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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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 Server up again

The Argunet Server is up again. We hope that it will work more reliable now. If you have any problems, please write a note at our mailing list.


Argunet server temporarily down

The Argunet Server at the FU Berlin is temporarily down for maintenance and updates. It will be back soon. No data or debate is lost, so please be patient.

Until then, you can use all features of Argunet locally and offline. If the server is running again, you will be able to upload your argument maps to an online debate. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Out of Beta: Argunet 1.0.0 released!

After more than a year of work, we proudly present you Argunet 1.0.0! By now Argunet contains every feature you need for rapid and in-depth argument mapping. Thanks to all who participated in this project, especially to our lead developer David Schneider, who spent quite a few weekends working with us on Argunet long after his actual work had been done.

With this release the Argunet development has not come to an end. We already have many ideas for new features, a new task list and even some money for development. Parallel to this, we work on our new homepage, so expect to see something new here very soon…
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Argunet wins FU e-Learning Award

Argunet has been awarded the e-Learning price of Free University Berlin (FU). It has been nominated in the category “Didactics”. The Center for Digital System at Free University Berlin distinguishes three outstanding e-Learning projects each year.


Argunet employed in Organic Computing Project

Argunet is part of an interdisciplinary project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research which aims at assessing the benefits and risks of organic computing. The project is coordinated by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research. Argunet will be used to map the arguments for or against developing and applying organic computing technology.


Argunet Release 0.9.0 Beta

In the last two months we have focused on getting things done. Instead of wasting time with buggy releases, we have skipped some version numbers and have now reached a state that deserves to be called 0.9.0! This is the last beta version of Argunet. Nearly all features for 1.0 are implemented and the bug list is reduced to a few harmless creatures. We can now work exclusively on making Argunet as stable as possible

The server has also been updated and is now incompatible with older versions of Argunet. If you want to work online, please update your client!

Features:

  • Argument editor undo/redo: As long as you edit your argument, you can always undo and redo your last changes. This feature is restricted to the argument editor, because of the optionally distributed structure of Argunet. You cannot undo changes, that possibly are already used by other users, to avoid confusion and errors.
  • Recently used debates: Open your recently used debates directly from the “File” menu.
  • New alignment tools
  • Delete debates
  • Interface optimization: We have optimized Argunet’s usability in many respects.

Fixes:

  • Nearly all serious known bugs (for exceptions see below). :)

Known Issues

  • On OSX it is currently not possible to create new debates locally. We have already identified the cause and will fix this in the next days.
  • In some cases, it is not possible to save edited arguments. This is our last serious bug and we will try to chase it down in the next days.

Argunet 0.9.0 beta released

In the last two months we have focused on getting things done. Instead of wasting time with buggy releases, we have skipped some version numbers and have now reached a state that deserves to be called 0.9.0! This is the last beta version of Argunet. Nearly all features for 1.0 are implemented and the bug list is reduced to a few harmless creatures. We can now work exclusively on making Argunet as stable as possible.

The server has also been updated and is now incompatible with older versions of Argunet. If you want to work online, please update your client! For more info please take a look at our release notes.