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Article of Volume 10, Issue 4, December 2015

Investigating the effects of feedback on argumentation style, consensus and perceived efficacy in collaborative learning

Authors: Owen M. Harney, Michael J. Hogan, Benjamin Broome, Tony Hall, Cormac Ryan

Abstract: This paper is an exploration of the relevance of Habermas’s social theory for understanding meaning making in the context of shared online interaction. It describes some of the key ideas within Habermas’s work, noting the central importance it gives to the idea of communicative action - a special kind of discourse in which there is ‘no other force than that of the better argument’ and no other motive other than ‘the cooperative search for truth’. The paper then turns to the referencing of Habermas by educationalists in general and by supporters of online discussion in particular. It argues that a Habermasian perspective on meaning making is one in which participants strive for ‘genuine consensus’ by interrogating their own beliefs while actively engaging with opposing points of view. The value of this approach is that it introduces a concern for validity or truth into discussion of knowledge building and discriminates between emancipatory and strategic goals. While critics would argue that genuine consensus is not achievable, from Habermas we can better understand the importance of striving for such consensus.

Keywords: Computer supported collaborative learning, Prompts, Facilitation, Consensus, Argumentation

Citation: Harney, O. M., Hogan, M.J., Broome, B., Hall, T., & Ryan, C. (2015) Investigating the effects of feedback on argumentation style, consensus and perceived efficacy in collaborative learning. ijcscl 10 (4), pp. 367-394

DOI: 10.1007/s11412-015-9223-1

Preprint: Acrobat-PDF harney_hogan_broome_hall_ryan_10_4.pdf

About this article at springerlink.com [http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11412-015-9223-1] including a link to the official electronic version.