Argumentation-based learning with digital concept mapping and college students’ epistemic beliefs

Dorit Alt, Yoav Kapshuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We designed an educational activity for undergraduate students and assessed how this newly-constructed activity promoted students’ argumentation skills, thereby fostering their epistemic beliefs. This argumentation-based learning activity involved digital concept mapping. A quasi-experimental design involved pretests and posttests that were administered to 52 research participants in a group and 61 participants in a control group. Students’ argumentation skills were qualitatively examined by analyzing the structure of their arguments before and after the activity. Their perceptions of the activity and epistemic belief types (from absolutism to evaluativism) were measured with the Epistemic Beliefs Scale and the Concept Mapping for Problem-Based Learning Scale. The designed activity evoked epistemic change toward evaluativism among the students who were enrolled in the activity, whereas nonsignificant results emerged for the control group. However, for both pretest and posttest, the highest score was for Absolutist, followed by Multiplist, and Evaluativist had the lowest mean. The technology-enabled concept-mapping tool supported the research group’s online argumentation design. This tool helped students mainly at the cognitive level to discern between the arguments and better learn the topic. These findings are interpreted in relation to student characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-706
Number of pages20
JournalLearning Environments Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Argumentation skills
  • Argumentation-based learning
  • Digital concept mapping
  • Epistemic beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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