Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Experimental Design: Glossary


Constant - The factors that do not change during the experiment.
Control - The control is the group that serves as a standard of comparison. It is exposed to the same conditions as the experimental group, except for the variable being tested.
Dependent Variable - A dependent variable is a factor that may change as a result of changes in the independent variable.
Hypothesis - A hypothesis is a tentative explanation for a phenomenon, and is used as a basis for further investigation. It is a specific statement of prediction and describes what you expect to happen in a study.
Independent Variable - An independent variable is a factor that is intentionally varied by the experimenter in order to see if it affects the dependent variable.
Population - The group to which the results of an experiment can be generalized.
Reliability: Reliability refers to the accuracy and consistency of a measurement or test.
Randomization - Procedure to ensure that every member of a target population has an equal chance of inclusion in a sample. Randomization is necessary to deal with individual differences.
Replicate - Replicates are individuals or groups that are exposed to the same conditions in an experiment, including the same level of the independent variable. It is necessary to have replicates to prove a relationship between independent and dependent variables.
Sampling - The sample is the portion of a population examined in your study. If the population is divided into sub-groups then it is important to have the correct relative ratio of the sub-groups in the sample.
Theory - An explanation of existing data that can explain present data as well as predict future data.
Treatment - A treatment is a factor that may affect the outcome of an experiment.