Leveraging Educational Technology to Improve the Quality of Civil Discourse
The ability to critically assess the information we consume is vital to productive civil discourse. However, recent research indicates that Americans are generally not adept at, for instance, identifying if a news story is real or fake. We propose a three-part research agenda aimed at providing accessible, evidence-based technological support for critical thinking in civic life. In the first stage, we built an online tutoring system for teaching logical fallacy identification. In stage two, we will leverage this system to train crowd workers to identify potentially fallacious arguments. Finally, in stage three, we will utilize these labeled examples to train a computational model of logical fallacies. We discuss how our current research into instructional factors and Belief Bias has impacted the course of this agenda, and how these three stages help to realize our ultimate goal of fostering critical thinking in civil discourse.
KeywordsCognitive tutors Informal logical fallacies Informal reasoning Cognitive task analysis Difficulty factors assessment Ill-defined domains
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