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An open environment of discussion is a playground for self-initiated inquiry and problem-solving. A collaborative concept map provides an explicit visualisation tool that affords the underlying cognitive structure and facilitates visual navigation along these associations of ideas. The Merlin Concept Map integrates both the collaborative and the conceptual space with the above intentions. The spider map encourages the explication and restructuring of the learners' mental structure of the learning environment through discussions. The hierarchical map is incorporated into the spider map through the use of colour-coded notations to help learners to visualise hierarchies and associations of concepts. Furthermore, multimedia elements and links to external resources are activated only upon demand thus constraining the exploration space. These multimedia elements also afford associations of concepts through dual coding. Hence, ideas are no longer abstract but tools that enable hypothesis-making, testing and decisionmaking with explicit consequences. Causal and associative relations are therefore highlighted.