The application of mind mapping as a technique to enhance collaborative, creative, and innovative learning among Geography undergraduates

Ananda Karunarathne


Mind mapping can be considered a method that helps students to enhance and accelerate their learning capacity effectively in a creative and innovative manner. This method is also popular as an efficient brainstorming technique. Tony Buzan (founder of the strategy) pointed out that it is an extremely effective technique for sharpening the thinking and learning process. Thus the aim of this study was to apply the mind mapping technique to enhance collaborative, creative, and innovative learning among Geography undergraduates. In this context, the technique was applied to the first year undergraduates who followed the Cartography Course Unit (GYG 1102 / GYG 1202) at the Department of Geography, University of Colombo in 2012. All the students of the Cartography Course Unit were included in the study (population = sample). According to literature, this technique has not been tried out with Geography undergraduates in Sri Lanka. The resultant mind maps revealed that the students were able to think and analyze one aspect from different perspectives (angles) very creatively. This was the main benefit that they obtained from this practice. The technique was also identified as one of the best techniques that can be applied in many situations of the learning process. Analysis of students feedback revealed that 86 per cent of students identified mind mapping as an active, creative, and collaborative learning technique. The practice enabled students to be more innovative in their learning process. Some students supposed that they can apply the technique successfully to another situation also and some expressed that they can relate the experience significantly in different contexts. Mind mapping was identified as an effective practice that helped students to enhance their learning capacity.