Flow charts are an amazing resource for final exams when time is of the essence; they pack in a lot of information and help break down complicated legal analyses into simple steps. They also help ensure that students write about each step of their legal analysis rather than resort to conclusory statements.
The tradeoff is the amount of time it takes to create flow charts. Formatting can be a hassle depending on which program a student uses, and even handwriting them can be a pain.
The website Whimsical.com provides some free opportunities to create flow charts with a variety of adjustable shapes for text, arrows that tilt and bend, and labels that cleanly and automatically fit into the shapes.
All you have to do is select a shape and drag it onto your workspace. You can even fill it with a particular color for color coding or distinguishing different steps in the analysis. When you have shapes on your board, arrows to indicate “yes,” “no,” or some other answer to the question are just as easy to use, and will flexibly flip and loop around to make your flow chart production a snap.
Visual learners can even upload images directly into the flow chart to help jog their memory about particular legal principles. Icons, likewise, are available for addition into flow charts to provide more visual flair. Students can even add links to websites to their flow charts.
Whimsical is not just about flow charts either. Users can create text documents as well as mind maps. Mind maps can be useful for brainstorming ideas and keeping concepts organized as they automatically sort notes in a visual way similar to a flow chart.
If you’re a visual learner looking for an extra edge heading into final exams, make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian. We can suggest study aids geared toward your particular learning style.