Abstract This paper will present a review of design-based research conducted over the past 10 years that has modeled and promoted students' reasoning, conceptual change and argumentative dialogue processes and practices through designing a number of digital dialogue games. This line of work was inspired by some challenges and insights that emerged during projects dealing with conceptual change in science. Since then, the dialogical and pedagogical requirements for improved reasoning, knowledge development and conceptual understanding in a range of contexts have been addressed through projects that have designed and evaluated intelligent and highly interactive dialogue game tools, such as CoLLeGE (Computer-based Laboratory for Language Games in Education), AcademicTalk and InterLoc (Collaborative Interaction through scaffolding Locutions). This article will review this line of work through justifying and describing the rationale for its trajectory before presenting ongoing work that synthesizes and operationalizes its findings and insights. The ongoing work emphasizes an inclusive and personalized approach to learning dialogue that stimulates reasoning, collaborative thinking and the development of argumentative dialogue practices. This is arguably relevant to most learning contexts, and especially to contemporary science education. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the role of dialogue in learning in the digital age.