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The Evaluation of Argument Mapping as a Learning Tool

Author: Hogan, Michael J.; Irish Research Council for Humanities & Social Sciences; Dwyer, Christopher Peter
Publisher: 2012-03-20T17:25:10Z 2012-03-20T17:25:10Z 2011-10-07
Dissertation: Thesis / Dissertation ETD
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : eBook
Summary:
Argument mapping (AM) is a method of visually diagramming arguments using a 'box and arrow' format with the aim of simplifying the reading of an argument structure and facilitating the assimilation of core statements and relations. The overall aim of the current programme of research was to evaluate the use of AM as a learning tool. Over the course of three studies, this research examined the effects of AM, in  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Thesis
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Hogan, Michael J.; Irish Research Council for Humanities & Social Sciences; Dwyer, Christopher Peter
OCLC Number: 812818648

Abstract:

Argument mapping (AM) is a method of visually diagramming arguments using a 'box and arrow' format with the aim of simplifying the reading of an argument structure and facilitating the assimilation of core statements and relations. The overall aim of the current programme of research was to evaluate the use of AM as a learning tool. Over the course of three studies, this research examined the effects of AM, in comparison with other traditional, educational methods, on immediate recall, delayed recall, comprehension and critical thinking (CT). Study 1 involved four experiments. The collective findings from these four experiments suggest that AM reading and construction can facilitate better immediate recall of propositions from arguments when compared with more traditional learning strategies, such as text-reading and text-summarisation. Study 1 experiments revealed that when compared with traditional text-based study materials, AM reading significantly enhanced the immediate recall of arguments, regardless of (1) the presence or absence of colour to demarcate reasons and objections in AMs, (2) the environmental setting in which AMs were studied and (3) the study topic used in the experiment. Results also revealed that those who actively learned through AM and hierarchical outline (HO) construction performed significantly better on immediate recall testing than those who actively learned through text summarisation. Study 2 compared the effects of a six-week AM-infused CT training course with those of a HO-infused CT training course and a no-CT training control condition. Study 2 findings revealed that participants in the AM training group performed significantly better on inductive reasoning than controls, as did the HO training group. When analysed together, the CT training attendees (i.e. both AM and HO groups combined) outperformed the control group on the CT skills of analysis, evaluation and inductive reasoning. Study 3 examined the effects of an AM-infused CT e

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