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# Buzan Mind Mapping: An Efficient Technique for Note-Taking

Authors:
• Malaysia Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (MyRIVET)

## Abstract and Figures

Buzan mind mapping is an efficient system of note-taking that makes revision a fun thing to do for students. Tony Buzan has been teaching children all over the world for the past thirty years and has proved that mind maps are the magic formula in the classroom for everyone. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of Buzan mind mapping as a note-taking technique for the secondary school students. This paper also examines the mind mapping technique, advantages and disadvantages of hand-drawn mind maps. Samples of students' mind maps were presented and discussed.
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Abstract
Buzan mind mapping is an efficient system of note-
taking that makes revision a fun thing to do for students. Tony Buzan
has been teaching children all over the world for the past thirty years
and has proved that mind maps are the magic formula in the
classroom for everyone. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the
importance of Buzan mind mapping as a note-taking technique for
the secondary school students. This paper also examines the mind
mapping technique, advantages and disadvantages of hand-drawn
mind maps. Samples of students’ mind maps were presented and
discussed.
Keywords
Buzan Mind Mapping, note-taking technique, hand-
drawn mind maps.
I. I
NTRODUCTION
HE main goal in our education system is to develop
students’ skills in order to reach information rather than
transferring the present information [1]. Tony Buzan
introduced mind mapping technique to the world with his
books and developed a system which would pave the way for
many people [2]. This mind mapping technique was developed
toward the end of the 1960s and has been employed in many
different areas since the development [3].
Mind mapping is an extremely valuable technique [4] to be
learnt and used by the students in learning process. As a note-
taking technique, the mind map allows individuals to
“organize facts and thoughts” in a map format containing a
“central image, main themes radiating from the central image,
branches with key images and key words, plus branches
forming a connected nodal structure”. In addition, the mind
map helps students to assimilate new information, to think and
to develop their conceptual schema [5]. At the same time,
T. K. Tee is a senior lecturer with the Faculty of Technical and Vocational
Education, Sultan Idris education University, 35900 Tanjong Malim, Perak,
Malaysia (phone: +601096623328; fax:+6054585893; e-mail:
tktee@fptv.upsi.edu.my).
M. N. A. Azman, S. Mohamed, J. Md Yunos, and M. M. Mohamad are
senior lecturers with the Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education,
Sultan Idris education University, 35900 Tanjong Malim, Perak, Malaysia (e-
mail: mnazhari@fptv.upsi.edu.my, suriani.mohamed@fptv.upsi.edu.my,
jailani@uthm.edu.my, mimi@uthm.edu.my).
M. Muhammad is a post graduate student with the Faculty of Technical
and Vocational Education, Sultan Idris education University, 35900 Tanjong
Malim, Perak, Malaysia (e-mail: putra_adlan@yahoo.com.my).
M. H. Yee is a lecturer with the Faculty of Technical and Vocational
Education, Universiti Tun Husein Onn Malaysia, Parit Raja, 86400 Batu
Pahat, Johor, Malaysia (corresponding author to provide phone: +60109-
2630840; fax: +607-4536585; e-mail: yeemeiheong@gmail.com).
W.Othman is the dean with the Faculty of Education and Language, Open
University Malaysia, Jalan Tun Ismail, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (e-
mail: widad@oum.edu.my).
adopting mind mapping strategy can significantly improve
students’ achievement [6].
II. B
UZAN
M
IND
M
APPING
N
OTE
-T
AKING
T
ECHNIQUE
In the traditional note-taking method, it is aimed to
remember the information, to make a written or oral
communication, to sort the ideas, to make a problem analysis
or a plan and to bring out a creative idea. The standard format
used is the linear [1]. In contrast, Buzan mind mapping is a
visual tool used to organize and relate themes or objectives.
Buzan asserts that mind maps that incorporate pictures and
different colors bring ideas to life.
A good mind map is able to show the overall structure of
the topic or problem and lines and pictures [7]. Unlike linear
thinking techniques, mind mapping is a graphic technique that
captures ideas and information [8]. Moreover, the
implementation of this technique which enhances the
creativity, and makes learning and note-taking easier is
extremely simple in which a hierarchical order is followed [1].
