Portraits of Middle School Students Constructing Evidence-based Arguments during Problem-Based Learning: The Impact of Computer-Based Scaffolds
Educational Technology Research and Development
A critical step in problem-based learning (PBL) units occurs when groups present their solution to the central problem. This is challenging for middle school students because it involves the creation of an evidence-based argument (Krajcik et al., Journal of the Learning Sciences 7:313–350, 1998). Using a mixed method design, this study investigated (a) the impact of computer-based argumentation scaffolds on middle school students’ argumentation ability, and (b) what middle school students used for support and why during a PBL unit. Data sources included persuasive presentation rating scores, argument evaluation ability test, videotaped class sessions, and prompted interviews. Results included a significant impact on average-achieving students’ argument evaluation ability, and use of the scaffolds by the small groups to plan their research and keep organized.
Belland, B. R. (In press). Portraits of middle school students constructing evidence-based arguments during problem-based learning: the impact of computer-based scaffolds. Educational Technology Research and Development. DOI: 10.1007/s11423-009-9139-4.