There is increasing scholarly agreement about the key features of academically productive classroom dialogue. Yet, despite this emerging conceptual consensus, the ways in which it is measured and coded in quantitative research efforts vary significantly. In order to communicate, compare and integrate findings from this rich body of empirical research and to further theory refinement, a more unified approach to measuring classroom dialogue is needed. We selected seven well-known coding frameworks and identified a set of nine particle-like dialogue elements (DEs), that lie at the basis of different coding categories, appear frequently in classroom dialogue, and can be reliably coded at the conversational turn level. We then demonstrate how a much larger set of “compound” dialogue constructs can be recreated post-coding, by flagging co-occurrences of different DEs and accounting for the majority of coding categories in each of the seven frameworks. This Dialogue Elements to Compound Constructs Approach (DECCA) then enables interrater reliability, while simultaneously maintaining the flexibility and comprehensiveness needed to enable quantitative research on a large variety of research questions with a single methodological approach. The implications for future research and theory are discussed.
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- Academically productive dialogue
- Coding classroom dialogue
- Inter-rater reliability
- Quantitative research