What do you want your students to do?

Learn about the various options you have for engaging your students constructive argumentation exercises.

Though Argutopia is built to help students debate as a way to encounter course material, there's more to Argutopia than just debating. In fact, there's more to academic debating as a pedagogy than simply having your students argue for and against a topic.

Perhaps even more valuable than giving a speech is having students evaluate the arguments made by the Pro and Con debaters. Argutopia's intuitive debate visualizer helps student judges understand how to make and explain their decision. Students can be assigned to judge as individuals or participate in a small group that deliberates to reach consensus on a decision.

You can use Argutopia--and design your assignments--using these three phases as a framework:

Beyond debates?

While we use the familiar term "debate" to describe what Argutopia does, there's no reason you have to imagine your assignment as a formal debate.

  • Could you assign a small group of students to discuss the Pro and Con sides of the topic with no structured speeches, but relying on the model to guide their discussion? Sure!

  • Could those assigned to represent the Pro and Con arguments not be imagined as advocates, but as well-researched experts who respond the audience's questions structured by the model in a panel discussion? Of course!

  • Would it work to have the whole class discuss a topic collectively with one person noting major arguments on a common model projected for all to see? Why not?

  • Following any of these alternative argumentative exercises, could your assignment culminate with small group deliberation leading to a consensus decision structured and expressed by the model? Yes!

We hope you'll use your imagination and expertise to invent an approach to encourging argumentation that works for you and your students.

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