When inspiration is not flowing there are tools you can use to unstick thinking. SCAMPER is one of those tools: an acronym to prompt looking at things differently. I knew I had written something about it on Viva Survivors before but was surprised when I checked that it was over five years ago!
Time flies, eh?
I was looking for inspiration for today’s post and SCAMPER stood out to me as a way to prompt a series of questions to explore different aspects of someone’s research in advance of the viva. These questions could help to find useful thoughts or parts of your research for further reflection.
- Substitute: could you have used a different method to do your research?
- Combine: what ideas did you bring together?
- Adapt: how could someone use your research in the future?
- Magnify: where would you direct someone to focus their attention in your thesis?
- Put to other use: what other conclusions or questions can you find based on your work?
- Eliminate: what did you have to take out of your plans as you did your research?
- Rearrange: what changes would you make to your research process if you could?
After any of these questions you could also go deeper by simply taking your first response and asking, “Why?”