The Hypermedia Conversation: Reflecting Upon, Building And Communicating Ill-Defined Arguments
AbstractThis paper shows how reasoning upon questions and hypotheses built collaborativelycan lead to knowledge-building and conceptual change in hypermedia conferencing systems. It is aqualitative study of the conditional reasoning process carried on in a biology mixed-modeundergraduate course on mammals delivered in the fall semester of 1998. The professor appliedSocratic maieutic by posing online questions to the students, and then reasoning upon the answersand raising new questions in face-to-face encounters. We applied the meaning implication analysisto study the role of production systems in the conditional reasoning activity, taken in their logical(procedural) and referential (declarative) dimensions altogether. Results show qualitativecircumscribed evidence of high order reasoning and conceptual change, and indication that highorder learning had been achieved through collaborative knowledge building. The study discussesimplications for course and conferencing systems design, and gives directions for new forms ofrepresentation in asynchronous conferencing systems.