Discourse, especially dialogic communication between students in collaborative problem-solving groups, plays a central role in educational reforms informed by learning science. This study examined the quality of discourse in problem-based learning groups in a university course. The study found a low incidence of high quality dialogue (dialogic communication, elaboration and co-construction of ideas, productive disciplinary discourse) in 12 one-hour planning meetings. The most competent students took leadership in groups and made the majority of the conceptual contributions. Although there was a reasonable amount of time spent connecting theories to cases, there was little time spent in high-level analysis and very few instances of true dialogic discourse. The majority of time was devoted to activities involving organizing, planning and logistics and organizing the presentation. There was very little off-task behavior. Key Words: Classroom Discourse, undergraduate education, learning science.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ref_ijsotl2007010104.pdf (80 kB)
Supplemental Reference List with DOIs