BiographyI am a professor of educational psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where I serve as co-director of the Learning & Technology program.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
I conduct research on critical thinking, specifically the use of argumentation in education (in science and social studies). I am specifically concerned with teaching students to ask critical questions to assess argument strength, based on Walton's argumentation framework and models of probability or plausibility. I also led the development of an educational game, known as Losing the Lake, which explores the impact of climate change on the declining water levels in Lake Mead.
I also work on statistical issues relevant to computer-supported collaborative learning. This includes choosing appropriate categorical or nonparametric tests for count data related to argumentation (or ordinal rubrics on argument quality), and controlling for statistical dependencies among members in small discussion groups.
I serve on a number of journal editorial boards, including the Educational Psychologist, the Journal of Educational Psychology, and Contemporary Educational Psychology. I have also published in the Journal of the Learning Sciences, the Elementary Schools Journal, the Internal Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and the International Journal of Science Education.
I enjoy hiking, music (jazz, classical, rock), and reading novels.
Published: Mar 15, 2014 by Learning and Instruction, 35, 51-61
Authors: Shehab, H. M., & Nussbaum, E. M.
This study compared the cognitive load of two argument strategies: (a) constructing design claims, and (b) weighing refutations. Participants who generated complex weighing refutations reported more mental effort than those constructing complex design claims (and the control group).
Published: Mar 21, 2011 by Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20, 433-488.
Authors: Nussbaum, E. M., & Edwards, O. V.
Subjects: Education, Psychological Science
Explores Walton’s concept of critical questions and integrative and refutational argument stratagems as an approach for teaching argumentation and critical thinking. Thirty 7th-grade students discussed and wrote about current events for 6 months. Over time the treatment group made more arguments that integrated both sides of each issue and applied critical questions related to weighing value and designing practical solutions.
Published: Mar 21, 2011 by Educational Psychologist, 46, 84-106
Authors: Nussbaum, E. M.
Subjects: Education, Psychological Science, Philosophy
Since Toulmin's argumentation model was developed in 1958, argumentation theory has advanced considerably. There are currently several alternative frameworks that can be useful for education, including Walton's dialogue theory and Bayesian models of everyday arguments. This article evaluates these frameworks and shows how each can be used to evaluate argument quality and applied instructionally.
Published: Jul 01, 2007 by International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 2, 479 – 500
Authors: Nussbaum, E. M., Winsor, D. L., Aqui, Y. M., & Poliquin, A. M.
Subjects: Education, Language Learning, Psychological Science, Communication Studies
We examined the effect of online Argumentation Vee Diagrams (AVDs) on students’ arguments during online discussions. With AVDs, students develop arguments on both sides of a controversial issue and then develop an overall integrated, final conclusion. In this study, students used AVDs both before and after each discussion. Compared to a control group, the experimental intervention significantly enhanced argument integration and fostered opinion change.