science literacy

The effect of online collaboration on middle school student science misconceptions as an aspect of science literacy

Jillian L. Wendt, Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

This quantitative, quasi-experimental pretest/posttest control group design examined the effects of online collaborative learning on middle school students’ science literacy. For a 9-week period, students in the control group participated in collaborative face-to-face activities whereas students in the experimental group participated in online collaborative activities using the Edmodo educational platform. Students at a public middle school in central Virginia completed both a pretest and a posttest consisting of the Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers (MOSART) assessment to measure science misconceptions as an aspect of science literacy. Results indicated that the students who participated in collaborative activities in the traditional classroom had fewer science misconceptions than students who participated in collaborative activities in the online environment. Moreover, from pretest to posttest, the students in the experimental group increased in their science misconceptions. Suggestions for practice and future research are discussed in light of these results.


Measuring science or religion? A measurement analysis of the National Science Foundation sponsored science literacy scale 2006–2010

J Micah Roos

High scientific literacy is widely considered a public good. Methods of assessing public scientific knowledge or literacy are equally important. In an effort to measure lay scientific literacy in the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) science literacy scale has been a part of the last three waves of the General Social Survey. However, there has been debate over the validity of some survey items as indicators of science knowledge. While many researchers treat the NSF science scale as measuring a single dimension, previous work (Bann and Schwerin, 2004; Miller, 1998, 2004) suggests a bidimensional structure. This paper hypothesizes and tests a new measurement model for the NSF science knowledge scale and finds that two items about evolution and the big bang are more measures of a religious belief dimension termed “Young Earth Worldview” than they are measures of scientific knowledge. Results are replicated in seven samples.