Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Catholic Educational Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Busk

Second Advisor

Devanshi Unadkat

Third Advisor

Walter Gmelch


Mind mapping is the most flexible visual learning and active instructional approach. It has many applications, such as brainstorming, taking notes, memorizing, and conceptualizing complex topics using associations between images and keywords, colors, and visuospatial characteristics. Students can elaborate mind maps individually and collaboratively, digitally or nondigitally. Teachers can also elaborate mind maps for studying purposes. This meta-analysis aims to investigate the effectiveness of mind mapping as an instructional approach for developing critical-thinking skills and dispositions. With 22 studies (20 of which are international) and 1,535 participants, all employing a quasi- experimental study design, this meta-analysis is a comprehensive exploration. Three studies are dissertations, and two are conference papers addressing publication bias. The results reveal that mind mapping has a significant influence on overall critical-thinking skills (g = 0.73, 95% CI [0.65, 0.81], I2 = 97%) using a fixed-effects model. Heterogeneity was addressed by conducting moderator variable analysis and evaluated using Q. Mind mapping and project-based learning emerged as a statistically significant moderator (g = 1.19, 95% CI [0.95, 1.43]), as well as the nursing educational level (g = 1.38, 95% CI [1.20, 1.55]). Elaborating mind maps collaboratively was a statistically significant moderator variable (g = 1.53, 95% CI [1.35, 1.71]). Both digital and nondigital mind mapping showed statistically significant influence (g = 0.72, 95% CI [0.53, 0.91]) and (g = 0.91, 95% CI [0.79, 1.03]), respectively. STEM studies also were a statistically significant moderator (g = 0.85, 95% CI [0.72, 0.98]). The nonstandardized assessments utilized by the largely internationally composed studies showed statistical iii significance (g = 0.96, 95% CI [0.87, 1.06]). The very large average effect size (g = 1.54, 95% CI [1.33, 1.75]) for the 4-12 week treatment duration suggests that interventions within this timeframe are highly effective in improving the targeted outcomes. Heterogeneity, as measured by Q, was present in all results.