Gertner, D., Xu, N., Porter-Morgan, H., & Brashears, J. (2021). Developing students’ scientific literacy through an e-portfolio project at a community college gateway science course. Journal of Biological Education, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2021.1877782
Gateway science courses are an ongoing obstacle to recruitment into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, in part due to the large gains in vocabulary that are fundamental to scientific literacy. Students also struggle to achieve the technological literacy necessary for a STEM career. We implemented an ePortfolio-based project in 12 sections of General Biology I (n = 164) at an urban community college. This project was designed to aid students at integrating general biology vocabulary around a central topic - an organism of their choice - while also increasing their facility in using ePortfolio. We assessed the effectiveness of the project using a set of 17 survey questions, 12 of which were also delivered to control sections. Students responded positively to the project, and the project was effective at increasing scientific literacy and understanding of the technological platform. However, the project did not help students make gains in technological literacy. This project demonstrates that integrating general course-specific vocabulary around a central topic may be useful in helping students succeed in gateway STEM courses.
Category: Empirical, Outcomes