LifeMap 3.9.5 User Manual

This user manual describes the new features developed for LifeMap 3.9.5. For the most part, everything else that appears in the LifeMap 3.7.5 User Manual is still applicable.

If you need to contact us, the address is:

Robert Abrams
CCTD - Crown College
Education Department - UCSC
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

1) There has been a change to the Concepts Menu. There is a new item called "Create Propositions..." This does the same thing as "Link 2 with Linkword" under the Links menu. It has been included under the Concepts menu because the capabilities of the Link 2 with Linkword feature has been significantly expanded.

Figure 1) New "Concepts" menu.

Figure 2) New PropositionMaker/Link 2 with LinkWord window.

PropositionMaker can now create new concepts as well as linking words. This feature was developed because we observed that elementary school student participants in the Virtual Canyon project could make concept maps with a series of valid propositions, but they tended to string the propositions together to create larger structures which were invalid. The new capability of PropositionMaker allows to learn how to create propositions before they worry about creating entire maps.

To save time, you can load a series of propositions into the bottom field, and then use the Create Propositions button to create them all at once. You can type your propositions directly into the bottom field, but you need to ensure that they are written in the form:

Origin Concept
Destination Concept
2) There has been a slight change to the ConceptMaker window.

Figure 3) New Conceptmaker window.

There is now an option to leave the ConceptMaker window open after you create a concept. You will notice that the "Pict" button is now absent. You can now import a PICT file into any concept or fancy border. The square in the fancy border bar creates a rectangular fancy border. The Concept Database option has been revamped. Clicking on the Concept Database button will bring up a series of dialog boxes allowing you to choose a concept to insert into ConceptMaker's text field. The options presented in the concept database can be edited, as discussed under the new options under the Special menu.

3) There has been a change to the MultiConceptMaker window.

Figure 4) New MultiConceptMaker window.

You can now make either basic concepts or basic linkwords without having to open ConceptMaker and change the settings.

4) There is a new option called "Create Y-Diagram..."

Figure 5) Y-Diagram Maker Window

A Y-Diagram is a sub-class of concept map. It can be used to show how one object (the signifier) can have multiple meanings for the same observer. After creating a Y-Diagram, use "View Current Map in Standard Hierarchy" under the Special menu with the "Main Concept at Bottom" option to position the Y-Diagram in the shape of a Y.

5) There have been several additions under the Special menu.

Figure 6) New Special Menu.

6) There is a brand new capability found in a new window called ConversationMaker.

Figure 7) ConversationMaker window.

This feature can import an Eudora Pro 3.0 Mailbox, store the messages in a database, parse the header and message blocks to figure out who sent the messages and when. It can then create a series of "Constructed Conversation" reports to help people participating in a listserv see the structure of their conversation. On the reports creates a concept map which can then be used to reference the database and produce subset reports based upon concepts selected.

This feature was written for CCTD's internal purposes, so if you find you need to use this feature, make sure to contact us so that you can help us finetune it to your needs.

The "Sort Cards Ascending Numeric" and "Insert Message Numbers" items are used with the constructed conversation databases.

7) You can now select concepts, link lines, and other objects and have the computer speak their names in one of three voices. This feature may have real uses, but I mostly included it because I thought it was cool.

8) "Open NestMaker..." automates the process of creating nested maps.

Figure 8) NestMaker window.

It will copy or cut the selected concepts, paste them into a new card in the same concept map file, create title concept maps on both the original map and the new nested map, and create pathpointers in those title concepts so that you can navigate from one map to the other.

9) "Open Concept Database..." opens the Concept Database file for editing. You can create multiple topics, each of which can have multiple concepts. The concepts you enter in this database are accessible from the ConceptMaker window.

Figure 9) Concept Database editing window.

10) LifeMap can now create cluster icons. This feature is based upon suggestions made in Kaveh Farrokh's work on three dimensional concept maps. Simply select any elements of the current concept map you want to be in the cluster icon. You will be asked to enter a name for the cluster icon. LifeMap will create a concept with that name and attach a fancy border containing a PICT of the selected elements. You can then use PathMaker to create a PathPointer to link the Cluster Icon with the current map, or simply position the cluster icon on the map as you see fit.

Please be aware that cluster icon concepts behave differently from what LifeMap expected in previous versions. Specifically, the concept has a border, even though there is a fancy border attached. This means that if you double click on the concept to edit it, MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE ONE OF THE FANCY BORDER OPTIONS. Otherwise, ConceptMaker will assume you do not want a fancy border, and will delete the fancy border with the cluster icon when it redraws the concept.

Meaningful Learning Research Group

California Consortium for Teacher Development