What is ITM?


Idea Thread Mapper (ITM) is a research-based collaboration platform that supports student-driven knowledge building and creative inquiry across classroom communities.

At the core of ITM is a visual collaboration and discourse environment where students develop extended threads of ideas to build deep understandings and work on progressively deeper problems. The online discourse tools integrate with Knowledge Forum, a world-renowned platform for collaborative learning and knowledge building. To sustain student-driven inquiry and dynamic collaboration, ITM further incorporates two types of support:

  • Support for collective inquiry structuring: Idea thread mapping and analytics embedded in the online discourse environment help students reflect on their progress and co-organize their collective journey of inquiry; and
  • Support for cross-classroom collaboration: Boundary-crossing tools help build connections between different classrooms, which share inquiry progress and engage in shared “Super Talk.”

With its solid design for open interoperation and adaptability,  ITM works with Knowledge Forum and other tools across platforms and databases. Together these systems provide a new social technological infrastructure for transforming classrooms into interconnected creative communities, in which students develop 21st century competencies.

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nsf_logo_bottom ITM was made possible by the NSF Cyberlearning grants awarded to Dr. Jianwei Zhang (learning scientist), Dr. Mei-Hwa Chen (computer scientist) and their team at the University at Albany. 

For more info about our research, see our project site.

© All rights reserved. Contact us: ideathreadmapper@gmail.com