The Pedagogical Web Site

Introduction to SCALE

The SCALE project has two very topical, complementary and inextricably linked objectives. The first goal is to enable European pupils, between 16 and 18, to learn argumentation on different topics by collaborating in multi-representational argumentative interactions under the guidance of their teachers. The second goal is to provide the appropriate intelligent open-based Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) tools that support these activities. The Deliverables pack reflects these objectives.

The SCALE Euroscale Site is a website providing full information about the facilities and background of the project, the benefits available to both teachers and students and the latest information on the project evolvement.

A Pedagogical website is available containing chat rooms and software tools which support the teaching of argumentation. The emphasis is put on collaborative learning whereby participants from different countries can debate and learn from arguing on an agreed topic. The interface on the website will be provided in several EU languages and presented in a way which is exciting and challenging, enabling feedback from users which will evaluate the strength and relevance of the argumentation used.

The SCALE COMMUNITY SITE is dedicated to teachers, system managers who work with the SCALE system, and to those who have a contribution or interest in computer support in the classroom. This site proposes various forums about topics considered to be of general interest, which you can discuss and ask questions about. The site facilitates discussion on the SCALE system, and more generally on computer support in the classroom.

Software tools comprise three major components :

  • a tool to analyse argumentation dialogue as it is entered, from which a graphical representation is presented to the user and progressively updated as the dialogue continues, (termed ALEX - Argumentation-based Learning eXperience),
  • a set of rules related to English language that enables text to be decomposed into argumentation elements,
  • a software environment on the website comprising all the tools, interfaces and a database of updatable rules and teaching materials, (termed DREW - Dialogical Reasoning Educational Webtool).

Strategy : promote secondary school teachers' interest in an involvement with SCALE tools by :

  • involving teachers in all aspects of research,
  • providing jargon-free teacher training,
  • providing the facility to tailor lessons and thus accommodate the variety in student aptitude, interest and experience,
  • demonstrating that SCALE tools are reliable across many disciplines,
  • helping teachers assess student work by providing facilities to monitor sessions live and replay sessions as often as needed,
  • developing a user-friendly public web site that addresses needs and concerns of teachers and other educational practitioners.

Target Audience : schools, education and training providers, academic communities, specialist education software development communities, government ministries
Users : schools, education and training providers
Technology : Internet, XML, Java, database technology, advanced search techniques
Innovative aspects : major distinguishing aspects of SCALE are the didactic model using the emergent theory of multi-representational pragma-dialectics, its multilinguality, and its open platform using an interface for the input of pedagogical materials.