The effects of argumentation scaffolds on argumentation and problem solving

  • Kyoo-Lak Cho
  • David H. Jonassen
Research

Abstract

An important skill in solving problems, especially ill-structured problems, is the production of coherent arguments to justify solutions and actions. Because direct instruction in argumentation has produced inconsistent results and cannot effectively support online learning, we examined the use of online argumentation scaffolds to engage and support coherent argumentation. In this study, we showed that providing a constraint-based argumentation scaffold during group problem-solving activities increased the generation of coherent arguments. The same scaffold further resulted in significantly more problem-solving actions during collaborative group discussions. The effects of the scaffold varied for problem type. Groups that solved ill-structured problems produced more extensive arguments. When solving ill-structured problems, students need more argumentation support because of the importance of generating and supporting alternative solutions. The close relationship between argumentation and problem solving, especially ill-structured problem solving, is significant. The effects of the argument scaffold consistently transferred to the production of arguments during individual problem solving. Students used the familiar argumentation scripts while solving problems individually.

Keywords

Group Discussion Problem Definition Solution Development Thread Discussion Computer Support Collaborative Learn 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bell, P., & Linn, M.C. (2000). Scientific arguments as artifacts: Designing for learning from the Web with KIE.International Journal of Science Education, 22(8), 797–817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buckingham Shum, S.J., MacLean, A., Bellotti, V.M.E., & Hammond, N.V. (1997). Graphical argumentation and design cognition.Human-Computer Interaction, 12, 267–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carr, C.S. (1999).The effect of computer-supported collaborative argumentation (CSCA) on argumentation skills in second-year law students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  4. Cerbin, B. (1988).The nature and development of informal reasoning skills in college students. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 298 805)Google Scholar
  5. Chi, M.T.H., Slotta, J.D., & de Leeuw, N.A. (1994). From things to processes: A theory of conceptual change for learning science concepts.Learning and Instruction, 4, 27–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen, J. (1968). Weighted kappa: Nominal scale agreement with provisions for scales disagreement of partial credit.Psychological Bulletin, 70, 213–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Darses, F. (1991). The constraint satisfaction approach to design: A psychological investigation.Acta Psychologica, 78, 307–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fisher, W.R., & Sayles, E.M. (1966). The nature and functions of argument. In G.R. Miller & T.R. Nilsen (Eds.),Perspectives on argumentation (pp. 2–22). Chicago, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company.Google Scholar
  9. Hong, N.S., Jonassen, D.H., & McGee, S. (in press). Predictors of well-structured and ill-structured problem solving in an astronomy simulation.Journal of Research in Science Teaching.Google Scholar
  10. Jonassen, D.H. (1997). Instructional design models for well-structured and ill-structured problem-solving learning outcomes.Educational Technology Research and Development, 45(1), 65–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jonassen, D.H. (1999). Designing constructivist learning environments. In C.M. Reigeluth, (Ed.).Instructional design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional technology, Vol 2. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  12. Jonassen, D.H., & Kwon, H.I. (2001). Communication patterns in computer-mediated vs. face-to-face group problem solving.Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(10), 35–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jonassen, D.H., & Remidez, H. (2002, January).Mapping alternative discourse structures onto computer conferences. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Computer Support for Collaborative Learning, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
  14. Kitchner, K.S. (1983). Cognition, metacognition, and epistemic cognition: A three-level model of cognitive processing.Human Development, 26, 222–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Klemm, W.R., & Snell, J.R. (1996). Enriching computer-mediated group learning by coupling constructivism with collaborative learning.Journal of Instructional Science and Technology,1(2). [Online]. Available: http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/ejist/vol1no2/article1.htmGoogle Scholar
