Map the Journey – continues

Method 3:

Mind maps can help generate ideas and understand relations between ideas.  To create a mind map, you start with one idea and then plot how other ideas connect.

To create a mindmap, you keep asking yourself:

What else is connected to this idea?

Vickie wants to create a Modlette about using drawings or images in business communication, and she’s created a mind map by thinking about the use of drawings in business.  The issues she’d like to discuss include:

  • You can use drawings to sell
  • You can use drawings to think
  • You can use drawings to explain
  • You can draw together as a team
  • You can create different types of drawings
  • You can create different types of graphs and charts

A mindmap encourages us to expand our boundaries and add more ideas to our Modlette.

When you look at Vickie’s mindmap, you may already get the feeling that she has too many ideas for one Modlette about each of these six ideas.

In my Modlette design experience, I’ve found that the biggest challenge for designers is often to keep the Modlette focussed – to narrow down an idea and actually deliver valuable learning.

Mindmaps don’t help us keep our focus

Mind maps do the opposite, encouraging us to generate more related ideas.  There’s a risk that we’ll try cramming too many ideas into long Modlettes, and that gets overwhelming for learners.

So, I do not recommend using mindmaps for structuring a Modlette.  A mindmap is more useful when outlining a whole course of Modlettes.

For one off modlettes, I recommend sticking to bullet points or questions refer Map the Journey – Modlettes.

How to evaluate your outline

You can create a better map if you concentrate on the problem, you help solve and to which happy place you’ll guide your learners.

To evaluate your outline, the first question to ask yourself is:

  • Does this outline help learners to reach the happy place?

If the outline doesn’t guide the learner to the happy place, you have two options:

  1. Expand your outline with the missing points or questions
  2. Keep the outline as it is, but narrow down the happy place that you can guide your learner to.

The second question to ask yourself is how long your Modlette will be.  The optimal length of a Modlette is 22 minutes (as recommended as concentration time by TED talks).  That’s a rough guide.

Next week:  We’ll look at the map or outline creation process.