Educational Technologies for Teaching Argumentation Skills

Considerable efforts have been made in developing and assessing educational technology to support and teach argumentation. These efforts have culminated in the form of techniques which include ...
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Criteria for Designing and Evaluating Argument Diagramming Tools from the Point of View of Argumentation Theory

Pp. 3-27 (25)

Silvia De Ascaniis


The technique of diagramming arguments was used since the second half of the last century by modern theorists of argumentation such as Wigmore, Toulmin and Beardsley, with theoretical as well as didactic aims. Today, a number of software applications (Argument Diagramming tools) are devoted to support the production of arguments, their analysis and evaluation. Their effectiveness is usually assessed considering the impact they have on people’s acquisition or reinforcement of critical thinking skills. This chapter aims at suggesting criteria to design and evaluate Argument Diagramming tools from the point of view of argumentation theory. Two types of criteria are presented: interaction-related criteria, which are based on the conception of argumentation as a communicative interaction; and argumentation-related criteria, which derive from the very features of argumentation as a specific kind of reasoning.


Argumentation theory, argument diagramming tools, evaluation, design, argument scheme, argumentation structure.


Faculty of Communication Sciences, USI - University of Lugano, via Buffi 13; 6900 Lugano, Switzerland