Collaborative online projects for English language learners in science
- 458 Downloads
This paper summarizes how collaborative online projects (COPs) are used to facilitate science content-area learning for English Learners of Hispanic origin. This is a Mexico-USA partnership project funded by the National Science Foundation. A COP is a 10-week thematic science unit, completely online, and bilingual (Spanish and English) designed to provide collaborative learning experiences with culturally and linguistically relevant science instruction in an interactive and multimodal learning environment. Units are integrated with explicit instructional lessons that include: (a) hands-on and laboratory activities, (b) interactive materials and interactive games with immediate feedback, (c) animated video tutorials, (d) discussion forums where students exchange scientific learning across classrooms in the USA and in Mexico, and (e) summative and formative assessments. Thematic units have been aligned to U.S. National Science Education Standards and are under current revisions for alignment to the Common Core State Standards. Training materials for the teachers have been integrated into the project website to facilitate self-paced and independent learning. Preliminary findings of our pre-experimental study with a sample of 53 students (81 % ELs), distributed across three different groups, resulted in a 21 % statistically significant points increase from pretest to posttest assessments of science content learning, t(52) = 11.07, p = .000.
KeywordsEnglish learners Bilingual education Science learning Collaborative learning Technology
- Baddeley, A. D. (1986). Working memory. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.bscs.org/about.
- Bodley, J. H. (1997). Cultural anthropology: Tribes, states, and the global system. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Cummins, J. (1981). Bilingualism and minority-language children. Toronto, Canada: OISE Press.Google Scholar
- Garcia, E. E. (1988). Effective schooling for language minority students (New Focus No. 1). Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education.Google Scholar
- Hampton, E., & Rodriguez, R. (2001). Inquiry science in bilingual classrooms. Bilingual Research Journal, 25(4), 461–478.Google Scholar
- Hutchison, C. B. (2005). Teaching in America: A cross-cultural guide for international teachers and their employers. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
- Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A learner-centered approach to multimedia explanations: Deriving instructional design principles from cognitive theory. Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning, 2(2). Retrieved from http://imej.wfu.edu/articles/2000/2/05/index.asp.
- National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). The Condition of Education. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe.
- National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The Nation’s Report Card: Science 2011. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/main2011/2012465.asp.
- National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- National Science Foundation. (1996). Review of instructional materials for middle school science. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Oregon Department of Education. (2011). Report Card—Statewide Annual 2010–2011. Retrieved from http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx.
- Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representation: A dual coding approach. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Slattery, J. (2004). Counseling diverse clients, bringing context into therapy. Toronto, Ontario: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
- Torres, H. N., & Zeidler, D. L. (2002). The effects of English language proficiency and scientific reasoning skills on the acquisition of science content knowledge by Hispanic English language learners and native English language speaking students. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 6(3). Retrieved from http://wolfweb.unr.edu/homepage/crowther/ejse/torreszeidler.pdf.
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2009). The 2012 Statistical Abstract: The National Data Book Allegany County: NY. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/2009edition.html.
- U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://idea.ed.gov/explore/home.