Instructional Science

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 127–153 | Cite as

Learning of argumentation skills in networked and face-to-face environments

  • Miika Marttunen
  • Leena Laurinen


In a teaching experiment 16 face-to-face and 11 e-mailFinnish university students studied academic debatingin an argumentation course. The 19 students of thecontrol group did not engage in the course. The courseinvolved two lectures, exercises with argumentativetexts, and face-to-face or e-mail seminar discussionsbased on these texts. Free debate, role play,problem-solving and panel discussion were the devicesused in organizing the course. The level of thestudents' argumentation skills were measured in apretest before the course and in a post-test after it.The results were compared between and within thegroups. The results indicated that during the e-mailstudies the students learned to identify and chooserelevant grounds, while the face-to-face studentsimproved in putting forward counterargumentation. Thecontrol group did not improve in these skills. Thestudy suggests that argumentation skills can bepromoted by short-term e-mail and face-to-faceteaching, and that practising argumentation indifferent learning environments develops differentkinds of argumentation skills.

argumentation critical thinking electronic mail networked learning computer-mediated communication computer based learning higher education 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miika Marttunen
    • 1
  • Leena Laurinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of JyväskyläFinland

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