Computer-assisted argument mapping: a rationale approach
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Computer-Assisted Argument Mapping (CAAM) is a new way of understanding arguments. While still embryonic in its development and application, CAAM is being used increasingly as a training and development tool in the professions and government. Inroads are also being made in its application within education. CAAM claims to be helpful in an educational context, as a tool for students in responding to assessment tasks. However, to date there is little evidence from students that this is the case. This paper outlines the use of CAAM as an educational tool within an Economics and Commerce Faculty in a major Australian research university. Evaluation results are provided from students from a CAAM pilot within an upper-level Economics subject. Results indicate promising support for the use of CAAM and its potential for transferability within the disciplines. If shown to be valuable with further studies, CAAM could be included in capstone subjects, allowing computer technology to be utilised in the service of generic skill development.
KeywordsComputer-aided argument mapping Critical thinking Argument Inference-making
My thanks to Tim van Gelder, an anonymous referee from the journal, and to St. John’s College at the University of Sydney where I was a Visiting Fellow during 2007.
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