Facilitating classroom argumentation with computer technology

Christa S.C. Asterhan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the last two decades or so, argumentation has become a prominent topic of educational reform and psychological and educational research. It has been recognized as an important competence to be developed and practiced in classrooms, to lie at the basis of thinking and reasoning within and across different disciplines, and to foster thinking skills and complex learning processes. Unfortunately, however, when compared to normative criteria and models of good argumentation, most people demonstrate only rudimentary argumentation competencies. The question then is how educational activities and experiences can be designed to foster these competencies effectively? In this contribution, I will review developments from a number of research strands that have addressed this question, with a specific focus on the use of computer-technology to foster dialogic argumentation for educational purposes. Based on theoretical distinctions and recent empirical findings, the affordances and limitations of computer technology for dialogic argumentation are reviewed. Finally, I will outline some of the unresolved issues and new challenges in this relatively new field of research.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationPedagogy
Subtitle of host publicationNew Developments in the Learning Sciences
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781621008460
StatePublished - 2012


  • Argumentation
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Design features


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