running the sequence for their learners. (In the Monitoring Environment, the Instructions for an Activity can be viewed by double clicking the activity on the Sequence tab and then selecting the Instructions tab.

The instructions can be retrieved by other authors who open the activity, or by monitors running the sequence.

There are two types of Instruction possible, Offline and Online, depending on the mode that the teacher wishes to run the activity. The feature is useful for teachers who are sharing sequences with their colleagues as it provides an area where the Author can describe any learning objectives and/or the specific purpose of the activity.

Conditions Specific to the Mind Map Activity

  • Number of Learner Nodes
    This output is a number that represents how many separate nodes the Learner added to the activity.
    (output desc output learner number of nodes (range) )

Using the Mind Map Tool

Node Permissions

When using the mind map, you can only modify, move or delete nodes that you have created.

Zooming and Scrolling

The mind map will scroll automatically as you move the mouse around the screen. Alternatively, you can click-and-drag the mind map canvas to view a specific point on the mind map.

Using the zoom controls at the bottom of the mind map allows you to zoom in and out to change your perspective of the mind map.

To expand or contract a parent node (ie, hide all of its children), mouseover the node and click the minus sign ( - )

Adding New Nodes

To add a new node, click the arrow on the parent node where you want the thought to appear.
When adding new nodes to the mindmap, the layout of the mind map will automatically update to best display all of the nodes.

Editing Nodes

To change the text inside a node, simply click inside it.

Changing the Colour of a Node

To change a node's colour, mouse-over the node and click the on the colour wheel.
You can then select a new colour from the wheel.

Moving a Node

You can only move existing nodes from within the authoring environment.

To move an existing node, click the hand and drag the node to where you want to move to. The Mindmap tool will highlight the target node for moving.
(i)You can move a parent node and all it's children at once.
The image below shows moving a parent and it's children.

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Click for larger view.

Deleting a Node

To delete a node, click the above the node for deletion, then confirm by clicking Yes.

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Click for larger view.

(warning) You cannot delete a node that has children; to delete a parent node and all it's children, delete each child first, then delete the parent.

Monitoring the Mind Map

Monitors for mind map activities can view the number of learners participating in the activity (or in each group if the activity has been divided), and by using the link on the Summary Tab view and contribute to the mind map as Learners are creating it.

The mindmap interface for monitors is as for learners and authors - click here for how to use the mindmap interface.