The Effects of i-Claim, an Instructional Technology Tutorial, on First-Year College English Composition Students' Argumentation Skills: An Exploratory Study




Beach, David R.

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This dissertation describes the effectiveness of the use of i-Claim, an instructional technology tutorial for argumentation skill development. Because persuasion is a critical skill in college writing, argumentation is introduced in the first-year English composition course, and students practice writing arguments in that course and beyond. With an increased use of instructional technology in higher education, can instructional technology tutorials help students develop stronger and more effective argumentation skills in their writing? This study explores that question by investigating the relevance of developing argumentation skills, theoretical models of argumentation in modern composition pedagogy, empirical studies on argumentation skills, and technology-supported interventions to develop argumentation skills and student confidence in learning. This study examines the use of i-Claim in six first-year English composition courses and its effect on students‘ argumentation skill development. The findings were inconclusive as to its effectiveness because of the small sample size and limited exposure to the intervention. However, the study concludes by exploring how instructional technology interventions can best be used in instruction of argumentation skills and how to encourage students to use technological tools to support their learning.



Argumentation, English composition, Instructional technology, Technology tutorials, Student confidence, Higher education