What we want the Debatabase to be

This is our vision for the Debatabase. It is what we are working towards Debatabase being.

Informative and educational,

  • The most important thing for the Debatabase is to be an effective tool for informing users. Reading the debates should result in users learning about an issue from more than one perspective and feeling sufficiently educated to make up their own mind about which side is correct.
  • Debatabase aims to provide an education in debating. Users should learn not just facts but also how to argue, how to undermine arguments, and critical thinking as well as attendant skills such as questioning sources.

Authoritative and accurate,

  • There is little point in providing information if that information is not trusted by the user. Debatabase therefore aims to make its debates of a high quality that are clearly authoritative and can be seen to be accurate through being able to trace sources.

Broad and comprehensive,

  • Debatabase should have a broad range of debates on different topic areas; this should not be limited to politics and economics but also include less regularly debated issues such as science and philosophy.
  • Each debate should be comprehensive covering as many of the arguments as possible. It is Debatabase’s role to present the arguments and let the user decide between them rather than for the Debatabase to impose an agenda on determining which arguments to include beyond their being logical, substantiated and backed up.

Relevant,

  • Debatabase should not just be an archive of general debates. It needs to have debates on up to date issues – issues where it is most important for people to inform themselves.
  • Debates need to be relevant to a wide range of audiences geographically and thematically. The Debates should not be just on issues of relevance to Europeans or the Anglo-Saxon world.

Accessible,

  • Debatabase needs to be open not just to those who have a university degree who have been trained to research and engage in critical thinking. It needs to be usable by people of a wide range of demographics from children starting secondary school through all levels of education and beyond.

Usable and editable,

  • Debatabase needs to be easy for a user to find the information they are interested in, and to get between debates and themes.
  • Anyone should be able to contribute to the Debatabase. It should be easy to add new debates, or get involved in most existing debates, with the ability to point out any mistakes. 

If you think that we could meet these goals better by doing something differently then please email your suggestions to ahelling@idebate.org.uk

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