How can concept mapping be used to promote deep and meaningful learning in osteopathy? / Symposium B

Training students to become prudent, competent, and efficient osteopaths entails many challenges. Osteopathic studies are demanding and students must cope with multiple and complex learning processes. Teaching is also an intricate task that requires effective dialogue between students and teachers.

Osteopathic teaching method must promote deeper and meaningful learning to achieve students’ efficient use of clinical reasoning process and expertise growth. Deep learning involves the formation of complex and well-linked conceptual networks. This task is strenuous for students and remains difficult to assess by teachers.

Concept mapping (Cmap) is a simple, flexible, low-cost, and productive learning tool that promotes deep learning. In addition, it creates a « window into the mind » of students. This window allows teachers to follow the learning evolution of students and identify as well as potentially rectify their misconceptions. Many recent articles have been published on the usefulness of concept mapping in numerous scientific fields (Chastragnat & Marchand, 2012; Daley & Torre, 2010; Demeester, Vanpee, Marchand, & Eymard, 2010; Hay, Kinchin, & Lygo-Baker, 2008; Kinchin, Baysan, & Cabot, 2008; Marchand & d'Ivernois, 2004; Novak, 2003; Rochette et al., 2010).

In the last four years, concept-mapping activities have been included in the Centre ostéopathique du Québec program to fulfill many objectives. In accordance with existing literature, we can safely assume that, during this map-producing assignment, the general evolution and types of changes brought about by students demonstrate the progressive development of deeper learning.

Cmap is also useful to teach complex concepts by providing a visual tool and making explicit the overlap between novices’ (students) and experts’ (teachers) perspective. For instance, in the Centre ostéopathique du Québec, Cmap is used to teach the autonomous nervous system.


Andrée Aubin
Graduate of Physiotherapy from the University of Montreal in 1986
Graduate of Osteopathy from the Centre ostéopathique du Québec in 1992.
Teacher of Osteopathy-COQ since 1992 – Presently head teacher in the cranial field, also in paediatrics and advances courses
Held various pedagogical functions at the Centre ostéopathique du Québec, and is currently principal since 2003.
Enrolled in a graduate degree at the University of Montreal in “psychopedagogy”.

Graduated in Physiotherapy from Université de Montréal, 1982.
Graduated in Osteopathy from Centre Ostéopathique du Québec (COQ), 1992.
Teacher of Osteopathy - COQ since 1993 in cranial field and advances courses (clinical reasoning).
Member of the pedagogical committee (COQ) since 2004, held various functions,
Have a private practice in Québec, Canada