Visualizing Argumentation: Software Tools for Collaborative and Educational Sense-Making.
Paul A. Kirschner, Simon J. Buckingham Shum and Chad S. Carr (Eds.)
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Argumentation Tools with Structural Visualizations
Araucaria "is a software tool for analysing arguments. It aids a user in reconstructing and diagramming an argument using a simple point-and-click interface. The software also supports argumentation schemes, and provides a user-customisable set of schemes with which to analyse arguments... Araucaria has been designed with the student, instructor, and researcher in mind. It is sufficiently straightforward to be useful to students learning how to reconstruct arguments, diagram them, and apply argumentation schemes. It is sufficiently flexible for instructors to provide their own examples, sample analyses, and alternate sets of argumentation schemes. Finally, it is also sufficiently powerful to be of use in research, particularly in providing examples of argument analyses to support claims." (Department of Applied Computing, University of Dundee, UK)
ArguMed "Argument-assistance systems are aids to draft and generate arguments, e.g., by
administering and supervising the argument process, keeping track of the issues that are raised and the assumptions that are made, keeping track of the reasons adduced, the conclusions drawn, and the counterarguments that have been adduced, evaluating the justification status of the statements made, and
checking whether the users of the system obey the pertaining rules of argument."
Athena "is designed to support analysis and production of reasoning and argumentation by students in higher education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels... The Athena software is the outcome of a joint project between philosophy and engineering science. Philosophical methods of reasoning and argumentation have been extracted, elaborated and implemented through the design and development of education and software in an integrated approach."
Belvedere "is designed to help support problem-based collaborative learning scenarios with evidence and concept maps. With our software, middle-school and high-school students learn critical inquiry skills that they can apply in everyday life as well as in science." (Laboratory for Interactive Learning Technologies, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, USA)
ClaiMaker "In 2010, will scholarly knowledge still be published solely in prose, or can we imagine a complementary infrastructure that is 'native' to the internet, enabling more effective dissemination, debate, and analysis of ideas? ClaiMaker enables you to model the claims made by research documents, and the arguments/debates about those claims. Ontology-based analysis and visualization tools enable you to navigate and analyse the claims network." (Knowledge Media Institute, Open University, UK)
Compendium "Compendium provides a methodological framework, plus an evolving suite of tools, for collective sense-making and group memory... A centerpiece of the approach is the rapid construction and manipulation of granular knowledge elements in a visual hypertext environment." (Verizon, USA and Knowledge Media Institute, Open University, UK)
GeNIe "is an environment for building graphical decision models... We have designed and developed GeNIe... to be a major teaching and research tool in academic environments and we are using it in our research and in teaching courses at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University" (Decision Systems Laboratory, Univ. Pittsburgh, USA)
Reason!Able "helps you: organize thoughts, produce better reasoning, show strengths and weakness in arguments, build general skills,
teach the theory of reasoning and argument" (See Chapter 5 for details). (The Reason Group Pty Ltd, c/o Learning Innovation Centre, Trinity College, Parkville, AUS)
Visual NRM (Network Rating Methodology) "is a toolset and language for developing and evaluating a map of an argument that mission critical information is adequately protected by a system in its larger operational environment. Visual NRM provides a graphical extension and automated support for applying DoD's Network Rating Methodology (NRM). An NRM security assurance argument composes assurance evidence from many different sources and from four security disciplines: Physical, Technological, Operational, and Personnel. Visual NRM helps manage the complexity of this composition by mapping out the assurance evidence, tracing meaningful threads of reasoning, and highlighting significant results. The maps clearly specify how each piece of evidence contributes to the overall argument. The Visual NRM toolset supports traversing the hyperlinked argument and analyzing its security weaknesses." (Center for High Assurance Computer Systems, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., USA)
Other Argumentation Tools
D3E (Digital Document Discourse Environment) "started as an action research project into the social and technical design of scholarly communication technologies, but it is, however, a generic web publishing tool for document-centric discussion. D3E makes it easy to transform an HTML file into an interactive document, tightly integrated with topic-specific or section-specific discussion threads. Discussion contributions can be classified and tagged using different icons, depending on the nature of the discourse." (Knowledge Media Institute, Open University, UK and L3D, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA)
