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The Effects of Successful versus Failure-Based Cases on Argumentation while Solving Decision-Making Problems


Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 61, Number 3, ISSN 1042-1629


Solving complex, ill-structured problems may be effectively supported by case-based reasoning through case libraries that provide just-in-time domain-specific principles in the form of stories. The cases not only articulate previous experiences of practitioners, but also serve as problem-solving narratives from which learners can acquire meaning. The current study investigated the effects of different case-types (success, failures) on analogical transfer to similar problems. In the first week, undergraduate sales management students (N = 36) were assigned to different case library treatments (success, failure) and asked to construct a multifaceted argument (initial argument, counterargument, rebuttal) to resolve an ill-structured, decision-making hiring problem. In the following week, students constructed an argument to solve a novel case without the support of the case library. Data analysis revealed the failure-based case library condition produced significantly higher scores on measurements of counterarguments and holistic argumentation scores on both tasks. A discussion of the implications for pedagogy and instructional design are also presented.


Tawfik, A. & Jonassen, D. (2013). The Effects of Successful versus Failure-Based Cases on Argumentation while Solving Decision-Making Problems. Educational Technology Research and Development, 61(3), 385-406. Retrieved January 19, 2020 from .

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