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STLHE 2015 has ended
Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Wednesday, June 17 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
POSTER.15 - Teaching students argumentation visually with the dialectical map

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There is a growing interest in argumentation, its pedagogical significance, and the teaching of argumentation skills. Research has found correlations between students’ argumentation skills and their critical thinking process, which is central to higher education. However, evidence shows that students often lack good argumentation skills. This presentation introduces a newly developed argumentation visualization tool, the Dialectical Map (DM), which facilitates the teaching of argumentation skills. The DM is a hybrid of argument maps and argument vee diagrams . Students create DMs by identifying and composing claims, evidence, and warrants in a computer-supported environment. They then draw an integrated conclusion by evaluating arguments and counterarguments in a visually hierarchical structure. In a lab experiment and two implementations in university-level biology classes, preliminary findings show improvements in students’ argumentation skills over time. Students’ improved argumentation skills showed transfer, with matching improvements in writing styles, organization of information, and reasoning skills. Students responded very positively to the DM. One student said, “It challenged us to learn how to argue effectively.” Another said, “The DM challenged my ability to argue a topic. I thought I had skills [in argumentation] before, but I don't think I was actually very skilled.” The presentation includes the concept of argumentation and its role in teaching and learning. Diagrams are given on how to construct a DM. We then present findings from our case studies using the DM and conclude the presentation with a brief discussion.


Wednesday June 17, 2015 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Bayshore Foyer

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