University of Wisconsin–Madison

05.01.15 — Nick Balster on Scapple (mind mapping)

Nick BalsterOn May 1, Nick Balster from Soil Science shared how he’s been using Scapple to design his courses — from semester overview to individual sessions. Participants learned about Scapple and explored other mind mapping tools and techniques that can be used for course design, and for student activities.

Watch Nick’s presentation…

And the rest of the session…


  • Find what feels good: There are many tools available with different capabilities and options; play around with them and use what works for you.
  • Mind maps are multipurpose: In addition to course design, mind maps can be used for: vision boards, curriculum mapping, task breakdown for project management, decision trees, outline writing, planning research.
  • Simplify for in-class use: When using in class, don’t give students the option to waste time with formatting or font or color choices. Give them a simple tool (e.g., C-Map) so that they are focused on the concepts/content versus aesthetics.

If you’re interested in stepping through a worksheet to get up and running with mind-mapping, try using the worksheet we used in this session!

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