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ERIC Number: EJ938379
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Exploring Lake Ecology in a Computer-Supported Learning Environment
Ergazaki, Marida; Zogza, Vassiliki
Journal of Biological Education, v42 n2 p90-94 2008
This study highlights the computer-mediated discursive activity of two dyads of first year educational sciences students, each collaboratively exploring several options for increasing the equilibrium size of a fish population in a lake. Our focus is on peers' attempts to come up with justified predictions about the adequacy of several options for maintaining a larger fish population, as well as on their attempts to refine or radically reconsider these theoretical predictions in the light of empirical data provided by software simulations. Thus, this paper is particularly concerned with the construction of arguments on the level of the "argumentative" (i.e. claims, justifications, challenges) and "epistemic operations" (i.e. recognising assumptions, appealing to limiting factors) and the contribution of the software simulations in this process. According to the analysis of peers' discourse, both dyads seem to be engaged in the construction of directly justified theoretical predictions by activating several epistemic tools, while only one seems to reach the target concept of carrying capacity. Significant differences may be identified in regard with the two dyads' interest as well as capability in using the simulations as a meaningful feedback upon their initial arguments. Implications of students' tendency to transfer the sterile culture of "doing school" into problem-based collaborative learning environments, as well as of their difficulties on both the conceptual level and the level of meaningfully integrating the software simulations in their argumentative reasoning, are discussed. (Contains 2 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece