Sunday, 31 May 2009

31. Reflection on concept mapping

As I went past the 300 entries marker, I had a chance to reflect on the number of concept mapping tools I have highlighted here. These include
  • Novamind
  • Wisemapping
  • Dropmind
  • Drawanywhere
  • Exploratree
  • Mind42
  • Mindberry
  • Mndmaker
  • Mindmeister
  • Xmind
If we want to review what is available, we need to add at least i-Kon Maps, Inspiration, Mind Manager, Mind Genius, C-Maps, Inspiration, Kidspiration and Mindfull to name a few!

But my question is this - How do we know which one to use? You may be surprised how little work had gone into answering this question. And if we look closely what students are told to use, it is more about the knowledge to the specifier than the needs of the student.

So how do we decide what should be used? I do not aim to answer that here, but instead highlight some of the questions that need to be asked.
  • What are the needs of the user?
  • Is this what the student actually needs or what they think they need?
  • What is the "problem" they are trying to resolve?
  • How do you evaluate the quality of the solution?
  • Does the software fulfil the need?
  • Is it efficient, effective, user friendly and provide the appropriate results in the appropriate format?
  • Would other software do it better?
  • And how would we start to evaluate the above responses?
These questions require serious consideration since they effect the usefulness as well as the way resources are allocated. At the moment it is like everything we need is in the room, but somebody needs to turn the lights on.

1 comment:

Patrick NEVEU said...

J'ai fait un tableau sur les logiciels existants pour finalement le trouver inutile. Les besoins des utilisateurs évoluent depuis quelques années. Rien à voir entre un utilisateur qui organise ses idées et celui qui va manager un projet.

I made a table of existing software to finally find it unnecessary. User needs evolve over the past few years. Nothing to see between organize his ideas and manage a project