  16. Knudson, R.E. (1991). Effects of instructional strategies, grade and sex on students' persuasive writing.Journal of Experimental Education, 59(2), 141–152.Google Scholar
  17. Kuhn, D. (1991).The skills of argument, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lajoie, S.P. (1993). Computer environments as cognitive tools for enhancing learning. In S.P. Lajoie & S.J. Derry (Eds.),Computers as cognitive tools (pp. 261–288). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  19. Lajoie, S.P., & Lesgold, A. (1992). Apprenticeship training in the workplace: A computer coached practice environment as a new form of apprenticeship. In M. Farr & J. Psotka (Eds.),Intelligent instruction by computer: Theory and practice (pp. 15–36). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  20. Learning Research and Development Center. (1996).Advanced cognitive tools for learning. [Online]. Available: http://advlearn/lrdc.pitt.edu/belvedere/index.html.Google Scholar
  21. Leeman, R.W. (1987).Taking perspectives: Teaching critical thinking in the argumentation course. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 292 147)Google Scholar
  22. McCann, T.M. (1989). Student argumentative writing knowledge and ability at three grade levels.Research in the Teaching of English, 23(1), 62–76.Google Scholar
  23. McGrath, J.E. (1984).Groups: Interaction and performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  24. Meacham, J.A., & Emont, N.C. (1989). The interpersonal basis of everyday problem solving. In J.D. Sinnott (Ed.),Everyday problem solving: Theory and application (pp. 7–23). New York, NY: Praeger.Google Scholar
  25. Poole, M.S., & Holmes, M.E. (1995). Decision development in computer-assisted group decision making.Human Communication Research, 22(1), 90–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Richard, J.F., Poitrenaud, S., & Tijus, C. (1993). Problem-solving restructuration: Elimination of implicit constraints.Cognitive Science, 17, 497–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sanders, J.A., Wiseman, R.L., & Gass, R.H. (1994). Does teaching argumentation facilitate critical thinking?Communication Reports, 7(1), 27–35.Google Scholar
  28. Saunders, K.M. (1994). Law as rhetoric, rhetoric as argument.Journal of Legal Education, 44(4), 566–578.Google Scholar
  29. Simon, D.P. (1978). Information processing theory of human problem solving. In D. Estes (Ed.),Handbook of learning and cognitive processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  30. Suthers, D. (1998).Representations for scaffolding collaborative inquiry on ill-structured problems. Paper presented at the 1998 AERA Annual Meeting, San Diego, California.Google Scholar
  31. Suthers, D.D., & Hundhausen, C.D. (2001). Learning by constructing collaborative representations: An empirical comparison of three alternatives. In P. Dillenbourg, A. Eurelings, & K. Hakkarainen (Eds.),European perspectives on computer-supported collaborative learning (pp. 577–584). Universiteit Masstricht, Maastricht, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  32. Tan, S.C. (2000).Supporting collaborative problem solving through computer-supported collaborative argumentation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  33. Toulmin, S. (1958).The uses of argument. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Toulmin, S.E., Rieke, R.D., & Janik, A. (1984).An introduction to reasoning (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  35. Veerman, A.L., Andriessen, J.E.B., & Kanselaar, G. (1999, December).Collaborative learning through computer-mediated argumentation. Paper presented at the conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL 99), San Francisco, California.Google Scholar
  36. Voss, J.F. (1988). Problem solving and reasoning in ill-structured domains. In C. Antaki (Ed.),Analyzing everyday explanation: A casebook of methods (pp. 74–93). London, UK: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  37. Voss, J.F., Lawrence, J.A., & Engle, R.A. (1991). From representation to decision: An analysis of problem solving in international relations. In R.J. Sternberg & P.A. French (Eds.),Complex problem solving (pp. 119–157). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  38. Yeh, S.S. (1998). Empowering education: Teaching argumentative writing to cultural minority middle-school students.Research in the Teaching of English, 33(1), 49–83.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoo-Lak Cho
    • 1
  • David H. Jonassen
    • 2
  1. 1.the Korean Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training (KRIVET) in SeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.the University of MissouriUSA

Personalised recommendations