Does the mind map learning strategy facilitate information retrieval and critical thinking in medical students?
Anthony V D’Antoni1,2*, Genevieve Pinto Zipp1, Valerie G Olson1, Terrence F Cahill
The results of this study demonstrate that the mind map learning strategy does not result in a significant gain in short-term, domain-based knowledge (assessed using multiple-choice quizzes) compared to standard note-taking in medical students.
However, in subjects who were unfamiliar with mind mapping, a short 30- minute presentation on the strategy allowed them to score similarly to subjects in the SNT (standard note-taking) group who used strategies that have been firmly established.
By using preferred note-taking strategies, subjects in the SNT group were able to rely on previous note-taking experiences that helped shaped their current understanding and learning of the material in the text passage, while those in the MM group could not rely on prior mind map note-taking experiences as they were novices.
Subjects in the MM group may have relied on previous knowledge of other non-mind map note-taking strategies, which could explain why they were able to score similarly.
The similarity in mean scores between groups lends support to adult learning theory.
This study demonstrates that mind mapping can be easily taught to medical students who have no previous background in mind mapping and doing so requires no cost or expensive equipment [22,33].
Thus, mind mapping may be an attractive resource to add to the study-strategy repertoire of entering medical students to help them learn and organize information.