High school students´ group argumentation in virtual science lessons

Year: 2019

Author: Telenius, Marko, Yli-Panula, Eija, Vesterinen, Veli-Matti, Vauras, Marja

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Argumentation, crucial in education of science, can have a positive impact on at least five educational areas including motivation, content learning, general argumentation skills, specific argumentation skills and knowledge building practices.Argumentation can be analysed using several models depending what is in focus (such as Toulmin´s and Lakatos´ models both focusing on quality and content of discussion, the quality of group argumentation model of Glassner, Eggert and Bögeholz ESD model, Bolt´s nine steps model, Baker´s thinking skills models). There are two aimsfor this study. Firstly, to introduce a computed based analysis method to code scientific argumentation in students´ collaborative group discussion and secondly, to present the results of their argumentative discussion while they plan and carry out (experimenting, making conclusions) a virtual study. The study revealed integrative content of biology and chemistry. The videotaped materialof the students´ collaborative spoken group argumentation in virtual study settings was transformed into computer supported analysis program to analyse the spoken text as episodes.The participants of this study were from three high schools in southwest Finland. All together 18 students age 16-18 were chosen for the study and most of them studied in their second year. The resultsofthe qualitative analysis of the argumentative nature of students’ discussion revealed that the two groups ranked as high-level had more argumentation-filled parts of discussion than the four other groups. In overall, the high-level groups introduced more moments where the students gave evidence to their claims, asked questions and interpreted their results. Average-level groups had pieces of all these categories of argumentation but in lesser numbers. Especially the highest levels of these categories were missing. Low-level groups had little if any demonstrations of these average-level categories and were most of the time in the off-task or non-argumentative zone. Of course, there were deviations from this rule especially during the second phase (experimenting part) and due to dynamics of the group itself. This is mostly explained by the different nature of the phases, since the second phase was about carrying out the experiment and not that much of planning and interpreting the materials provided by the virtual laboratory. The results are discussedwith respect to used computer supported analyses method and collaborative group argumentation and interdisciplinary integration.

?Key words: computer supported analyses method, group argumentation, high school student, interdisciplinary integration, virtual studies