Peters, V. L., & Slotta, J. D. (2010). Scaffolding knowledge communities in the classroom: New opportunities in the Web 2.0 era. In M. J. Jacobson & P. Reimann (Eds.), Designs for learning environments of the future: International perspectives from the learning sciences (pp. 205-232). New York, NY: Springer.
Researchers in the learning sciences have long recognized the potential of online spaces to support learning activities; however, the pervasiveness of social media construction typically associated with “Web 2.0” represents a new context for researching learning and instruction. This chapter reports two studies that used a wiki to deliver a new curriculum model that blends scripted inquiry activities with collaborative knowledge construction in secondary school biology. The researchers collaborated with three experienced science teachers to create engaging curricula where four classes of grade-ten biology collaboratively developed a community wiki about human physiology and biodiversity. Students then used the wiki as a primary resource for subsequent inquiry activities. We analyzed student achievement and engagement with the curriculum to evaluate the success of the model. The findings suggest that a carefully designed scripted activity can complement and enhance the value of a knowledge community approach within secondary school settings.
Keywords: Web 2.0, Design-based research, Design experiments, Collaborative inquiry, Learning communities, Knowledge building, Science education