Operational Definition (Semantic Map/Concept Map): a unique tool for organizing, representing and communicating a wide variety of knowledge domains.
This article relates well with Lincoln & Gubas (1985) Constructed Realities paper, in that the authors attempt to expose myths and preconceived ideas of knowledge as being virtually independent of the individual reality.
In addition, this article relates well to Shaw & Gaines (1989) Comparing Conceptual Structures, which values and recognizes the knowledge that each expert possesses in a domain, whether consensus is reached in a domain or not.
Concept maps are presented as one way to synthesize the conceptual structures of individual experts in a domain, and describe this expertise in a visual and coherent manner. Concept maps are one way in which a formal representation of the knowledge base in a discipline can be diagrammed. A concept map is a method by which abstract ideas can be made clear to non-experts in a discipline. In relation to using concept maps for this course project: making explicit an individuals constructed reality of a discipline which was elicited from the conceptual structures of three experts.
Externalize thinking during brainstorming. A way to capitalize on the presumed associative natuire of the mind during brainstorming. Used in this way, formalize ideas generated for project, facilitate creativity, break free from linear (narrow?) thought, explore beyond accepted/learned definitions of a topic/discipline area.
Concept maps as one way to integrate information from several experts, their perspectives on a discipline, and their wide variety of experiences. Visually cross-reference ideas, and facilitate the development/construction of meaning instrinsic to the group.