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Using exchange structure analysis to explore argument in text-based computer conferences

North, Sarah; Coffin, Caroline and Hewings, Ann (2008). Using exchange structure analysis to explore argument in text-based computer conferences. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 31(3) 257 -276.

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Computer conferencing provides a new site for students to develop and rehearse argumentation skills, but much remains to be learnt about how to encourage and support students in this environment. Asynchronous text-based discussion differs in significant ways from face-to-face discussion, creating a need for specially designed schemes for analysis. This paper discusses some of the problems of analysing asynchronous argumentation, and puts forward an analytical framework based on exchange structure analysis, which brings a linguistic perspective to bear on the interaction. Key features of the framework are attention to both interactive and ideational aspects of the discussion,
and the ability to track the dynamic construction of argument content. The paper outlines the framework itself, and discusses some of the findings afforded by this type of analysis, and its limitations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2008 Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1743-7288
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Not SetNot SetHEA
Keywords: computer conferencing; argumentation; exchange structure analysis; systemic functional linguistics
Academic Unit/Department: Education and Language Studies > Centre for Language and Communication
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 12531
Depositing User: Caroline Coffin
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2008 02:36
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2013 23:01
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