Enhancing medical students’ argumentation during hypothetico-deductive reasoning (HDR) in problem-based learning (PBL)
Ju, Hyun Jung
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Hypothetico-deductive reasoning (HDR) can be an essential learning activity as well as a learning outcome in problem-based learning (PBL). It is important for medical students to engage in argumentation so that they can provide scientific, causal explanations for a patient’s problem and improve the quality of their scientific inquiry for problem solving about a patient’s condition during PBL, which can foster their HDR abilities. However, there are very few studies focusing on the importance of medical students’ argumentation in the process of HDR or instructional strategies to support the students’ argumentation in PBL. This dissertation focuses on enhancing medical students’ argumentation during HDR processes in PBL. This dissertation consists of three journal-style manuscripts. The first manuscript (Chapter 2) describes a conceptual framework, the structure of argumentation including three essential components of an argument (a claim, data, and a warrant), in relation to each phase of HDR. The second manuscript (Chapter 3) presents a study that analyzes and assesses Korean medical students’ argumentation during HDR processes in PBL. Arguments constructed by two small groups of seven to eight first-year preclinical students during PBL sessions were analyzed using the conceptual framework presented in Chapter 2. The results indicated the students predominantly generated arguments, including only claims without any proper justifications (data or warrants), during HDR processes. Based on the findings, the need for instructional strategies for enhancing the quality of medical students’ argumentation during HDR processes in PBL was suggested. The third manuscript (Chapter 4) presents a study that examines the effects of instruction on the structure of argumentation and question prompts (ISA-QP) on medical students’ argumentation during HDR processes in PBL. The findings of the study indicated that providing the instruction on the structure of argumentation and question prompts (ISA-QP) improved the quality of students’ argumentation and contributed to the quality of experiences with PBL for students and tutors. The dissertation concludes with future research directions in Chapter 5.