Time to wiki : a tool to build students' science vocabulary
Halsey, Shawna Dee
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Vocabulary forms the foundation for understanding scientific content and concepts. For students to be successful in science, they need to develop a working knowledge of the terminology. This requires the student to make the shift from simply reciting a word's definition or picking the definition from a group of phrases to using the terminology to express ideas and explain reasoning both verbally and in writing. In this study, a group of students collaboratively developed a website that was used as an instructional tool. This "wiki" allowed students to build their understanding of the science vocabulary and to develop their understanding of the science concepts as they created an online glossary and discussed content related questions online. The quantitative data did not clearly indicate that a wiki, as it was used in this study, was a consistently effective tool for increasing student understanding of science vocabulary and content. However, qualitative evidence indicated that using the current technologies available as part of science instruction engaged students and increased their interest level and enthusiasm for science.