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December 2021

Theory presentation and assessment in a problem-based learning group

Author(s): Koschmann, T., Conlee, M.

Journal/Book: Discourse Process. 1999; 27: 100 Prospect St, PO Box 811, Stamford, CT 06904-0811, USA. Ablex Publ Corp. 119-133.

Abstract: In this study, we apply the procedures and assumptions of ethnomethodological conversation analysis to analyze a segment of interaction in a problem-based learning (PBL) meeting. In the segment, one member of the group presents a theory pertaining to the case under study. Before it is accepted or rejected, the same speaker presents a second theory to which other group members react with objections and disaffiliative laughter. The presenter consequently rejects the second theory and uses this rejection as a basis for returning to and implicitly accepting the first. Theory presentation and assessment are an integral part of the PBL group process of moving discursively from case history and symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. We observe that the presentation of a theory makes relevant a variety of sequential activities through which participants in instructional activities of this sort come to accept or discard the theory. Implications for teaching and tutorial practice are presented.

Note: Article Glenn PJ, So Illinois Univ, Dept Speech Commun, Carbondale,IL 62901 USA

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