One of my areas of interest is how people understand and integrate information from across multiple sources, particularly where those sources aOre divergent in stance and varied in credibility. I wrote a bit about how I see this issue ([epistemic cognition, a lens onto fake news]1), & also highly recommend ‘[Processing Inaccurate Information]2‘ edited by David N. Rapp and Jason L.G. Braasch which covers many issues in this space (although through the particular context of inaccurate information).

To help us understand this, one of the technologies I’m exploring is text analytics for similar text, for factive claims, and to look at how people fix known issues in pre-synthesised texts. But the other side of this issue is to look at platforms that allow students to engage in text integration, and offer insights into how they do this. I’m especially interested in tools that help us to:

  1. Present a set of resources to students
  2. Help us understand how they navigate those sources and
  3. Provide a space for integration of the sources (in a text, or some structured context) that we can analyse

Some I’ve come across

  • Previously, I used the browser addon Coagmento, which supports collaborative information seeking, annotation of web resources, and authoring (through a group/project-based etherpad)
  • Lacuna Stories was developed for history teaching, it’s open source, and lets teachers assign texts to students, which the students can then highlight and annotate, drawing together their annotations into a synthesis document
  • MDSWriter, a novel open-source annotation tool for creating multi-document summarization corpora. A major innovation of our tool is that we divide the complex summarization task into multiple steps which enables us to efficiently guide the annotators and to record all their intermediate results and user–system interaction data. This allows evaluating the individual components of a complex summarization system and learning from the human composition process. MDSWriter is highly flexible and can be adapted to multiple other tasks.”
  • I’m hoping the tool Neurone, which provides a kind of ‘fake’ search and processing experience, will also be available at some point and will foster this kind of research
  • This Online Inquiry Tool is very structured, but encourages students to break down key claims and evidence from what they’re reading (with some papers on this, “An Online Inquiry Tool to Support the Exploration of Controversial Issues on the Internet“, Rethinking Academic Literacies: Designing multifaceted academic literacy experiences for pre-service teachers, Argument graph as a tool for promoting collaborative online reading)
  • There are also various tools like, Perusall, and others that provide collective annotation spaces, and of course lots of tools (Wikis, blogs, etc.) can be set up to fulfil this purpose.

I was also super interested in a project called [news frames]3, which was a collaborative journalistic authoring environment designed to foster a bunch of things including looking at stories from different angles (but currently on pause).