A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the development of collaborative curricula among colleges and universities, a concept map or visual representation may save thousands of hours of semantic wrangling. Using pictures in curriculum development allows participants with varying backgrounds to share their visions and values, and promotes work at the conceptual level before detailed planning proceeds. A curriculum development team found the use of concept mapping and visual representations to be one of their most valuable means of developing consensus among three faculty groups and practicing nurses. The authors examine concept mapping as a heuristic tool for curriculum development in the context of creating a joint collaborative nursing curriculum in two languages among a university and two community colleges. The use of other visual representations to compensate for some of the limitations of concept mapping are also described. Recommendations are made based on the authors' experience with these tools.
Jocelyne Van Neste-Kenny, MSN, RN, Lecturer, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
C.E. (Betty) Cragg, EdD, RN, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa,
Barbara Foulds, MEd, RN, e-mail: email@example.com, Professor, Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.