Co-creation of Knowledge in Technology-Enhanced Communities of Learning

Studies

Studies

Studies

Communication, especially writing, is indeed a challenge for scientists. Scientists find that writing for the general public is particularly difficult, primarily because they have only been trained to communicate with the academic community. It seems that as scientists are trained to ‘speak science,’ they forget how to communicate with the public. Perhaps learning to write science needs to be accompanied by learning how to write for the public. We believe that by exposing and teaching scientists to popular science communication, they will become better writers- not only for the academic community but for the community at large.
As such, our study aims to determine the relationship between the acquisition of two genres, academic and popular science communication, which serve as scientists' communication channels. Specifically, we ask how training in the academic writing course affects academic and popular science writing skills.

In our research, we test twenty-two groups of graduate students participating in the academic graduate writing course. The graduate students will be predominately PhD students, from all faculties in the Technion in their first, second or third semester. Students enrolled in the writing course will take a prewriting test in the first week, followed by various levels of intervention on the subject of public science communication, and then a posttest in the final week of the semester. The pre and posttests will include samples of writing for an academic and a general audience. Writing samples will be evaluated according to general writing ability, English writing ability and genre/audience.
This study aims to contribute to the theoretical knowledge on writing outcomes as a result of teaching two contrasting genres in written communication of science. It hopes to shed light on whether there is interference or synergy in the learning of two genres. This study will also contribute practically for teaching at the graduate level, including creating research-based guidelines for instruction of writing genres.

For more information visit: https://sites.google.com/site/sciencecomisrael/