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The use of micro-scripts that support students develop argumentation skills has been proved to be effective in the domain of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Researchers suggest that micro-scripts should also withdraw (fade out) allowing students to practice their skills; however, studies that explore the impact of fading are scarce in the current literature. In order to explore the influence of fading on argumentation-based learning outcomes, we implemented two experimental research studies, using iArgue, a web-based argumentation tool. In our studies we implemented fading and also peer-monitoring as an additional technique to enhance domain-specific learning outcomes. The results from both studies revealed the value of this latter technique as students implementing peer-monitoring outperformed those in the control and the fading groups in knowledge acquisition. Overall, this paper provides evidence that by implementing the peer-monitoring technique during online collaborative argumentation activities, instructors can substantially improve learning outcomes, while simply fading out the micro-script does not seem to have any beneficial impact.
Date of Conference: 4-6 July 2012