Mellan "jag" och andra. Nätbaserade studentdialoger med argumentering och responsgivning för lärande

Sammanfattning: The thesis is about how students can learn to use argumentation and the processes of giving responses in a web-based setting, as a tool for individual and collective learning. The thesis comprises three studies, which examine and describe how 70 distance students develop an individual and collective competence to provide feedback, critically evaluate and argue in the context of a web-based learning environment. The aim is to investigate the quality of students’ web-based written asynchronous dialogues (N=2 430), and how students can be encouraged to use and evaluate their own and others' web-based arguments and responses, both directly and retrospectively. Additionally, the aim is to develop analytical dialogic models, that can be used to distinguish, identify and describe the meaning content and voices of the students’ arguments and responses that emerge in social and dialogic interactions in collective asynchronous dialogues, in a university web-based learning environment. Besides a general socio-cultural understanding of learning and development aims, the present study is based on Bakhtin´s theoretical framework of dialogues, as well Rommetveit’s concepts of meaning potentials and Toulmin’s argument pattern. The CSCL perspective (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning) is here related to the theoretical approach in both socio-cultural theory, and Bakhtin´s theoretical framework. The element that distinguishes this perspective, as a whole, from other approaches to learning is an emphasis that is not possible to understand learning solely from individual actions or development. Learning always arises as a product of dialogue processes, aiming to create meaning. The results from the three studies appears that the students to various extents gradually develop an ability to make use of the meaning content and voices as an active tool for new understanding or gaining new perspectives, individually and collectively. It also clarifies that meaning; dialogue and interaction belong together. Together, these dimensions form the participatory impacts in online education. What particularly emerges is the importance of collaborative learning, when the focus moves from the individual to the collective, but also into the space within and between the written, asynchronous dialogues. The text with different voices breaks in the meeting within and between the dialogues with different meaning content, or in what we could term the passage through the speech zone. In this zone exists material and a sphere of influence dominated by the students’ own and others' words, reflections or characters. Different dialogic argument patterns develops. There is a paradigm shift “between I and other” when students are co-actors in joint continuous, open dialogues with own and others' voices.