This site hosts all publications related to Convince Me and More Numerate work, as well as related work by Michael Ranney, Patricia Schank, and co-authors on fostering critical reasoning.

About Convince Me

Convince Me was a "reasoner's workbench" program and curriculum that let students create, re-evaluate, and optionally modify their arguments based on feedback from a connectionist model (called ECHO).

Using the software, students entered statements about beliefs and evidence, judged the reliability of their evidence, indicated which ideas explained and contradicted the other ideas, and rated how much they believed each statement. Then students would run the ECHO simulation to get feedback on the coherence of their argument, from ECHO's point of view. An advantage of Convince Me was that it helped students identify inconsistencies in their own arguments and re-evaluate their argument. Learn more.

About numeracy

Quantitative data are central to the presentation of high-quality information, yet making sense of numbers isn't the greatest strength of journalists and many other professionals. Knowledge of numbers affects reporters writing about topics as diverse as the local school district budget to the latest scientific reports on global warming. Supplying meaningful information to the populace can be seen as a key journalistic pursuit.

There have been few systematic instructional approaches used in journalism schools to help reporters improve their understandings of numbers. To address this problem, we developed a two-week post-secondary module to improve quantitative awareness, critical analysis, and evidence-based perspectives among journalism students and journalism instructors. Learn more.