Argumentative Discussions in Finnish Higher Education: Comparing E-mail and Face-to-Face Studies
Computers and Learning 2001 (CAL 2001) Conference,
A teaching experiment in Finland was designed to clarify ways to teach argumentation in Finnish higher education and how to motivate students to participate in critical content-area discussions. Finnish students traditionally hesitate to criticize each other's opinions or those of the teacher. The experimental teaching method gave them the opportunity to practice their skills at argument through e-mail and face-to-face discussions. Participants were 46 students of education in the later stages of their academic studies. Discussions in the face-to-face groups were directed by teachers. The discussions in the e-mail groups were textual and were not real-time in nature. Free debate and role play were used in organizing both types of discussions. Comparing the two approaches showed that the e-mail discussions included more grounded disagreements, more elaborative agreements, and more elaborative neutrality than the face-to-face discussions. These findings illustrate the usefulness of e-mail when practicing sophisticated argumentation and discussion. (Contains 31 references.) (SLD)
Marttunen, M. & Laurinen, L. (2001). Argumentative Discussions in Finnish Higher Education: Comparing E-mail and Face-to-Face Studies. Presented at Computers and Learning 2001 (CAL 2001) Conference 2001.