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A hierarchical diagram of concepts


Laddering and concept mapping are diagrammatic ways of representing knowledge in a particular area or ‘knowledge domain’. Laddering uses a hierarchical approach to show relationships between concepts (see Fig. 1).

Fig 1. Example concept ladder or tree

A concept map is similar to a ladder. However, the layout usually starts from a central theme and shows concepts as nodes and the relationships between them as labelled arrows (see Fig. 2).

Fig 2. Example concept map

Laddering and concept mapping techniques can be used with interview techniques to model knowledge. Alternatively experts can contribute directly to the production of the models. In this way, ladders and concept maps provide a better way of identifying and capturing tacit knowledge rather than interviews alone.


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