Research Shows that Argument Mapping Significantly Improves Critical Thinking SkillsSubmitted by Brett Fulkerson-Smith, Philosophy

In 2017-2018, the Learning Assessment Committee and the General Education-Critical Thinking Work Group assessed the general education outcome “use evidence to develop arguments, make decisions, and evaluate outcomes.” The results indicated that most students showed significant room for improvement with respect to all three of the areas related to the outcome: developing arguments, making decisions, and evaluating outcomes. In Spring 2021, this general education outcome will be reassessed.

Critical Thinking Improvement Plan

As part of its ongoing work to improve the results of this assessment, the Learning Assessment Committee and the General Education-Critical Thinking Work Group is proud to announce a two-part workshop on argument mapping. A growing body of research shows that argument mapping significantly improves critical thinking skills. In fact, meta-analyses find that courses that use argument mapping yield five or six times the gains of a standard semester at college!

  • Do you assign argumentative essays to your students?
  • Must students write position papers or deliver argumentative speeches in your classes?
  • Are discussion or debate central features of your classes?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this workshop is tailor-made for you!

Argument Mapping Workshop

The first workshop session will be held virtually on Friday, October 30, 2020 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Under the guidance of Dr. Dona Warren—Director of the Critical Thinking Center at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point—participants will develop the fundamentals of argument mapping: both as a tool for analyzing existing arguments and creating one’s own arguments. Participants will understand what argument mapping is, how it is used, and how to visually represent a variety of arguments from different disciplines across campus. The second workshop—scheduled for early spring—will focus on teaching argument mapping to students.

Learn More and Register