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The Influence of the Discussion Leader Procedure on the Quality of Arguments in Online Discussions

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Journal of Educational Computing Research Volume 37, Number 1, ISSN 0735-6331


Many consider rich argumentation to be the core of quality discussions and view it as a vehicle to solving problems and clarifying content. This study examined the influence of a discussion leader intervention on the quality of online argumentation and interactivity. Subjects were 44 undergraduate students who participated in online discussions on a technology issue over two weeks. Participants who received pre-determined instructions from the leader prior to the issue discussion were more likely to produce enriched argumentation and increased interaction than the control participants who did not receive specific instructions prior to the issue discussion. Results indicated that students participating in groups receiving specific argumentation instructions from the leader produced better online argumentation for the second week and exhibited increased interactivity patterns for both weeks. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)


Spatariu, A., Hartley, K., Schraw, G., Bendixen, L.D. & Quinn, L.F. (2007). The Influence of the Discussion Leader Procedure on the Quality of Arguments in Online Discussions. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 37(1), 83-103. Retrieved April 22, 2021 from .

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