Brynne Zinnecker - Art of Innovation

This posting is the second in what is going to be a fascinating experiment this year with students at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Last week’s posting first introduced this series. Now let’s put it into context.

Dr. Tim Schweizer teaches “Principles of Management”. He felt like teaching Idea Mapping to his students was such an important life and study skill that he had them read the first 5 chapters of my Idea Mapping book and then he dedicated an entire class period to practicing.

According to Tim, one of the primary learning experiment objectives was to get “good reading material” in front of them to stimulate interest (something other than a textbook). Alfie Kohn talks about this in The Myth of Homework. So the students read from interesting books (they were instructed to read for fun and wouldn’t be tested on it) for 40 minutes during an actual class period. Each student reads a different book, but since Tim has two sections of the class, you may see the same book mapped twice in this series.

After 40 minutes of reading they only had 15 minutes to map their thoughts. The instructions were that the maps were not supposed to be summaries. The maps would be reflection pieces on the reading. So the secondary learning experiment is practicing Idea Mapping.

The students randomly picked one book from the box of books pre-selected by Tim and then read. In some cases he had a post-it note telling them where in the book to start reading so they got started in an interesting spot. In other cases they started anywhere in the book.

A while after this initial exercise Tim collected responses from his students about their experience with Idea Mapping. Where we have a specific comment from the student I will include that in the post. This particular Idea Map was created by Brynne Zinnecker. There is no comment from Brynne at this time. The book she chose to read was The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley.