Publications in Concept Mapping Methodology
Concept Mapping for Planning and Evaluation
Kane, M. & Trochim, W.M.K. (2007). Concept Mapping for Planning and Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.
Concept Mapping for Planning and Evaluation is a thorough, accessible guide to concept mapping for social or organizational researchers in any context. The volume describes the history of structured conceptualization--a most useful form of concept mapping. It also highlights the advantages that group or community concept mapping has over other kinds of group decision processes. With straightforward language and useful examples from the authors' 40 combined years of creating and working with this process, the book describes in detail the six major steps in the conduct of group concept mapping, and shares both the process of concept mapping and the equally important facilitation and guidance techniques that the authors have developed. Examples from work with clients like the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and state government, as well as interesting examples from concept mapping in social research contexts, illustrate each step in the process. Each chapter provides work sheets for readers to create their own concept mapping plans. References that provide recommendations for further reading are included, as well as contact information for research guidance.
An Introduction to Concept Mapping for Planning and Evaluation
Trochim, W. (1989a). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 1-16.
Concept mapping is a type of structured conceptualization which can be used by groups to develop a conceptual framework which can guide evaluation or planning. In the typical case, six steps are involved: 1) Preparation (including selection of participants and development of focus for the conceptualization); 2) the Generation of statements; 3) the Structuring of statements; 4) the Representation of Statements in the form of a concept map (using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis); 5) the Interpretation of maps; and, 6) the Utilization of Maps. Concept mapping encourages the group to stay on task; results relatively quickly in an interpretable conceptual framework; expresses this framework entirely in the language of the participants; yields a graphic or pictorial product which simultaneously shows all major ideas and their interrelationships; often improves group or organizational cohesiveness and morale. This paper describes each step in the process, considers major methodological issues and problems, and discusses computer programs which can be used to accomplish the process.
Concept Mapping of Photovoices: Sequencing and Integrating Methods to Understand Immigrants' Perceptions of Neighborhood Influences on Health.
Haque, N., Rosas, S. (2010). Concept Mapping of Photovoices: Sequencing and Integrating Methods to Understand Immigrants' Perceptions of Neighborhood Influences on Health. Family & Community Health, 33(3), 193-206.
This inquiry successfully sequenced and integrated 2 participatory research methods: photovoice and concept mapping. In the photovoice phase, immigrant residents shared perceptions and thoughts of their neighborhood through photographs and stories, capturing neighborhood characteristics that influence their health and well-being. In the concept mapping phase, active involvement of immigrant residents was facilitated to systematically organize and build consensus around the wide range of neighborhood factors identified from the photovoice work. The combination of these 2 participatory methods resulted in a conceptual framework of factors influencing immigrants' health and well-being, whereas the photographs with captions facilitated interpretation and action at multiple levels.
Concept Mapping as a Tool to Engage a Community in Health Disparity Identification
Risisky, D., Hogan, V.K., Kane, M., Burt, B., Dove, C., & Payton, M. (2008). Concept Mapping as a Tool to Engage a Community in Health Disparity Identification. Ethnicity & Disease, Vol. 18, pp. 77-83.
OBJECTIVES: To engage a community to critically examine local health disparities. DESIGN: Concept mapping is a tool used to rapidly assess the variations in thinking of large stakeholder groups' about a particular topic. SETTING: Jackson, Mississippi. PARTICIPANTS: Community members. METHODS: Dialog groups and community meetings were held, and participants were asked to respond to the statement, "A specific thing that causes African Americans to get sicker and die sooner is..." Aggregate responses were rated for importance and feasibility and then sorted into related groups. Aggregate sorts and ratings were then processed by using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis. RESULTS: There were 132 (unduplicated) reported contributors to health disparities. These responses fell into eight general clusters: economic issues, government, contextual factors, cultural factors, HIV, stress, environment, and motivation. Factors respondents felt were the most important contributors to disparities (economic factors, contextual factors, stress) did not correlate with those that they thought were most likely to be changed in society (contextual factors, government, motivation). CONCLUSIONS: Concept mapping provided a mechanism for rapidly documenting community thinking about health disparities. This mechanism stimulated community dialog and was used as a first step toward the long-term goal of creating equal community, academic, and medical partnerships for addressing disparities. The concept mapping process stimulated critical thinking about contributors to health inequities and uncovered contextual factors previously unknown to researchers and public health planners. The process allowed for active engagement and exchange of knowledge between the community and researchers and allowed a mechanism for identifying and rectifying disconnects in knowledge within and between stakeholder groups.
