Over the last few years, my tutors and I have created a set of handouts (they are in Luminus > Module Overview > 1) to help students with basic concepts to do with arguments and logic. While formal logic (or for that matter, the formal study of informal logic) isn’t part of the syllabus of GET1029, we do introduce and reinforce concepts such as the basic idea of an argument, the difference between validity and soundness, and very importantly, necessary vs. a sufficient conditions–throughout the semester. The tutors have their marching orders to help me with all this, and the quiz questions do assume your familiarity with them. But no worries–even as you are still finding your footing in these concepts, the handouts are there to help you as ready reference material. This semester, we found a way to do something better (we hope it’s better anyway).

Earlier in the year, Mr Jonathan Sim, the instructor for GET1050 Computational Reasoning (the computation thinking requirement module in FASS), created a telegram bot framework for implementing interactive stories. (By the way, Mr Sim is a alumnus of the Philosophy Department.) With the help of a small group of students helpers, I was able to use the framework to implement the Arguments Lesson Bot  on Telegram. For now, the bot contains the handout material as if an e-textbook, plus some quizzes to help you check on your own understanding. For those of you who know how to use telegram, this should be relatively easy–just search for @ArgumentsLessonBot and subscribe.

While I think the students involved did a wonderful job, they will also be the first to admit that there are plenty of rough edges. Your comments and suggestions are welcome (email me). Just keep in mind that this is a side project–It’s an additional resource to support you, and the essential material is all from “Short Lesson on Arguments and Logic”. Further releases and refinements are still being planned so watch out for that as well.

Jue Fei, one of the students in the project (he’s tutoring for a different module this semester as well), wrote up a set of instructions for those who are unfamiliar with Telegram bots that you can access here.