The Mind Map Organic Study Technique (MMOST) - as described in Chapter 14 (pages 141-4) and Tony Buzan, Use Your Head, Chapter 9 - enables individuals to multiply the speed, comprehension, effectiveness and efficiency of their study by five to ten times. By applying the same techniques to family or group study, this improvement can itself be multiplied by the number of members of the group.
Briefly, MMOST consists of two main stages, preparation and application, and can be used for group study as follows:
• As a group decide on the amount to be read in this study session, and ascertain the level of difficulty by very quickly scanning the text. The amount can range from a single chapter in a short study session, to a complete division in a longer study session, to a complete book in the family study day (see above). In the longer study sessions, family members can decide that each will study the same material and compare, or study different material and combine.
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• Decide on an appropriate amount of time for your study session, and divide it into chunks of an appropriate length to cover each section or division of text.
• As individual members, do a quick-fire Mind Map burst of all your current knowledge of the subject, raising your level of mental alertness and establishing associative 'grappling hooks' to take new information on board. This process also helps you identify areas of ignorance which will need special attention.
• Look at each other's Mind Maps, exchange ideas and create a Mind Map or Mind Maps of the group's existing knowledge.
• As individuals, Mind Map the goals and objectives of this study session. The Basic Ordering Ideas 'Who?', 'When?', 'Where?', 'Why?', 'What?', 'How?' and 'Which?' are particularly useful at this stage.
• Again, look at each other's Mind Maps, exchange ideas and create appropriate Mind Maps of the group's goals and objectives for the study session.
• Creating Mind Maps of your existing knowledge and your goals will sharpen the group's mental focus and increase your motivation and concentration.
• Individually and then as a group, Mind Map all the questions that need to be answered in this study session.
• As individuals, take an overview of the text, looking at the table of contents, major headings, results, conclusions, important graphs or illustrations, and anything else which catches your eye.
• Try to identify the major elements in the text, discuss your impressions with other members of the group and create a preliminary group Mind Map, showing the basic structure of the text.
• Now move on to the preview stage, looking at the material not covered in the overview, particularly the beginnings and ends of paragraphs, sections and chapters, where the essential information tends to be concentrated.
• Again, discuss your impressions with the rest of the group, and start filling in some of the detail on the group Mind Map.
• Next comes the inview. In this stage you are at the filling-in stage of your mental jigsaw puzzle. Here you go back over the material, filling in the bulk of the material that you do not cover in the overview and preview. At this stage mark the difficulties and move on - they will be dealt with soon.
• Finally comes the review. During this stage you go back over the difficult bits and problem areas which you skipped in the earlier stages. During this stage you also look back over the text to answer any remaining questions, to fulfil any remaining objectives, and to complete your ongoing personal Mind Map.
• Once more, group discussion afterwards will help resolve any 'problem areas', answer the tough questions, and fulfil the remaining objectives. You then individually or as a group put the finishing touches to your Mind Maps.
• Having completed this group study process, each individual has both a macro-understanding (an overall grasp) of the material and a micro-understanding (a more detailed knowledge of its content). The macro-understanding is contained in the large group Mind Maps and the major branches, whereas the micro-understanding is expressed in the detailed areas on the Mind Maps.
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The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.