Reflection Practice: My Concept Maps Video

By Marwa Kotb.
There are four main reasons for selecting to make a video on concept maps as an informal assessment technique. First, in various Programming courses, we use many forms of concept maps such as flowcharts and UML diagrams as a mean for students to brainstorm and generate new ideas, and to connect different concepts together. And thus, I was interested to know how I can incorporate the technique in the most efficient way, perhaps one of the things that always puzzled me was how to evaluate a concept map, in my search journey I obtained rubrics and grading guidelines, yet most articles indicate that concepts maps are mostly not graded. Second, any programming educator needs to endeavor their learners to engage in critical thinking and problem solving, as students sort out, prioritize, and understand relationships between concepts and ideas, they are certainly developing these skills. Third, the technique is applicable for me to use in online settings i.e. I currently teach online, there are a variety of free software applications that can facilitate the creation and sharing of concept maps, some of these programs even allow several users to collaborate on the same concept map such as Mindmeister Mind Maps‎. Last, integrating new concepts with older concepts is essential in coding, and concept maps is one of the best techniques that can help students to forge the relationships between new knowledge and what they already know.

If I would assess my video in terms of strengths and weaknesses. I There are three strengths for my video, first, the video has a clearly defined focus and the content is well organized, the amount of information that was presented in each slide was timely and sufficient, I didn’t try to cram too much information in each slide but at the same time the slides were quite informative. Second, the video has a simple and consistent design, I worked to create a visual interest for the audience via images, colors, and effects. For example, I used many relevant images as alternative to lengthy text, and used special slide color to introduce new points i.e. guideline questions. This visual alternatives/effects helps to increase retention and recall of information, and to gain and hold the audience attention. Last, the video has good image and audio quality, the text and images were distortion free, and the audio was clear and the speech rate wasn’t too fast nor too slow.

For the weaknesses,the video lacks the originality of the material which characterize a unique and professional video, creating original content requires more time and skills that unfortunately I don’t possess at the time. And, I believe if I had added some personalized realistic examples for concept maps, and demonstrated making a concept map using one of the application software, the content in the video would have been more engaging but I was keen to put time and focus on the guiding questions. Any learning experience I undergo for better or for worse, it will have a direct influence on my route as a learner and instructor.

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