About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1726-1735
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1346

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain


S. Gupta, K. Patil, R. Panchal

IIT Kanpur (INDIA)
Affinity mapping process or the K-J Method is vastly used as a design and management tool for generating innovative insights and ideas for problem solving. This method is used for exhaustive understanding and organization of large amount of data and helps in creating new patterns of thinking. Each observation in the data collected from research is written in a separate sticky note and placed on a wall. Then team members individually create meaningful groups out of various notes and derive relationships among them. But doing this process in a physical space poses certain limitations. This paper discusses development of online tool for facilitating affinity mapping process, its advantages over the physical process and improvements to make it faster and efficient.

Shifting and duplicating sticky notes on the wall is a tedious activity. As such grouping and re-arranging groups is time consuming. Due to this sticky notes retain on the wall only for a brief period and after that they fall off. Also history of movement of notes is difficult to track and data associated with each note is difficult to maintain along with its movement. Moreover, the observations are limited to text notes only. Other media like pictures, video, audio etc. are not used in the process. When it comes to collaboration, remote users are not able to participate in the process. These problems not only make the process lengthy, tiring and uninteresting but also cause under-utilization of data in deriving effective insights. From academic point of view, students face difficulty in learning this process and applying it to its full potential. Generating creative connections also becomes difficult due to tiring and time-consuming process. An online digital medium to facilitate this process will help in solving these problems and also add methods which makes the process faster, efficient and interesting.

The mind of the user is more focused in finding relationships between observations and identifying creative connections when the software facilitates faster and easy re-grouping and shifting of notes. Keeping track of the development of affinity diagram i.e. recording the movement of notes and data associated with them helps the users in knowing the creative process thoroughly. The tool will also provide suggestions to users to help them find affinities between observations. The suggestions will be in the form of analogies and will be based on keywords in the observation database. This will significantly increase the speed of the process. Further, through machine learning, people could allot specific weights to analogies and the database could be dynamically updated and refined.

Collaboration of people from remote location will be possible with the online tool. Users from around the world now will be able to contribute their perspectives and observations to projects. This will give a global perspective to any kind of problem solving. Using pictures, videos and other forms of media will aid in developing deeper understanding of the problem issue.

Students will be able to learn the affinity process faster with use of this tool saving significant amount of time for teachers. This would speed up the research phases of academic projects. Rather than being confined to a space, they could contribute to the projects at any time and place. Software suggestions will help them in finding affinities.
author = {Gupta, S. and Patil, K. and Panchal, R.},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1346},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1346},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {1726-1735}}
AU - S. Gupta AU - K. Patil AU - R. Panchal
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1346
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 1726
EP - 1735
ER -
S. Gupta, K. Patil, R. Panchal (2016) DEVELOPMENT OF ONLINE TOOL FOR AFFINITY MAPPING, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 1726-1735.