Rationale provides tools to guide, develop and enhance thinking skills. Here are some of its features that assist the process for better thinking in the classroom.




Learning and Teaching Tools

for activities, feedback, exercises, engagement…

Learning should be fun, engaging and exciting. Teaching should be rewarding and a joy. Rationale aims to help these great aspirations. The intuitive and easy interface with built in guidance reduces the learning curve for building critical thinking skills, while building confidence for the learner. There are some special new features to engage and exciting the quest for knowledge:

  • Guides to convey central concepts and get everyone started quickly
  • Ready-to-go teacher feedback comments to provide guidance on assessment and quick feedback for common learner successes and errors
  • Three sets of ready-to-go, independent learning exercises for learners 14+
  • Resources on tap, including Educator Guides, essay guides for students, map example packs, shared online map library – so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel
  • Undo/Redo buttons. You can’t make a mistake! And even better, you can review your classroom lesson using these as a rewind/forward control. Great for reflection and recapping.

Tour 2

Organizing Tools

for ideas, information, concepts, themes…

There is a lot of information out there. We can all benefit from tools that enable us to move from simple cutting and pasting of information, to filtering, categorizing and structuring of information into meaningful contexts.

Rationale provides grouping maps to assist with organization. Grouping maps provide hierarchical, pyramid-like structures to enable us to move information around with ease and formulate categories to reveal links and relationships. Some of the features that make this process easy include:

  • Add images and text from the web or scratchpad onto the Rationale workspace. Saves time, errors in transfer and one file format for all your work
  • Hyperlinks for quick access and integration of web information and documents from your desktop
  • Find Text button to locate information really quickly
  • Ready templates to guide the categorizing process


Tour 3

Questioning Tools

for consequences, perspectives, brainstorming, alternatives…

Questioning is essential for developing higher order thinking skills. Open and closed questioning techniques provide a good workout for the brain and ensure we look beyond the first response.

Rationale provides dialog maps to formulate and record ideas and keep everyone on track. Start with a question and then consider options, pros and cons, consequences and information required. Rationale also includes:

  • Instructive guidance and text prompts located in the tool tips and the boxes as you write. This will come to the rescue when those ideas just stop coming.
  • Help system to provide quick and accessible information, explanation and tips on what to do next. Press F1 or click on the links in the Explore Panel.
  • Templates to provide guidance and links to information and exercises.

Tour 4

Reasoning Tools

for analyzing, evaluating, justifying, concluding…

Reasoning is the heart of Rationale and central to building critical thinking skills. The argument map formats are twofold;

1. Reasoning maps which provide accessible and color coded reasoning boxes (ideal for all ages).

2. Advanced Reasoning maps (previously analysis maps) that provide a more detailed map format to incorporate co-premises (such as assumptions) and advanced evaluation (ideal for higher level secondary and University students). Both reasoning and advanced reasoning map formats provide many features to direct users to gain clarity in structuring and identifying arguments and to communicate logical and well founded judgments.

  • Basis Boxes to identify and evaluate evidence.
  • Connecting word labels to provide the language to connect ideas.
  • Evaluation tab with color coded evaluation choices and icons to identify strong from weak reasoning.
  • Templates, Examples and Quick Start maps to start reasoning straight away.

Tour 5

Communicating Tools

for presentations, debates, essays, reporting….

Having great ideas is one thing but communicating them is often difficult and divides great outcomes from average ones. Rationale provides tools to assist with visual presentation of work, verbal presentations and debates and written reports and essays. Look at some of the features we have for you:

  • The essay planner is central to students integrating research and reasoning and building confidence to produce logical and structured essays. Now the templates include science and hypothesis formats and a conclusion summary.
  • Visual tools for trimming maps, adding background images, font size changes and flipping to change map orientation.
  • A spell check. Stop those errors getting through the cracks!
  • Different kinds of export allow you to share your maps in different ways, whether they have Rationale or not.
  • Hide and Show maps and sections of maps. Keep everyone focused with one line of argument at a time.
  • One button text and image output into any application.

Tour 6