Examining the role of computer-supported knowledge-building discourse in epistemic and conceptual understanding
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Volume 34, Number 5, ISSN 1365-2729 Publisher: Wiley
This study characterized students' online collaborative discourse from a theory-building perspective and examined its relation to epistemic and conceptual understanding. Fifty-two fifth graders' Knowledge Forum discussions on electricity were analysed. Discourse moves were coded within the inquiry threads, and two key epistemic patterns were identified: problem-centred uptake and theory-building moves. Analysis showed that higher-quality discourse threads included more problem-centred uptake moves in which ideas were built more coherently on each other to address the central problem. There were also more theory-building moves on explanation and sustain inquiry. We also examined the relationship between discourse moves and conceptual-epistemic understanding. Regression analyses showed that problem-centred uptake predicted epistemic cognition beyond prior epistemic cognition and that theory-building moves on explanation predicted students' conceptual understanding beyond their prior science understanding. Implications for fostering more productive discourse and sophisticated epistemic cognitions using online discussion are discussed.
Lin, F. & Chan, C.K.K. (2018). Examining the role of computer-supported knowledge-building discourse in epistemic and conceptual understanding. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34(5), 567-579. Wiley.