Buzan’s guidelines as: “A central focus or graphic
representation of the main topic is placed in the center of a
page; ideas are allowed to flow freely without judgment; key
words are used to represent ideas; one key word is written per
line; key words are connected to the central focus with organic
lines; color is used to highlight and emphasize ideas; and
images, symbols and codes are used to highlight ideas and
stimulate the mind to make connections.”[8].
The hand-drawn mind map in Fig. 1 illustrates the overall
organization of the topic, Laws of Buzan mind mapping [9].
Fig. 1 Laws of Buzan mind mapping (Tee)
Below are three samples of mind maps that were hand-
drawn by students (Figs. 2-4).
Buzan Mind Mapping: An Efficient Technique for
Note-Taking
T. K. Tee, M. N. A. Azman, S. Mohamed, Muhammad, M., M. M. Mohamad, J. Md Yunos, M. H. Yee, W. Othman
T
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
International Journal of Social, Human Science and Engineering Vol:8 No:1, 2014
28
International Science Index 85, 2014 waset.org/publications/9997038
Fig. 2 The mind map about Wood Work (Lau)
Fig. 3 The mind map about Wood Work (Muniandy)
Fig. 4 The mind map about Wood Work (Rashid)
III. A
DVANTAGES AND
D
ISADVANTAGES OF
H
AND
-D
RAWN
M
IND
M
APS
Note-taking that is described as a boring activity by the
students can be turned to a more enjoyable activity by using
the mind mapping technique [1]. There are many advantages
on using Buzan mind maps in study [10]. Fig. 5 shows the
advantages of applying mind mapping technique in learning
process [9]:
Preparing notes from textbooks.
The Buzan mind map principles are easy and interesting
to follow.
It is economical [8].
Buzan mind maps involve the use of both left and right
brain [2].
It is among the easiest and most famous thinking tool.
Students are able to memorize better.
Students can plan their daily routine with mind map.
Revision is quick and effective.
Students will appreciate own product (mind map).
It increases the creativity [5].
Parents and teachers are able to monitor the student’s
performance.
Fig. 5 The advantages of applying mind mapping technique
Mind Maps are also useful [2] for:
Brainstorming - individually, and as a group.
Summarizing information, and note-taking.
Consolidating information from different research
sources.
Thinking through complex problems.
Presenting information in a format that shows the overall
structure of your subject.
Studying, retaining and recall information.
Promotes meaningful learning instead of memorization.
However, the disadvantages [7] are:
Cannot be digitally stored other than as a scanned
document.
Map size is limited.
Preference of user for mind mapping software advantages.
IV. T
HE
N
EEDS OF
T
EACHING
N
OTE
-T
AKING
T
ECHNIQUE AT
S
ECONDARY
S
CHOOL
Mind mapping is widely used in education, government and
business as a creative method that is useful in training,
brainstorming, organizing and problem solving [7]. As seen,
the increasing popularity of mind mapping is evidenced by the
number of blogs, books and articles that using the Internet
search engine Google and entering the search term “mind
mapping”, yields over 112,000,000 web page hits. As stated
above, it is clear that many individuals have an interest in
mind mapping [8]
A needs analysis of teaching higher order thinking skills for
lower secondary school in Malaysia [11] that had been carried
out by Jailani and Tee on 2011, about 90% out of 384
secondary school teachers in Malaysia agreed that the students
should use Buzan mind map as their notes and it suites most
for the revision purpose [12]. According to the findings,
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
International Journal of Social, Human Science and Engineering Vol:8 No:1, 2014
29
International Science Index 85, 2014 waset.org/publications/9997038
teachers complained that they have problems regarding in
note-taking for their subjects.
On the other hand, the teachers agreed that there should be a
standardized note-taking technique for the students and they
strongly believe that students could achieve better results for
their subject if they apply Buzan mind mapping technique for
note-taking. This is primarily because mind maps are able to
determine students’ pre-knowledge and deficiencies or
misconceptions in their pre-knowledge. It also can facilitate to
recall knowledge and conceptions and the interrelations set
between them [4]. Besides that, this technique can be applied
in all grades of learning and in early years of primary
education [5].
