Argumentation From traditional humanities to IT
The arts of argumentation and reasoning are central to higher education. Argumentation has been linked to the old elite university, small seminar groups and a homogenous secondary education. In the modern mass university, argumentation cannot be taught as a personal transmission of tradition. Information technology related to argumentation might help to bridge the gap between the old elite university and the modern mass university. The project aims at extracting methods and principles from argumentation and critical thinking. These principles will be used to develop IT-tools and test their use in undergraduate education. The outcome of the project is software; help files, www-links and text files, including tutorials, teacher's instructions and examples. The package is intended to help teachers in higher education build courses or course modules in argumentation and/or critical thinking. The software will help students structure their arguments and evaluate strong and weak points. The first software models will comprise informal logic of argumentation. This includes Naess' idea of pro et contra/pro out contra argumentation. Later development will focus more on aspects of rhetoric, in particular some of its cognitive aspects. The software is integrated with a course in argumentation, comprising informal logic, rhetoric, credibility and negotiation. The course has been taught since 1994 at the University of Karlskrona/Ronneby. The software will be tested in the course. An important aspect is to make students participate in developing the use of software in the course.
myndigheten för nätverk och samarbete inom högre utbildning