Concept mapping is the wide ranging method that helps an individual or group of persons to convey their ideas in an illustrative pattern. Concept mapping is also being named as mental mapping and concept webbing. This method is very helpful in formulating the solution to the research problem. It is a broad method and help social researchers and different group of researchers to develop their thoughts in a research. It becomes more significant when the researcher involves the group of stakeholder in the formulation of the research project. Concept mapping is used in variance ways like in the development of the product, decision making, strategic planning and analysis of a market etc.

Steps of Concept Mapping

There are six steps involved in the concept mapping. These steps are accessed depending upon the weeks or months. Following are the steps;

Preparation Step

It is the first step of concept mapping which have thousands of stakeholders working in the process of mapping. This step involves the three things; the most important is that catalyst of the mapping process works with the architecture to know about or categorize the applicants.  Secondly for developing the interest and focus of the project, the initiator involves themselves with the stakeholders and lastly the group together makes the decisions for the schedule for appropriate mapping.

Generation Step

In this step the stakeholders make the statements that determine the interest. Such statements describe the actions of the social procedures and also produce the outcomes that results the participation in the program. The number of people in the program can generate more than 200 statements.  

Structuring Step

In this step members are involve in doing two things. Each of the members in structuring step kept together the similar nature of statements. In many of the cases the statements are arranged in the form of deck card means each one of the statement is displayed on the front. Secondly some scale is defined by each of the participant on the statements. Statements are rated from 1 to 5 as according to their value and importance.

Representation Step

This step involves the representation on the map by the evaluating results of the statement as by their sorts and rating that was done in the structuring step. In this step two analyses are used:

Multidimensional scaling: in this scaling all the sorted and piles statements by every individual are plotted on the map.
Cluster analysis: output is taken from the multidimensional scaling and distributed into different clusters.

Interpretation Step

In this step interpretations are made by the stakeholders their selves.

Utilization step

This last step involves the addresses that focus on the original evaluation.

Importance of Concept Mapping

Importance of concept mapping is describes in number of ways, few of the are explained as;

• Mainly the concept mapping is a group process so its applications are better done in the team work especially where the stakeholder and the researchers work mutually.

• A very well defined approach is used which makes very clear about the thoughts and their interpretations.

• Concept mapping needed the expert programs of the computers so that type of data is easily determined and analysis and mapping is done accurately.

References

• Jonassen, D. H., Beissner, K., & Yacci, M. (1993). Structural knowledge: Techniques for representing, conveying, and acquiring structural knowledge. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

• www.socialresearchmethods.com, accessed on April 5, 2012.

• Novak, J. D. (1998). Learning, creating, and using knowledge: Concept maps as facilitative tools in schools and corporation. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.