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Honoursmodule: From fact-checking to argument-checking

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Lecturer(s)

Dr. F. Russo & Dr. J.H.M. Wagemans

Entry requirements 

Second-year and third-year Bachelor's students participating in an honours programme.

Recommended prior knowledge

No specific prior knowledge is required, only curiosity and interest for argumentation.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, the student will have worked towards acquiring the following skills and knowledge:

Students will acquire the following skills:

  • Articulate their own interest in specific media contexts (e.g., social media, online news outlet, popular science communication, etc.);
  • Detect, analyse, identify, and assess arguments in given contexts (passive argumentation skills);
  • Produce an argument or an annotation of an argument (active argumentation skills);
  • Frame the ethical dimension of argumentation assessment and production.

Students will have knowledge about:

  • The characteristics of various genres of argumentative discourse;
  • The argument classification framework of the Periodic Table of Arguments;
  • Critical questions and fallacies;
  • The ethical challenges and opportunities posed by digital communication tools.

Content

‘What’s wrong with this argument?!’ -- if you ever asked yourself this question while reading the news, a scientific paper, or participating in a social media exchange, then this course is for you. During 12 meetings, you will be offered the basics of argumentation skills. The course is geared towards assessing arguments found within a domain or text genre of your own choice, depending on your interests or field of study.

You will be in the lead of the learning process. You begin by choosing an area in which argumentation skills are fundamental: a) social media discussions, b) online news outlets, c) popular science articles, d) specific argumentative contexts such as politics, law, medicine, science.

You will then be offered a toolbox you can use to perform an argumentation analysis, consisting of methods for (1) argument detection, (2) argument type identification and assessment, and (3) argument production. These tools are offered within the context of an approach to argument-checking in which the epistemic value and moral dimensions of information in the digital era are explicitly discussed.

During the course, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of Make Media Great Again, an organization committed to improve on the quality of online information via annotation of news items, and to meet social and industrial entrepreneurs, and a software engineer, interested in the prospects of automatizing the process of argument checking.

Teaching method

  • Lecture
  • Seminar
  • Presentation / symposium
  • Selfstudy
  • Work independently on project

Assessment:

Students will work continuously during the whole course towards a portfolio, including self-reflection exercises, analysis of texts, and other relevant assessment methods.

Study material:

A selection of articles and other relevant material will be posted on Canvas in due course.

Min/max participants

max. 25

Schedule

The schedule will be available on Datanose

Registration

Registration is possible for 2nd year (or higher) students participating in an Honours programme. The registration for the Honours courses will start on June 1, 10 am -  June 4, 11 pm, You can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS (registration is NOT through SIS)

Placement will be at random and students will be informered about their placement in the week of June 21.

There is NO guarantee for placement if you register AFTER June 4, so make sure you apply on time! 

For questions about registration please email to: Honours-iis@uva.nl
 

SDGs in education

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in our elective courses, honours modules and degree programmes, and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDGs website

Facts & Figures
Mode Honours programme
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in September