Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 465–475 | Cite as

A Conceptual Framework for Organizing Active Learning Experiences in Biology Instruction

  • Joel Gardner
  • Brian R. Belland


Introductory biology courses form a cornerstone of undergraduate instruction. However, the predominantly used lecture approach fails to produce higher-order biology learning. Research shows that active learning strategies can increase student learning, yet few biology instructors use all identified active learning strategies. In this paper, we present a framework to design biology instruction that incorporates all active learning strategies. We review active learning research in undergraduate biology courses, present a framework for organizing active learning strategies, and provide clear implications and future research for designing instruction in introductory undergraduate biology courses.


Introductory biology Active learning First principles of instruction Educational technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Franklin UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA

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