V. T
EACHER
F
ACILITATES
S
TUDENTS ON
L
EARNING
N
OTE
-
T
AKING
T
ECHNIQUE
B
Y
U
SING
B
UZAN
M
IND
M
APPING
T
ECHNIQUE
Mind mapping could provide teachers with a feedback
about students’ mental structure and development of their
mental structure. On the other hand, it could facilitate
students’ recalling the knowledge by the assistance of using
visual elements. Clearly in this situation, it could increase the
participation among students in teaching and learning process
[4]. Basically, teachers need to explain the purposes of note-
taking to the student [l] such as:
Making notes on a book helps the student to focus on the
content and to remember it. The more the student makes
notes, the easier it becomes.
Notes should be easier for the student to re-read than the
book itself, as they will be shorter and in his own familiar
style.
Once formal education is finished, the student often has to
use documents or other books, so note-taking is a useful
transferable skill.
The student usually needs to acquire specific information
from a book, and his notes will select and summarize
what is important to him.
VI. C
ONCLUSION
Recent years, studies of mind mapping have been
conducted with various age groups in the literature [5]. Many
studies related to the mind mapping technique are available in
the books and articles [1]. Positive and negative effects have
been encountered [5].
Mind Maps help students remember information, as they
hold it in a format that the mind finds easy to recall and quick
to review. It also helps the students to improve their
innovative and creative thinking [2]. Furthermore, mind maps
can be effective to create learning environments in which
students feel desirous to learn and used in different stages of
learning process [4].
The technique of mind mapping to be available in almost
every area will provide a significant contribution to student’s
learning, especially in the field of education for the
implementation of the constructivist approach by teachers in
the class [1]. On account of the aforesaid benefits, there is a
need for teachers to know how to teach mind map technique
and to associate the mind maps in their lessons.
R
EFERENCES
[1] Şeyihoğlu, A & Kartal, A. (2010). The Views of the Teachers about the
mind mapping technique in the Elementary Life Science and Social
Studies lessons Based on the Constructivist Method. Educational
Sciences: Theory & Practice, 10(3), 1637-1656.
[2] Adodo, S. O. (2013). Effect of mind-mapping as a self-regulated
learning strategy on students’ achievement in Basic Science and
Technology. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4 (6), 163-172.
[3] Evrekli, E., Iel, D. & Balim, A. (2010). Development of a scoring
system to assess mind maps. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2,
2330-2334.
[4] Evrekli, E., Iel, D. & Balim, A. (2009). Mind mapping applications in
special teaching methods courses for science teacher candidates and
teacher candidates’ opinions concerning the applications. Procedia
Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1, 2274-2279.
[5] Keleş, Ö. (2012). Elementary teachers’ views on mind mapping.
International Journal of Education, 4(1), 93-100.
[6] Mani, A. (2011). Effectiveness of digital mind mapping over paper-
based mind mapping on students’ academic achievement in
Environmental Science. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings
of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and
Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 1116-1121). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Retrieved December 12, 2013 from http://www.editlib.org/p/38011.
[7] Tucker, J. M., Armstrong, G. R. & Massad, V. J. (2010). Profilling a
mind map user: a descriptive appraisal. Journal of Instructional
Pedagogies, 2, 1-13.
[8] Doss, C. Y., Tiew, C., Tam, L. S. & Richards, T. A. (2010). Buzan Mind
Maps for Science Form 1: The Secrets to Good Grades. Selangor:
Pearson Malaysia.
[9] Tee, T. K., Md Yunos, J., Mohamad, B., Othman, W., Yee, M. H. &
Mohamad, M. M. (2012). The development and evaluation of the
qualities of Buzan mind mapping module. Procedia Social and
Behavioral Sciences, 59, 188-196.
[10] Tee, T. K., Md Yunos, J., Mohamad, B., Othman, W., Yee, M. H. &
Mohamad, M. M. (2012). The development and implementation of
Buzan mind mapping module. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences,
69, 705-708.
[11] Tee, T. K., Md Yunos, J., Hassan, R., Yee, M. H., Hussein, A. &
Mohamad, M. M. (2012). Thinking skills for secondary students. Journal
of Research, Policy & Practice of Teachers and Teacher Education, 2(2),
12-23.
