Author: Rosborough, David
Socioscientific Issues (SSI) education attempts to engage students in informal argumentation on controversial socioscientific issues. In this thesis, a computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) tool to support and scaffold student argumentation, called ArgueMint, is designed and implemented. A design research study was undertaken to examine how the software was used by pairs of students in a face-to-face setting, and to improve it's usefulness and usability. Written output and transcripts were analysed for evidence of good argumentation, aspects of socioscientific inquiry and collaboration, and usability. The students in the study tended to consider multiple perspectives and support claims made in their argument, while they did not tend to consistently identify weaknesses in their arguments. Proposed directions for further development of ArgueMint, as well as questions for further research, are identified.
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Thesis advisor: Zandvliet, David
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