Using Concept Mapping to Promote Community Building: The African American Initiative at Roseland
Ridings, J.W., Powell, D.M., Johnson, J.E., Pullie, C.J., Jones, C.M., Jones, R.L. & Terrell, K.J. (2008). Using Concept Mapping to Promote Community Building: The African American Initiative at Roseland. Journal of Community Practice, Vol. 16(1), The Hawthorn Press.
While many organizations recognize the value of community building, they often encounter difficulty in actualizing projects and developing tangible results. This article presents how a planning and evaluation method known as concept mapping was used to drive a community building effort by a large not-for-profit organization in Chicago around the issue of at-risk African American male youth. This work grew out of a grant related to the needs of African American families, called the African American Initiative, which was funded by the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. The article describes the first phase of the African American Initiative at Roseland, and lessons learned. Primarily, this study was able to generate a conceptual framework of problems facing African American male youth, which was used to revise previously defined outcomes and also create new ones. In addition, use of concept mapping to drive community building generated reflection on intended and unintended benefits. At the same time, challenges around this approach demonstrate the need for continued research.
Development of Public Health Priorities for End-of-Life Initiatives
Rao, J. K., Alongi, J., Anderson, L. A., Jenkins, L., Stokes, G. A., & Kane, M. (2005). Development of public health priorities for end-of-life initiatives. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(5), 453-460.
OBJECTIVE: Recently, end-of-life (EOL) issues have captured the attention of the public health community. This study reports a project to help state health departments better understand their potential role in addressing EOL issues and develop initial priorities for EOL activities. METHODS: The project involved two studies. Study 1 (October 2002 to September 2003) involved a concept mapping process to solicit and organize recommendations from key stakeholders. Concept mapping integrates qualitative group processes with multivariate statistical analysis to represent the ideas of stakeholders visually through maps. A key-informant approach was used to identify stakeholder participants with expertise in aging, cancer, public health, and EOL. In two meetings, stakeholders used the maps to develop short-, intermediate-, and long-term recommendations for EOL initiatives. Study 2 (October 2003 to September 2004) involved a modified Delphi process with three iterations to prioritize recommendations for initial action from among a group of short-term recommendations. RESULTS: Study 1 resulted in 103 recommendations for EOL initiatives across nine domains. Study 2 resulted in consensus on five initial recommendations from three domains: identifying an EOL point of contact in state health departments, collecting and analyzing data about EOL, incorporating EOL principles into state comprehensive cancer control plans, educating the public about hospice and palliative care, and educating the public about the importance of advance directives. CONCLUSIONS: Diverse perspectives of key public health stakeholders resulted in a series of short- and longer-term recommendations for EOL action. These recommendations can guide future efforts by state health departments and other public health agencies to address EOL issues.
Setting Objectives for Community and Systems Change: An Application of Concept Mapping for Planning a Statewide Health Improvement Initiative
Trochim, W., Milstein, B. Wood, B., Jackson, S. and Pressler, V. (2004). Setting Objectives for Community and Systems Change: An Application of Concept Mapping for Planning a Statewide Health Improvement Initiative, Health Promotion Practice, 5 (1), 8-19.
The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) used concept mapping techniques to engage local stakeholders and national subject area experts in defining the community and system factors that affect individuals' behaviors related to tobacco, nutrition, and physical activity. Over eight working days, project participants brainstormed 496 statements (edited to a final set of 90), which were then sorted and rated for their importance and feasibility. A sequence of multivariate statistical analyses, including multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis, generated maps and figures that were then interpreted by project stakeholders. The results were immediately incorporated into an official plan, approved by the governor and state legislature, recommending how Hawaii's tobacco settlement resources could be used to create sustainable changes in population health. The results also provide empirical support for the premise that both community and systems factors ought to be considered when planning comprehensive health improvement initiatives.
