Student???s perception of mind mapping in Problem-based learning


Sneha Ravindranath, Warnakula Kusum de Abrew, Vishna Devi Nadarajah

Background: Problem based learning enables active learning but an inherent disadvantage is that the knowledge is perceived to be unorganized. The use of concept maps and flow charts has been suggested to enhance reflection in PBL. The objective of the study was to determine if the PBL experience can be enhanced using a mind map for summary writing. Methods: Semester 2 medical students were briefed on the process of mind mapping for summarizing the PBL group discussion. Students who consented to participate in the study completed a pre-intervention questionnaire on the perception of PBL process. Each student constructed a mind map at the end of every PBL session for three consecutive triggers. The students completed a post-intervention questionnaire on the perception of PBL process at the end of the module. Data analysis of the pre and post-intervention questionnaires was carried out using Independent t-test. Results: Students perception of the PBL learning process continued to be positive after the intervention of summary writing with mind map and there was a difference in the ranking of the PBL learning processes with summarizing and structuring concepts at the top after mind mapping. Students comments indicated that the mind mapping exercise was useful although it was time consuming. Conclusions: Mind mapping can help in summarizing the PBL discussion however, not all students may find that it enhances the PBL learning process. The findings of this study support the use of mind maps only as an optional tool for summarizing PBL discussion and may be used to complement the learning process in PBL based on students’ learning needs.