Effects of using writing-to-learn and the activation of prior knowledge in collaborative online discussion on high school students' comprehension of science texts and content

Emily L. Huttenburg

Abstract

This research studied the effect of using writing to learn to activate and build prior knowledge in a collaborative manner on a Ning social network on tenth through twelfth grade science students prior to reading expository science text and learning unit content. The researcher measured the effects on comprehension and metacognition using pre-, mid-, and post-assessments, both objective and short answer, pre-and post-learning self-reflections, and student writing samples from their Ning responses. The six participants engaged in independent and collaborative written responses on the Ning before and after reading the assigned expository texts. The strategies implemented correlated with gains in comprehension and metacognitive process use. Positive gains were made in both areas, though students did not show an increased awareness of their own use of metacognitive strategies. More research should be conducted to support these findings.