Extending and developing your thinking skills
Extending and developing your thinking skills

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Extending and developing your thinking skills

7.4 Visual tools

Organising thought can be assisted greatly by the use of visual tools. These can include diagrams, mind-maps, tables, graphs, time lines, flow charts, sequence diagrams, decision trees or other visual representations. The process of making visual representations can itself involve using and developing a range of thinking skills, particularly higher order skills. So, whether you need the resulting product or not they can be worth doing. However, the resulting product can also provide an effective way of communicating your thinking to others. In fact, sometimes it can be very hard not to use a diagram - drawing or referring to a map, for example, makes it much easier to give directions.

Activity 18

Find a visual way of presenting one of the examples below or an everyday example. As you do this, reflect on your thoughts and how you feel about the resulting representation.

  • The process of preparing an assignment.

  • Preparing for an examination.

Discussion

Discussion

Here is a flow chart for preparing an assignment:

This image shows a flowchart. 6 rows are connected by arrows. The first row states ‘Study the assignment question’. An arrow points to the second row, which states ‘Gather relevant source material’. An arrow points to the third row, which states ‘Prepare a skeleton outline’. An arrow points to the fourth row, which states ‘Prepare first draft’. An arrow points to the fifth row, which states ‘Review and modify draft’. An arrow point to the sixth and final row, which states ‘Prepare final version’.
Flowchart
LDT101_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus