Argumentative communication in cooperative learning groups: Members’ use of evidence and non-evidence*

Leah E. LeFebvre, Gamze Yilmaz, Luke LeFebvre, Mike Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined how group members with differential levels (highest, middle, and lowest) of ability contributed to argumentative communication while facilitating a cooperative learning process in a small group communication course. Results demonstrated that during discussions: (1) highest ability members utilized more evidence than middle or lowest ability members, (2) lowest ability members generated more non-evidence than evidence, and (3) middle ability members appeared to be less active in articulating evidence. These findings provide evidence that instructors should focus on teaching students how to communicate evidence, identify facilitative versus inhibitive arguments, and respectfully acknowledge and evaluate contributions for effective group learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-86
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Teacher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the late Dr. Renee A. Meyers, Professor of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, for her insightful mentorship in the development and progression of this manuscript as well as her scholarship to further small group communication in cooperative learning groups.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 National Communication Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Communication


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