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The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” (circa 1921) represents the concept that images can convey complex ideas and information more efficiently, and more effectively, than linear text alone. By contrast, much of the practice of instructional design remains bound to its “textual roots” from the 1940s. Today, most instructional design products, such as planning documents, remain text-based. The author’s instructional design practice remained textually-based for over 20 years, until his research into, and subsequent adoption of, mind mapping, a visual method of organizing complex thoughts and developing ideas. The principles of mind mapping are quite old. Porphyry of Tyros, a noted philosopher of the 3rd century, created what we would today call a mind map illustrating the Aristotle’s categories. Other notable “mind mappers” include Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin (Grubb & Gee, 2013). Beginning in 2012, the author began experimenting with the applications of mind mapping to the instructional design process. The result was a fundamental shift from producing text-based instructional design planning documents to producing visual “course design maps” using a free mind mapping software package. The poster session will explore the practice of mind mapping as it applies to designing academic courses and will include a discussion and a live demonstration.

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Instructional Media Design

Using Visual Mind Mapping to Design Academic Courses: Transitioning from Text-Based Planning Documents to Course Design Maps