Asee peer logo

Exploring Mind Maps for Assessment in an Introductory Chemical Engineering Course

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Works-in-Progress Postcard Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Joshua A Enszer University of Delaware

visit author page

Prof. Joshua Enszer is an assistant professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has taught core and elective courses across the curriculum, from introduction to engineering science and material and energy balances to process control, capstone design, and mathematical modeling of chemical and environmental systems. His research interests include technology and learning in various incarnations: electronic portfolios as a means for assessment and professional development, implementation of computational tools across the chemical engineering curriculum, and game-based learning.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Mind maps are a study tool for students to visualize and organization in a way that emphasizes the way that concepts are connected to one another. Their use has been documented in several technical fields, including medicine, industrial engineering, and environmental engineering. Many publications on the use of mind maps or concept maps include one or more ideas on how to assess the quality of these diagrams.

In this work in progress, we summarize several different ways that have already been proposed and implemented in the literature to evaluate mind maps. Some rubrics view a concept map holistically, while others attempt to deconstruct maps into component pieces, like number of topics or number of connections, for scoring. We describe our experiences using some of these approaches in evaluating our own use of mind maps in the classroom.

We have collected two years’ worth of mind maps from our university’s Introduction to Chemical Engineering course as part of an end-of-semester exercise that is presented to students as a final exam preparation activity. We seek to address two questions using this activity: (1) Is there any relationship between the quality of mind maps and student performance in the course, and (2) Is there any significant change between the 2016 and 2017 student responses that may have resulted from changes made to the course between these years? Indirectly, we seek to determine whether mind maps would be a useful measure for direct assessment to track continuous improvement initiatives related to this course. We also seek to determine whether one established strategy for assessing mind maps is more amenable to addressing these questions than others.

Enszer, J. A. (2018, June), Exploring Mind Maps for Assessment in an Introductory Chemical Engineering Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30493

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015