Enhancing scientific literacy using E-learning tools

Narelle Hunter

Abstract


Improving the communication skills of science graduates is an area of focus identified by employers in Australia. With a variety of scientific writing genres used in communicating science across different disciplines, it can be challenging to ensure that students develop the necessary communication skills alongside scientific content. Learning to write scientifically can be difficult with a variety of scientific genres to learn, each with its own unique structure and semantics. With 21st Century students immersed in a technological world, the ability to incorporate interactive e-learning tools that focus on scientific writing is now achievable.

Interactive e-learning tools were developed to teach undergraduate science students how to write within a variety of scientific genres. Providing opportunity for students to use a combination of explicit and interactive teaching methods, students are guided in writing development and practice in a low-risk setting. The e-learning tool allows large cohorts of students to develop and apply their technical skills based on real-world examples, incorporating interactive tasks to facilitate engagement and provide additional instruction where needed. The project is currently in the first year of delivery and preliminary results indicate student gains in writing structure, appropriate use of scientific language and increased confidence in writing ability.

Keywords


science communication; e-learning

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