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Clark, D. B.; Sampson, V.; Weinberger, Armin and Erkens, G. (2007): Analytic frameworks for assessing dialogic argumentation in online learning environments. In: Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 19, No. 3: pp. 343-374 [PDF, 435kB]


Over the last decade, researchers have developed sophisticated online learning environments to support students engaging in argumentation. This review first considers the range of functionalities incorporated within these online environments. The review then presents five categories of analytic frameworks focusing on (1) formal argumentation structure, (2) normative quality, (3) nature and function of contributions within the dialog, (4) epistemic nature of reasoning, and (5) patterns and trajectories of participant interaction. Example analytic frameworks from each category are presented in detail rich enough to illustrate their nature and structure. This rich detail is intended to facilitate researchers’ identification of possible frameworks to draw upon in developing or adopting analytic methods for their own work. Each framework is applied to a shared segment of student dialog to facilitate this illustration and comparison process. Synthetic discussions of each category consider the frameworks in light of the underlying theoretical perspectives on argumentation, pedagogical goals, and online environmental structures. Ultimately the review underscores the diversity of perspectives represented in this research, the importance of clearly specifying theoretical and environmental commitments throughout the process of developing or adopting an analytic framework, and the role of analytic frameworks in the future development of online learning environments for argumentation.

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