Going live: Using argument maps for debate moderation

How can argument maps be used for debate moderation? In this post three short “live reconstruction” case studies from 2007, 2011 and 2014 are presented. These cases show that the challenges of the approach are not so much of a technical but of a methodological nature. Even if the technology works perfectly it is difficult to get the conditions right so that the “live reconstruction” is more than just a nice gimmick.

Zukunftskonferenz2011-1
A live reconstruction at the future conference of the German green party.

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Three Online Tutorials on Argument Analysis

Do you ponder using argumentation software such as Argunet, but have not taken a course in argumentation theory or logic yet? Or do you just want to refresh you argument analysis skills? There’s plenty of learning material on the web that helps you to improve you critical thinking skills. This post features and comments on three free online courses.

screenshots-tutorials
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Six Critical Thinking Textbooks Reviewed (Textbook Reviews Series, #1)

This post reviews the following textbooks on critical thinking:

cover_bowellcamp_thumb [1] Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp: Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide. Routledge: London 2010 (3rd edition).
cover_butterwort_thumb [2] John Butterworth and Geoff Thwaites: Thinking Skills. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2005.
cover_fisher02_thumb [3] Alec Fisher: Critical Thinking: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2011 (2nd edition).
cover_fisher01_thumb [4] Alec Fisher: The Logic of Real Arguments. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2004 (2nd edition).
cover_lau_thumb [5] Joe Y. F. Lau: An Introduction to Critical Thinking and Creativity: Think More, Think Better. Wiley: Hoboken 2011.
cover_thomson_thumb [6] Anne Thomson: Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction. Routledge: London 2009 (3rd edition).

In a nutshell, my favourite is Bowell/Kemp [1], closely followed by Lau [5].

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Factcheck by Debattenprofis: A Comment on an Argument Mapping Experiment

Since October 2012, Ralf Grötker from Debattenprofis has been conducting a media experiment involving argument maps and swarm intelligence. In the so-called Faktencheck (Factcheck) series, Grötker sets up and moderates online forums on controversial issues (e.g., “boycott of textiles — helpful or not?”). Debattenprofis use argument maps to aggregate the discussions. In a recent article Grötker sums up his experience so far.

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Relaunch & Release: Argunet 2.0

It’s been a while since our last update to our site or software. So let’s do both at once. Let me introduce you first to our new site and then to the new version of Argunet Editor.

Relaunch

We decided to simplify things: one page for the editor, one for our upcoming browser widget and one for our new blog. This will make it easier for you to find what you are looking for. And it will make it easier for us to maintain the site. Did I say “new blog”?

Yes, a brand-new blog!

While we were busy deploying Argunet in exciting new projects and trying out unreleased cool features, this site lay dormant for years. With this new blog we want to change that. Next week we will begin to post regularly about everything related to Argunet, argument maps and argumentation theory in general. So watch out for new posts!
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So, what exactly is an argument map?

This is a quick introduction into argument maps: How to create them, how to read them and what you can expect to get out of it.

An Argunet argument map visualises the structure of complex argumentations and debates as a graphical network. In this network all nodes are either sentences or arguments and all relations between them are either attack or support relations.

The reconstruction and visualisation with argument maps can be useful in many ways:

  • Argument maps can give you a fast overview over the state of a debate
  • Argument maps help you to remember complex argumentation structures
  • The logical reconstruction allows a detailed analysis and evaluation of arguments and dialectic strategies
  • Argument maps help to keep focused on relevant parts of the debate by filtering out irrelevant or redundant information
  • Argument maps help concentrate on a rational, fair debate
  • Argument maps can guide and structure live discussions. Misunderstandings, repitition and unfair persuasion techniques can be avoided.
  • Argument mapping can be used for presentations or whole seminars

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Argunet 1.2.0 released

The latest version of Argunet features new tools that make it easier to organize the debates and to search through debates located on the Argunet-server or on your computer. To help you organize your work you can label the debates using private and non private tags and search for existing debates using a search-engine.

The label-feature allows you to mark the debates with some keywords relevant to your work and to filter the debates by the keywords you have introduced, thus saving you time and unneeded scrolling.