Bybee noted that although the integrated sequence of instructional activities in the 5E model may support adaptability, he did not find evidence of development of this skill in the research on the 5E model.
Clark reviewed four online learning environments, each of which engages students in developing, warranting, and communicating a persuasive argument and in critiquing arguments developed by others. He proposed that these learning activities may support development of adaptability in three ways. First, the environments may help students adapt their everyday communication skills to align more closely with the skills used in scientific argumentation. Research on implementation of all four environments yields evidence that students improved either in scientific argumentation (Clark, 2004; Clark and Sampson, 2005; Clark et al., 2008; Cuthbert, Clark, and Linn, 2002) or in similar forms of argumentation (Janssen, Erkens, and Kansellar, 2007; Janssen et al., 2007; Marttunen and Laurinen, 2006; Salminen, Marttunen, and Laurinen, 2007; Stegmann et al., 2007; Stegmann, Weinberger, and Fischer, 2007).
Second, Clark proposed that adaptability develops as an offshoot of gains in argumentation, as students learn how to adapt to changing information or changing contexts. Research on some of the environments provides evidence of such development. For example, studies of the Dialogical Reasoning Educational Web Tool (DREW) indicate that it helps students learn how to identify and evaluate the arguments for and against a particular position when investigating an unfamiliar topic (Marttunen and Laurinen, 2006; Salminen, Marttunen, and Laurinen, 2007). Research on the Computer-supported Argumentation Supported by Scripts-experimental Implementation System (CASSIS) indicates that it is effective in improving students’ ability to generate persuasive and convincing arguments and counterarguments (Stegmann et al., 2007; Stegmann, Weinberger, and Fischer, 2007).
Third, he suggested that these online environments develop adaptability by distributing and redistributing roles and activities to individual group members, so that they must take on new perspectives that may differ from their personal views and respond accordingly. For example, CASSIS uses scripts that guide learners to take on and rotate the roles of case analyst and constructive critic. Research indicates that the use of the scripts increased students’ ability to elaborate arguments and counterarguments and share their knowledge and perspectives in the discussions (Weinberger, 2008; Weinberger et al., 2005).