The Incremental Thesaurus for Assessing Causal Maps (ITACM) is a tool built for educators. When students work on ill-structured problems, it is difficult to evaluate their results. One way is to compare their work with an expert’s solution. However, current solutions for comparison tend to remain labor intensive. ITACM partially automates the process. It takes in as input two causal maps (the student’s and the expert’s), which are represented as directed networks. In the download section at the bottom, you will find both the software and two sample maps. Then, ITACM helps educator to visually compare and manually align the maps. The process of aligning the map incrementally builds a thesaurus, that is, a list of all alignments. The more maps are aligned, and the larger the thesaurus, thus helping to align additional maps faster. In other words, the process of aligning the map creates an understanding of the problem space as a by-product, which can be shared among educators and used to speed-up the intensive alignment task. The software was programmed by Dr. Philippe Giabbanelli in a joint project with Dr. Andrew Tawfik, from Northern Illinois University’s Department of Educational Technology, Research & Assessment.


Download ITACM Software (Java)

The ZIP file includes all the files required to run the program.


Sample Maps

Download the samples maps here.

Sample Map 1 Sample Map 2