A1 Journal article (refereed)
Collaborative argumentation through role-play by students on a degree programme in social services (2020)

Vapalahti, K., & Marttunen, M. (2020). Collaborative argumentation through role-play by students on a degree programme in social services. Social Work Education, 39(4), 552-566. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2019.1663164

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Vapalahti, Kati; Marttunen, Miika

Journal or series: Social Work Education

ISSN: 0261-5479

eISSN: 1470-1227

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 39

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 552-566

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2019.1663164

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67492


The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of collaborative argumentation by students enrolled in a degree program in social services. Students (n = 29) in a University of Applied Sciences participated in role-play discussions and problem solving on adolescents’ substance abuse. The discussions were conducted either online (15 students) or face-to-face (14 students). The data comprise the students’ asynchronous online and face-to-face discussions, which were analysed by identifying discussion fragments relevant in collaborative argumentation, and by comparing the results of the two groups. The results showed that the face-to-face discussions were more collaborative than the online discussions. Collaboration during the face-to-face interaction was particularly evident in the higher number of explanations and acceptances. The online discussions, in turn, exhibited a higher quality of argumentation than the face-to-face discussions. However, the level of students’ justifications in both discussion types was rather low. In conclusion, these results emphasise the importance of developing methods of learning collaborative argumentation in social work education for students’ multifaceted understanding of issues encountered in the field.

Keywords: social work; social workers; conversation; argumentation; pedagogy of higher education

Free keywords: collaborative argumentation; ill-structured problems; role-play; social work education; statistical analysis

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 21:35