Supporting students’ scientific argumentation in technology-enhanced learning environments : distribution of scaffolds

Üstünel, Hale Havva
Over the twenty years, researchers and practitioners have developed technology tools and designed technology-enhanced learning environments to support and teach argumentation. Relevantly, Kim et al. (2007) presented a pedagogical framework to provide a valid technology-enhanced learning environment. The purpose of this design-based study was to investigate micro context dimension of this framework and to analyze the interactions between student-tool, teacher-student, and teacher-tool. In this respect, in order to understand how they balance the roles in a technology-enhanced learning environment, the effect of various scaffolds on forty-one middle school students’ argumentation in a technology-enhanced learning environment and the distribution of scaffolds between teacher and the technology tool were analyzed. The results of the study showed that students benefited from the use of hints, sentence starters, and question prompts. Moreover, teacher support was important and led students to develop their ability in constructing arguments with claim, ground, backing, warrants and in some cases more sophisticated ones using rebuttals as in Toulmin’s framework. The study presents guidelines and strategies for designing scaffolds in technology-enhanced learning environment to facilitate students’ learning and argumentation.