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ERIC Number: ED569397
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 172
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-0780-7
Using Learning Modules for Instructor Neutrality in Ethical Quagmires: A Cross-Curricular Study in Academic Debate
Walsh, Robert Lester
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Dakota State University
The purpose of this disquisition is to add to the body of educational research through practitioner, quantitative, and qualitative inquiry on the topic of academic debate. In a three-tiered study, the author conducted research for this dissertation with the intent to examine argumentation and debate in higher education. The settings for this research were a comprehensive regional university and a research-intensive university. Debate was implemented to introduce topics of controversy with the intent to spur discourse on such topics. The author examined the use of academic debate in undergraduate and graduate education. The results are reported in three articles. The first of the three articles illuminates, through practitioner research, the processes employed in quantitative and the qualitative research. This study investigates the use of learning modules for instructor neutrality in ethic quagmires, that is, topics of controversy in higher education. Article 2 was a quantitative investigation of the impact of debate in undergraduate education. Over 6 semesters, participants (n = 349) took part in a quasi-experimental study. The author designed and incorporated four learning modules to instruct students on the basic tenets of debate. Students were tasked to complete the modules outside of face-to-face class time. Students then participated in an in-class debate. Data were collected through a survey instrument designed for the study. Participants' open-ended responses were also examined. The third study, a qualitative study, investigated the lived experience of doctoral students in an in-class debate. The debate in the qualitative study was a cooperative learning activity as part of an Education Doctoral Program course titled Foundations of Education Research at North Dakota State University. The author investigated whether academic debate may have had a catalyzing influence on the debaters at the doctoral level. The author conducted semi-structured interviews of 7 of 12 classmates and the professor. The author used descriptive phenomenological analysis in the investigation of the interviews to examine the lived experience of doctoral students in a debate setting, following the use of learning modules for debate instruction. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Dakota