This study proposed a computerized inquiry-stage-dependent argumentation assistance and investigated whether this can help improve elementary students' performance in science processes and the construction of quality arguments. Various argumentation assistances were developed and incorporated into each stage of scientific inquiry in a computer-supported scientific inquiry system. A nonequivalent quasi-experimental design was adopted to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach. Two intact sixth grade classes (N = 55) participated in this study, and each student used a tablet computer to accomplish the designated inquiry activities. One class of students was arranged to use the stage-dependent argumentation assistance, and the other used a generic text-based interface. The findings indicate that students who used the stage-dependent argumentation assistance could acquire significantly better science process and argument construction skills than those using the generic text-based interface.
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