Most people come to a conclusion after learning from different perspectives and analysing information is part of this process. Even though it is a skill important to the successful progression of higher education students at university it is not always taught effectively.
An international research team from the United States of America and Australia led by Simon Cullen, explored whether training students how to develop argument visualisation techniques would improve their ability to critically analyse information in their article “Improving analytical reasoning and argument understanding: a quasi-experimental field study of argument visualisation.”
From 2013 to 2017, a treatment group of 105 students from Princeton University attended a seminar series in argument analysis (which included 4 weeks training). The students were presented with problem statements based on a journal or book and collaborated together to construct visual diagrams of the arguments raised by the topics, in the form of supporting reasons and objections. The students received coaching during the sessions and personalised feedback about their work. However, the control group of 56 students received no training at all.
To learn whether argument visualisation training benefitted students analytical reasoning skills or not, read about the teams study published by our companion Journal, the npj Science of Learning here.
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