The WebDeb Project
WebDeb is a free collaborative platform that allows you toconsult the arguments and counter-arguments on a debate question and the positions taken by individuals and organizations.
In the same spirit as Wikipedia, any Internet user can contribute as soon as he/she registers, if he/she respects the rules of the platform.
WebDeb is also used as a educational tool.
The idea of the WebDeb platform emerged from the European research KNOWandPOL (2006-2011), coordinated by the UCLouvain and studying the relationship between knowledge and politics. At the end of this research, a first experimental platform was set up under the name of Wikideb.
The lessons learned from this first experience have led to the design of a new project. Convinced, the Walloon Region decided to finance it within the framework of the « Germaine Tillion » call. This project of a duration of 3 years (2014-2017) was conducted by three Belgian research centers : the Namur Digital Institute (NADI) of the University of Namur as well as the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Socialization, Education and the Formation (GIRSEF) and the Center for Automatic Language Processing (CENTAL), both from UCLouvain.
This project has resulted in a first version of a free, collaborative, open source, multilingual and multisectoral platform, accessible at webdeb.be.
The development of the platform could be continued in the framework of a research project funded by Innoviris (2017-2021) : Youth and political challenges. This project, led by the GIRSEF (UCLouvain), the Cevipol (ULB) and POLI (VUB) focuses on the conception and the evaluation of a political education device including the use of WebDeb. An experimentation of this device with 1,200 students in Brussels has led to a new version of the platform, which is still being improved.