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

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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.



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’.