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Teaching Philosophy

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published on December 4, 2015

Michael H. G. Hoffmann, Jeremy A. Lingle
DOI: 10.5840/teachphil2015112039

Facilitating Problem-Based Learning by Means of Collaborative Argument Visualization Software

There is evidence that problem-based learning (PBL) is an effective approach to teach team and problem-solving skills, but also to acquire content knowledge. However, there is hardly any literature about using PBL in philosophy classes. One problem is that PBL is resource intensive because a facilitator is needed for each group of students to support learning efforts and monitor group dynamics. In order to establish more PBL classes, the question is whether PBL can be provided without the need for facilitators. We present a combination of five strategies—among them the collaborative argument visualization software AGORA-net—to replace facilitators. Additionally, we present evidence that these strategies are sufficient to provide a PBL experience that achieves intended learning goals in an ethics class and is satisfying for students without facilitators.