In this paper, we raise a methodological issue concerning the empirical analysis of tutoring dialogues: The frequencies of tutoring moves do not necessarily reveal their causal efficacy. We propose to develop coding schemes that are better informed by theories of learning; stop equating higher frequencies of tutoring moves with effectiveness; and replace ANOVAs and chi-squares with multiple regression. As motivation for our proposal, we will present an initial analysis of tutoring dialogues, in the domain of introductory Computer Science.
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