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Analyzing CSCL-mediated science argumentation: how different methods matter
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Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), Rhodes, Greece, 8 - 13 June 2009
Research on argumentation has increased our understanding of knowledge
construction, group learning, and scaffolding structures in CSCL although analyses of
argumentation pose many difficulties. This could be due to the many theoretical positions that
can be taken when approaching discourse data. In this paper, we use three popular analytic
methods (interactional, content-specific, and linguistic) to compare the same fragment of
scientific argumentation by Grade 4 children in Singapore. We show the complementary
emphases and strengths of each disciplinary position as well as their weaknesses. The results
imply that analytic methods arising from different disciplinary positions can potentially
broaden our overall understanding of using argumentation in CSCL.
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