Fle3 "Fle3 is a web-based learning environment. To be more specific Fle3 is server software for computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL)... With Fle3 Knowledge Building tool groups may carry out knowledge building dialogues, theory building and debates by storing their thoughts into a shared database. In the Knowledge Building study group may use Knowledge Types to scaffold and structure their dialogues. The Knowledge Type sets are fully editable and one may export and import them from one Fle3 to another. Fle3 comes with two default Knowledge Type sets: (1) Progressive Inquiry, and (2) Design Thinking." (UIAH Media Lab, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland)
Hermes "is an Argumentation System for cooperative or non-cooperative type of discussions on the Web. It provides means of expressing and weighing individual arguments and preferences, in order to support or challenge the selection of a certain choice. The system supports defeasible and qualitative reasoning in the presence of ill-structured information. Argumentation is performed through a set of discourse acts which call a variety of procedures for the propagation of information in the corresponding discussion graph." (AXIS Research Group, INRIA, Sophia Antipolis, FR)
Trellis "is an interactive environment that allows users to add their observations, viewpoints, and conclusions as they analyze information by making semantic annotations to documents and other on-line resources. We view this as a knowledge acquisition problem, where users are adding new knowledge to the system based on their expertise as they analyze information." (Interactive Knowledge Capture Research Group, Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California, USA)
Zeno Discourse Support System "By discourse support systems we mean groupware designed to support structured, goal-directed discourses about designs, plans, legislation, agreements, project proposals or other documents subjected to review by a group." (AiS and FOKUS Institutes, The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Berlin, GER)
Arguing to Learn: Confronting Cognitions in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments Edited by Jerry Andriessen, Michael Baker and Dan Suthers (2003), Kluwer Academic Series: Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments. ISBN: 1-4020-1382-5 This book promises to be a valuable addition to the computer-supported argumentation literature, with the specific focus on student learning and argumentation.
Argumentation-Based Design Rationale Research publications by Simon Buckingham Shum on the usability and utility of graphical argumentation schemes and tools for design argumentation, including an extensive bibliography.
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference Series Argumentation is a strong theme in the field of CSCL, and a search of these proceedings will reveal numerous papers evaluating the educational affordances of argumentation environments, some of which focus on structural maps, others of which focus on threaded discussions and knowledge-based tutors.
ArguMap "is an email discussion group for people interested in the theory and practice of argument mapping."
ReasonLeaders "is an email discussion group for teachers using the Reason!Able software, and more generally computer-supported argument mapping, in secondary and tertiary classrooms." [See Chapter 5]
VIMS "is an email discussion group for discussing the Dialog Mapping approach and software (formerly known as VIMS: Visual Information Mapping System)." [See Chapter 6]
Austhink "is a network of specialists providing research, education, training and consulting in reasoning and argumentation. Its specializes in computer-supported argument mapping. Based in Melbourne, Australia, it provides services around Australia and internationally."
CogNexus Institute "offers tools and skills for groups dealing with complex and ill-structured situations. The Institute's mission is creating organizational coherence in the service of world peace and healing. We specialize in teaching the Dialog Mapping technique, facilitation and consulting using Dialog Mapping, and research on collaborative technologies for complex problem solving and design situations."
Compendium Institute "Compendium provides a methodological framework, plus an evolving suite of tools, for collective sense-making and group memory. Validated in both small and large scale business projects, it is the result of over a decade's research and development at the intersection of collaborative modeling, organizational memory, computer-supported argumentation and meeting facilitation. The Compendium Institute is an open forum for the ongoing development and dissemination of the Compendium methodology. We are currently investigating a variety of models to support our activities. These currently include the maintenance of this website, informal and semiformal gatherings of the community, custodianship of Compendium resources, training and certification, and the authorship of research papers."
Discourse Systems "is a newsletter (weblog) and directory of resources about computer-supported discourse, focusing on e-democracy applications and ways to deliver government services which help empower citizens."
MacroVU has published "Mapping Great Debates: Can Computers Think? [which] summarizes over 800 claims, rebuttals, and counterrebuttals in the vast 50 year debate that Alan Turing started in 1950... A set of 7 poster-sized argumentation maps charts the entire history of the debate outlin[ing] arguments put forth by more than 380 cognitive scientists, philosophers, artificial intelligence researchers, mathematicians, and others. Every map presents 100 or more major claims, each of which is summarized succinctly and placed in visual relationship to the other arguments that it supports or disputes... MacroVU also provides consulting and teaching for organizations wishing to utilize argumentation mapping and its companion discipline: visual language." (MacroVU, Inc., WA, USA)
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