This method is used to select the most promising ideas based on the criteria for a potential solution. You can use dot-voting to pick a number of ideas from a much larger volume of ideas, and the exercise is ideal to do after idea generation.
The method may seem simple, but it can help to enable a useful dialogue in group work that deals with the development of criteria to base the idea selection on. The development of criteria often occurs implicitly, where the students are not aware of what they and the other group members may consider important for the solution. This is particularly the case in interdisciplinary collaboration.
The output of dot-voting is a selection of ideas that can be detailed and developed further into concepts. (Search for concept development methods)