ERIC Number: EJ830804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Challenge or Connect? Dialogue in Online Learning Environments
Paulus, Trena M.
Journal of Computing in Higher Education, v18 n1 p3-29 Sep 2006
There is increasing interest in creating frameworks for online discussions to improve learning outcomes in higher education environments. Many of these frameworks rely on and promote argumentation-based "challenge" models as the primary mode of discourse. This study tested one existing framework, created by Gunawardena, Lowe, and Anderson (1997), with four small groups in an online higher education environment. Asynchronous discussion transcripts of the four groups as they completed goal-oriented tasks were analyzed for both what the groups talked about and how they created new knowledge together. Using computer-mediated discourse analysis techniques, the Gunawardena et al. (1997) categories were operationalized into functional moves to capture the knowledge construction process. Findings show that rather than a challenge model of argumentation discourse, participants engaged in a relationship-oriented discourse of connection. Educators should be aware of both models of discourse, challenge and connect, because emphasizing only argumentation before trust has been developed among members of the group could result in unproductive conflict.
Descriptors: Computer Mediated Communication, Persuasive Discourse, Online Courses, Discourse Analysis, Educational Technology, Cooperative Learning, Educational Environment, Outcomes of Education, Models, Asynchronous Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A