[12] Tee, T. K., Md Yunos, J., Hassan, R., Yee, M. H., Mohamad, M. M.,
Hussein, A., Mohamad, B. & Othman, W. (2012). An evaluation of the
Buzan mind mapping module as a guide for teachers on note-taking
technique. International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation in
Education, 2, 60-74.
T. K. Tee was born in Melaka, Malaysia on the 25
th
of April, 1979. He
obtained his first degree in bachelor of technology with education (civil
engineering) at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
Skudai, Johor, Malaysia in 2002. In 2003, he completed his Master’s degree in
technical and vocational education at University Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai,
Johor, Malaysia in. At the year 2013, he obtained his Ph.D in technical and
vocational education at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Batu Pahat,
Johor, Malaysia. His Ph.D research focuses on higher order thinking skills and
Buzan Mind Mapping.
His working experiences include; secondary school teacher, subject matter
expert, e-tutor, e-grader, proctor for final examination at Open University
Malaysia, Industrial Practicum Supervisor, Undergraduate Project Supervisor,
Undergraduate and Master’s Projects’ Examiner, Subject Matter Expect,
Subject Examiner, and Professional Consultant for Multiple Intelligent Tests
and Learning Styles Inventory Instrument Construction Workshop.
Now, he is
a senior lecturer with the Department of Engineering Technology, Faculty of
Technical and Vocational Education, at Sultan Idris Education University,
Malaysia. (Email: tktee@fptv.upsi.edu.my). His previous publications include
The Development And Implementation Of Buzan Mind Mapping Module
(Elsevier Ltd, 2012), The Development And Evaluation Of The Qualities Of
Buzan Mind Mapping Module (Elsevier Ltd, 2012), The Needs Analysis of
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
International Journal of Social, Human Science and Engineering Vol:8 No:1, 2014
30
International Science Index 85, 2014 waset.org/publications/9997038
Learning Higher Order Thinking Skills for Generating Ideas (Elsevier Ltd,
2012), The Level of Marzano Higher Order Thinking Skills among Technical
Education Students (Singapore: International Association of Computer
Science and Information Technology (IACSIT), 2011). Current and previous
research interests are thinking skills, thinking tools and self-instructional
modular approach, teaching and learning styles.
Dr Tee is a member of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Alumni, Universiti
Tun Hussein Onn Alumni and Malaysia Technical and Vocational Education
Association.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
International Journal of Social, Human Science and Engineering Vol:8 No:1, 2014
31
International Science Index 85, 2014 waset.org/publications/9997038
... These ideas continue to branch out as far as is required by the subject. Furthermore, connection lines, codes, and symbols are used to connect ideas, highlight important concepts, and stimulate creative thinking [11,12]. Many studies have explored the benefits of Buzan's technique for teaching and learning, such as retaining information, organizing thoughts, and developing critical-thinking skills (e.g., reasoning, decision-making, and problemsolving) [11,12]. ...
... Furthermore, connection lines, codes, and symbols are used to connect ideas, highlight important concepts, and stimulate creative thinking [11,12]. Many studies have explored the benefits of Buzan's technique for teaching and learning, such as retaining information, organizing thoughts, and developing critical-thinking skills (e.g., reasoning, decision-making, and problemsolving) [11,12]. In a study conducted with elementary school teachers [13], teachers agreed that using mind maps in education would stimulate students' creativity, enhance learning and memorization, and serve as a tool to assess students' degree of comprehension for the topics being taught. ...
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Buzan Mind Maps for Science Form 1: The Secrets to Good Grades
• C Y Doss
• C Tiew
• L S Tam
• T A Richards
Doss, C. Y., Tiew, C., Tam, L. S. & Richards, T. A. (2010). Buzan Mind Maps for Science Form 1: The Secrets to Good Grades. Selangor: Pearson Malaysia.
Thinking skills for secondary students
• T K Tee
• J Md Yunos
• R Hassan
• M H Yee
• A Hussein
• M M Mohamad
Tee, T. K., Md Yunos, J., Hassan, R., Yee, M. H., Hussein, A. & Mohamad, M. M. (2012). Thinking skills for secondary students. Journal of Research, Policy & Practice of Teachers and Teacher Education, 2(2), 12-23.