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ERIC Number: EJ1155404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Research and Teaching: Writing to Learn in the Natural Sciences--Does Source Material Matter?
Christensen, Heather Rebecca; Rasmussen, Andrew
Journal of College Science Teaching, v47 n1 p57-65 Sep 2017
For over 4 decades, educational researchers have been studying best practices for introducing writing into the curriculum. One successful strategy, a low-stakes writing exercise called "writing to learn" (WTL), has been implemented across several disciplines within higher education. In light of a growing interest in the use of technology and social media as an influential tool in the educational environment, we ask this question: "Does the source material used to prepare for WTL activities impact student learning and knowledge retention?" To address this question, we studied student performance on WTL exercises (in microbiology and introductory biology) that were based on material presented via (a) media (news videos, Podcasts, or YouTube) or (b) written articles and transcripts. Although our analysis did not indicate a significant effect of media use on students' ability to understand and retain new information, we discuss the implications of our findings and the limitations underscored by the very intent of WTL activities in doing such pedagogical work. This study offers insight into the implementation of WTL activities, particularly in the natural sciences, and demonstrates the value of such practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A