ERIC Number: EJ1164367
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
A Conceptual Characterization of Online Videos Explaining Natural Selection
Bohlin, Gustav; Göransson, Andreas; Höst, Gunnar E.; Tibell, Lena A. E.
Science & Education, v26 n7-9 p975-999 Nov 2017
Educational videos on the Internet comprise a vast and highly diverse source of information. Online search engines facilitate access to numerous videos claiming to explain natural selection, but little is known about the degree to which the video content match key evolutionary content identified as important in evolution education research. In this study, we therefore analyzed the content of 60 videos accessed through the Internet, using a criteria catalog with 38 operationalized variables derived from research literature. The variables were sorted into four categories: (a) key concepts (e.g. limited resources and inherited variation), (b) threshold concepts (abstract concepts with a transforming and integrative function), (c) misconceptions (e.g. that evolution is driven by need), and (d) organismal context (e.g. animal or plant). The results indicate that some concepts are frequently communicated, and certain taxa are commonly used to illustrate concepts, while others are seldom included. In addition, evolutionary phenomena at small temporal and spatial scales, such as subcellular processes, are rarely covered. Rather, the focus is on population-level events over time scales spanning years or longer. This is consistent with an observed lack of explanations regarding how randomly occurring mutations provide the basis for variation (and thus natural selection). The findings imply, among other things, that some components of natural selection warrant far more attention in biology teaching and science education research.
Descriptors: Information Sources, Electronic Publishing, Audiovisual Aids, Video Technology, Internet, Instructional Material Evaluation, Evolution, Fundamental Concepts, Scientific Concepts, Information Literacy, Information Skills, Integrity, Relevance (Education), Science Materials
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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