Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 8, Issue 1, Article 5 (June, 2007)
Teaching argumentation through the visual models in a resource-based learning environment

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Resource-based learning and the Internet

Resource-based learning has become important in this Information Age. Briefly, resource-based learning implicates examining a topic and locating the information to answer questions or to solve problems related to this topic (Rakes, 1996). Rakes (1996) mentioned information resources could embrace print and non-print media, ranging from books/articles to sound/video recordings, and to electronic databases or other computer-based resources. Nowadays the Internet is the prevalent medium of the information resources. The Internet provides the possibility of reinforcing instruction and learning in a resource-based learning environment. Some of the advantages of using Internet have been mentioned that it offers the opportunity to benefits engage students as active participants and helps some people participate more easily, learn more effectively, and enjoy their learning more. Besides the benefits to learners, the Internet can also provide both teachers and students with an ever-growing source of information (Hargis, 2001).

Moreover, resource-based learning can be illustrated as a learning model in which students learn from their own interaction with a wide range of information resources rather than from conventional class exposition (Brevik & Senn, 1994; Rakes, 1996). Regarding the resource-based learning model, it emphasizes on six points as below:

Rakes pointed out the idea that resource-based learning is strongly related to the Inquiry Training model of instruction, and students learn better when presented with a problem or question of genuine interest (Rakes, 1996). Therefore, in this study the resource-based learning model was embedded in the instructional design for teaching argumentation. Namely, a resource-based learning environment was provided for students to utilise and develop their argumentation about genetically modified food in this study.

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