Why Flowcharts are perfect for Classroom Learning
In very simple terms a flowchart can be described as an graphical representation of a process. Although they may look simple a flowchart has a standard set of symbols that can be used to map even very complex processes.
They are useful in many scenarios and used across the world to solve problems and map processes, so naturally they are a good fit for the classroom. Below are few reasons why they are a great fit for a classroom and how they benefit students.
Widely Used in Different Professions
Software engineering students use them to map and understand algorithms, software engineers use them to map process flows, HR teams use them to map recruitment processes, accountants use them to understand the transaction flow, managers use the to plan projects and the list goes on.
The fact is if there is a process it can be drawn using a flowchart. And a visual representation of a process makes it easier to understand than ten paragraphs explaining the same process. Hence flowcharts are used across many industries.
This wide usage across industries makes it an extremely useful technique to learn and have in your arsenal.
They Help to Organize Thoughts
They help to look at a problem in and find a solution to it in an organized way. Most problems have processes and decisions and flowcharts have separate symbols to support these things.
Students can identify and analyze different processes related to the problem and how they connect with each other. Decision blocks help when their is a question when there is a question to be answered and subsequent action taken on that decision.
Because the problem is broken down its much easier for students to understand and come up with a solution to the problem.
it will also enable them to learn to understand the sequences and how each process and decision fits into that sequence.
Improves Decision Making
Unless it’s a very simple flowchart there are usually few different paths that need to be taken to arrive at the final solution to the problem. Sometimes in a process one might recursively go through the same path few times ( a good example is algorithms found in software engineering ). By using decision blocks within the flowchart students will learn how each decision affects the final outcome.
Furthermore because decision blocks force you to follow two different paths students will quickly start to identify possible decision points. So in a way it improved two sides for classroom children.
Can Be Used to Visualize Complex Problems
Although they may look simple flowcharts have a comprehensive set of objects that can be used to represent almost any problem in a visual manner.
Perhaps the most popular usage of flowcharts is found in software engineering where it is heavily used to learn different algorithms and the concepts behind them.
Also when you’re just starting out with software engineering it’s useful to visualize the problem before the actual coding work.
Most people are only aware of few flowchart symbols like start, processes and decision blocks. Hence they tend to discard it when it comes to visualizing complex problems.
But the standard flowchart library comes with plenty of objects that are more than enough to modal real world problems.
The latest standard flowcharting symbols have close to 20 objects and have symbols to represent almost anything you’ll find in a process.
If Not You Should
Listed above are few ways flowcharts can benefit students in the classroom. If you know or experience other benefits please do share them in the comments section. And if you're not using them in the classroom yet, its about time you do it :-)