Effects of a computer-assisted argument map learning strategy on sixth-grade students’ argumentative essay reading comprehension


Numerous studies have proved that graphic strategies, such as graphic organization and concept mapping, can facilitate improving reading comprehension. However, the question as to what graphic strategies can improve argumentative essay reading comprehension ability is not yet resolved. To determine whether graphic strategies can improve students’ reading comprehension ability, we designed a computer-aided argumentative essay reading system that can construct graphic strategies. In the designed system, three approaches, namely a traditional teaching approach without graphic strategies, concept mapping, and argument mapping, are created for determining the effects of graphic strategies on students’ argumentative essay reading comprehension ability. In addition, the proposed argument mapping system provides a function for helping students identify three key argumentative essay elements, namely claims, reasons, and evidence, to enable them to construct an argument map with no burden. The designed system can help students learn how to read argumentative essays easily, improving their reading comprehension ability. The experimental results from 373 sixth graders showed that the argument mapping method enhanced students’ argumentative essay reading comprehension ability compared with traditional and concept mapping approaches. Statistical results revealed that between-group differences were statistically significant (p value between the experimental and Control Group 1 was 0.001 and that between the experimental and Control Group 2 was 0.013).

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This project was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan under contract numbers MOST103-2511-S-008-002.

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Correspondence to Gwo-Dong Chen.

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Chiang, KH., Fan, CY., Liu, HH. et al. Effects of a computer-assisted argument map learning strategy on sixth-grade students’ argumentative essay reading comprehension. Multimed Tools Appl 75, 9973–9990 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-015-2904-y

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  • Argument mapping
  • Graphic organization
  • Reading comprehension
  • Argumentative essay