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ERIC Number: EJ1165246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
A Study of Two Instructional Sequences Informed by Alternative Learning Progressions in Genetics
Duncan, Ravit Golan; Choi, Jinnie; Castro-Faix, Moraima; Cavera, Veronica L.
Science & Education, v26 n10 p1115-1141 Dec 2017
Learning progressions (LPs) are hypothetical models of how learning in a domain develops over time with appropriate instruction. In the domain of genetics, there are two independently developed alternative LPs. The main difference between the two progressions hinges on their assumptions regarding the accessibility of classical (Mendelian) versus molecular genetics and the order in which they should be taught. In order to determine the relative difficulty of the different genetic ideas included in the two progressions, and to test which one is a better fit with students' actual learning, we developed two modules in classical and molecular genetics and alternated their sequence in an implementation study with 11th grade students studying biology. We developed a set of 56 ordered multiple-choice items that collectively assessed both molecular and classical genetic ideas. We found significant gains in students' learning in both molecular and classical genetics, with the largest gain relating to understanding the informational content of genes and the smallest gain in understanding modes of inheritance. Using multidimensional item response modeling, we found no statistically significant differences between the two instructional sequences. However, there was a trend of slightly higher gains for the molecular-first sequence for all genetic ideas.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1053953; 1008634