The version number shows up at the bottom of the Login window. If an older version is listed there, you need to clear the cache in your browser. Go to "Options" or "Settings" in your browser.
Released September 19, 2014
- It is now possible to delete a reason-box immediately after creating it (without completing the argument)
Released April 16, 2014
- Zoom range increased to 200% for people with visual impairment
- Color coding corrected: Objections and arguments for objections are orange; objections against objections and arguments for those objections are blue.
Released March 26, 2014
- You can now add "a link to another argument map" by clicking on the white triangle at the bottom of text boxes. Simply add the Map ID (see version 3.5).
- The enabler of an argument can now be defended by clicking on this white triangle and then "Add ... an argument for this statement."
- Publish an argument map directly from the map view, or move it to another location.
- The number of other users (and their user names) who are working simultaneously on the same argument map is now indicated on the blue panel.
- When you use the collaborative mode in projects (see Features below): Text boxes are now blocked for other users when a user works on a statement.
- When you create a new argument map, you can now start with selecting one of four argument schemes: Modus ponens, modus tollens, disjunctive syllogism, and not-all syllogism.
Released December 23, 2013
- Search function published. Search for map names, text in maps, projects, and user names is possible. Search allows the use of Boolean operators (some glitches still need to be fixed).
- Map ID added: Each argument map has its unique identifier which is now displayed underneath the web-name in the blue panel on the map. Since you can search for the map ID, each argument can now be quoted by its ID number.
- Spanish user interface published! Many thanks to Begoña Carrascal (Dept. of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Univ. of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain) who volunteered to provide and manage the translation. This translation was partially supported by the FFI 2010-20118 research project of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
Released October 9, 2013
- Zoom function corrected: Map view is on the main claim of the argument when you zoom in after showing the entire map by clicking on "="
- Guests can no longer create projects or maps
AGORA-net allows the construction of arguments and more complex argumentations—i.e., arguments with supporting arguments, counterarguments, and counter-counterarguments, etc.—in the form of graphical, two-dimensional representations, that is, in the form of so-called “argument maps.”
AGORA-net is an interactive, completely web-based, and freely available learning tool that allows synchronous and asynchronous online collaboration.
By clicking on the small triangle at the bottom of a text box on an argument map you can add to this statement an argument for this statement, an objection, a friendly amendment, a comment, a question, a definition of a term, a reference, a link to another map, or a URL.
AGORA-net provides three levels of “openness” or “privacy”: argument maps are stored, by default, in a private folder to which only the creator of the map has access. But they can be moved into restricted “Projects” that everyone can create and to which other users can be added as “members.” Or they can be published in the “World of Arguments” to which everyone on the web has access.
Only the creator of a map and the administrator of a project can move it. To do so, click on "My Maps" or "My Projects" and then on the blue button on the right of the map or project you want to move or publish. Then either click through the categories until you find the right place or click on "Move to my private folder."
Projects can be defined as either “collaborative” or “adversarial.” In “adversarial projects”—as on public maps—statements can only be modified or deleted by the user who created them. (Others, of course, can add further arguments, objections, comments, or friendly amendments, etc.) In “collaborative projects,” by contrast, everyone can delete and modify everything. This simplifies collaboration but works only if people can trust each other. Only the administrator of a project can change between adversarial and collaborative mode.
Project administrators can add members to the projects, remove members, select another member as administrator, and import members from an Excel file in which all the user names are listed.
Everyone can see public maps, but in order to participate in debates by adding objections, comments, or further arguments to existing statements, or to create new argument maps or projects, one has to register. Registration is required in order to differentiate between people who participate in debates or collaborations. Every textbox in an AGORA argument map shows the username of the “Author” because it must be clear who claims what.
Registration data can be changed at any time by clicking on "Change your registration data"
Registered users can copy every map they have access to under a new name. By doing so, they gain ownership of every statement on the map—including objections—and can modify and delete everything. If a statement has a “previous author,” this will be indicated in the respective text box (“PA”), and this author’s user name becomes visible when hovering with the mouse over “PA.” The map from which the copy has been created is always accessible, for everyone to see, through a button labeled “History.”
If the user provided the URL of a homepage during registration, this URL will be visible and accessible for others when hovering over the username. This way users can contact each other outside of the system. But AGORA-net also offers a chat function so that instantaneous communication among users during argument mapping is possible.
There is a different chat for each map and a "universal" chat on the level of categories in the World of Arguments and of lists of projects and maps.
AGORA-net provides access to a virtually infinite number of argument maps and projects through a system of categories that are divided into sub-categories, and so on. (In the final version, users should be able to create further sub-categories on their own so that a dynamic management of a large number of maps and projects is possible)
It is possible to export argument maps of any size in Portable Document Format (pdf) via “Print” so that they can be either published in online repositories or printed as posters.
At the moment, the AGORA-net user interface is available in English, German, and (partly) Russian. Further languages can easily be added if
someone translates the entire user interface (about 7,000 words right now, but still growing). However, since logical relations are presented in ordinary language—not in symbolic form—and since the system creates statements automatically without using any artificial intelligence, it is not clear whether the system produces grammatically acceptable formulations in other languages as well as in English.
AGORA-net is published under the Affero GPL (v3 or later) Open Source license. The software's source code can be found on GitHub. It would be nice if you could acknowledge our work if you use the code. The AGORA Project at agora.gatech.edu.