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challenged biology instructors to develop evidence-based instructional approaches that were grounded in the core concepts and competencies of biology. This call for reform provides an opportunity for new educational tools to be incorporated into biology education. In this essay, we advocate for as one such educational tool. First, we address what learning progressions are and how they leverage research from the cognitive and learning sciences to inform instructional practices. Next, we use a published learning progression about carbon cycling to illustrate how learning progressions describe the maturation of student thinking about a key topic. Then, we discuss how learning progressions can inform undergraduate biology instruction, citing three particular learning progressions that could guide instruction about a number of key topics taught in introductory biology courses. Finally, we describe some challenges associated with learning progressions in undergraduate biology and some recommendations for how to address these challenges.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: CBE life sciences education
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A principle that learning is facilitated when the learner receives immediate evaluation of learning performance. The concept also hypothesizes that learning is facilitated when the learner is promptly informed whether a response is correct, and, if incorrect, of the direction of error.
Information communicated to the learner that is intended to modify the learner’s thinking or behavior for the purpose of improving learning.
Process in which individuals take the initiative, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying resources for learning, choosing and implementing learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes (Knowles, 1975)
Tool used to help facilitate learning and comprehension of a topic or to help prepare for an examination.
Works about use of aids to help facilitate learning and comprehension of a topic or to help prepare for an examination.