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Examining the role of computer-supported knowledge-building discourse in epistemic and conceptual understanding ARTICLE

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Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Volume 34, Number 5, ISSN 1365-2729 Publisher: Wiley

Abstract

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.

Citation

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. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from .