Title: External representations of argumentation

Authors: Jan M. van Bruggen, Paul A. Kirschner

Addresses: Open University of the Netherlands, P.O. Box 2960, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Open University of the Netherlands, P.O. Box 2960, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands

Abstract: In this paper, we consider how the emerging field of Computer Supported Collaborative Argumentation (CSCA) can build on the traditions of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, in particular environments that offer graphical representations of scientific inquiry, and design argumentation. Collaborative scientific inquiry and design argumentation share processes such as coordination, maintaining focus and coherence and negotiating knowledge. We discuss how characteristics of the external representations used, in particular their ontology and specificity, can influence, for good or bad, these processes. There is evidence in CSCL research that the representational notation (the definition of the objects and relations that can be used) guides the dialogues between learners. This is not necessary a guidance towards better performance. Other research in CSCL as well as design rationale indicates that a misfit between the notation and the task may have deleterious effects on task performance.

Keywords: external representations; graphical argumentation; design argumentation; Computer Supported Collaborative Learning; CSCL; Computer Supported Collaborative Argumentation; CSCA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2004.004580

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2004 Vol.14 No.1/2, pp.121 - 141

Published online: 13 May 2004 *

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