Developing a Faculty Consensus on Program Learning Goals and Objectives Using Collaborative Concept Mapping Software
Handley, M., Pappas, J., & Kander, R. (2004). Developing a Faculty Consensus on Program Learning Goals and Objectives Using Collaborative Concept Mapping Software. International Conference on Engineering Education.
Developing a collaborative consensus on learning goals and objectives among the faculty of a university department is a critical element in the overall assessment strategy of a program. Not only is this consensus necessary in order to successfully "close the loop" in curriculum assessment and drive real curriculum change, but the enthusiastic buy in of the entire faculty is central to the development of a collaborative, sustainable, and meaningful curriculum assessment process. While this is a difficult task for departments of any size, developing such a collaborative consensus is even more difficult in broad, interdisciplinary programs that have a large number of faculty with diverse backgrounds. This paper describes the development of a novel technique to obtain collaborative consensus on the learning goals and objectives of a broad, interdisciplinary program, the Integrated Science and Technology Program at James Madison University. The technique involves the use of server-based collaborative concept mapping software (Concept Systems Incorporated, Ithaca, NY) to gather unbiased, uniform feedback from the faculty, and to promote participatory discussions about the underlying learning goals and objectives of the program. Everyone has an equal opportunity to express opinions, openly and anonymously, together and independently. This makes each participant a stakeholder in the process and its outcome. This software-based technique is being used to guide the faculty toward a collaborative consensus on program learning goals and objectives, and is being incorporated into an ongoing, sustainable curriculum assessment process.
Managing Program and Curricular Change toward Faculty Consensus
Quinlan, K.M., Handley, Mary., Pappas, J., & Kander, R. (August 2007). Managing Program and Curricular Change toward Faculty Consensus [Electronic version]. Academic Leader. http://www.magnapubs.com/newsletter/story/318/
Curricula have been hotly contested throughout the history of American higher education and are no less debated today. Many situations can prompt a group of faculty to take a fresh look at their curricula. Accrediting bodies can adjust their criteria, student demographics can change, broader social or professional contexts can prompt reexamination, and educational trends such as integrated learning, K-12 partnerships, service learning, or problem-based learning can lead to revisions in the way a curriculum is conceptualized and organized, as well as in the way it is taught.
Developing a Conceptual Framework for an Evaluation System for the NIAID HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks
Kagan J.M., Kane M., Quinlan K.M., Rosas S., Trochim W.M. (2009). Developing a conceptual framework for an evaluation system for the NIAID HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks. Health Research Policy and Systems, 7 (12).
Globally, health research organizations are called upon to re-examine their policies and practices to more efficiently and effectively address current scientific and social needs, as well as increasing public demands for accountability. Through a case study approach, the authors examine an effort undertaken by the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services, United States Government) to develop an evaluation system for its recently restructured HIV/AIDS clinical trials program. The challenges in designing, operationalizing, and managing global clinical trials programs are considered in the context of large scale scientific research initiatives. Through a process of extensive stakeholder input, a framework of success factors was developed that enables both a prospective view of the elements that must be addressed in an evaluation of this research and a current state assessment of the extent to which the goals of the restructuring are understood by stakeholders across the DAIDS clinical research networks.
The Evaluation of Large Research Initiatives: a Participatory Integrative Mixed-Methods Approach
Trochim WM, Markus SE, Masse LC, Moser RP, Weld PC. (2008). The evaluation of large research initiatives: a participatory integrative mixed-methods approach. American Journal of Evaluation, 29(1):8-28.
Over the past few decades there has been a rise in the number of federally funded large scientific research initiatives, with increased calls to evaluate their processes and outcomes. This article describes efforts to evaluate such initiatives in one agency within the U.S. federal government. The authors introduce the Evaluation of Large Initiatives (ELI) project, a preliminary effort to explore how to accomplish such evaluation. They describe a pilot effort of this project to evaluate the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) initiative of the National Cancer Institute. They present a summary of this pilot evaluation including the methods used (concept mapping, logic modeling, a detailed researcher survey, content analysis and systematic peer-evaluation of progress reports, bibliometric analysis and peer evaluation of publications and citations, and financial expenditures analysis) and a brief overview of results. Finally, they discuss several important lessons and recommendations that emerged from this work.