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The term concept mapping refers to any methodology that is used to produce a picture or map of the ideas or concepts of an individual or group. There are a wide variety of such methodologies and analogous approaches that go by such labels as “idea mapping,” “mind maps,” “causal mapping,” or “cognitive mapping.” All forms of concept mapping are at least tangentially related to evaluation in that they encourage people to give greater thought to the ideas that underlie what they do. However, two very distinct forms of concept mapping have particular relevance in evaluation.

The first is individual-based concept mapping, championed by Joe Novak and Robert Gowin at Cornell University. Their approach, based on Ausubelian learning theory in education, is used by an individual to ...

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