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Göransson, Andreas C.
Alternative names
Publications (6 of 6) Show all publications
Bohlin, G., Göransson, A. C., Höst, G. & Tibell, L. (2017). A conceptual characterization of online videos explaining natural selection. Science & Education, 26(7-9), 975-999
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A conceptual characterization of online videos explaining natural selection
2017 (English)In: Science & Education, ISSN 0926-7220, E-ISSN 1573-1901, Vol. 26, no 7-9, p. 975-999Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2017
Keywords
natural selection, evolution, threshold concepts, visualizations, misconceptions, content analysis, videos, key concepts
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-143411 (URN)10.1007/s11191-017-9938-7 (DOI)000418390100011 ()
Projects
EvoVis
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5344
Available from: 2017-12-05 Created: 2017-12-05 Last updated: 2018-01-08Bibliographically approved
Göransson, A., Stenlund, J. & Tibell, L. (2015). A Novel Computer Application for Teaching Evolutionary Mechanisms: Visual Analogies of Randomness and Natural Selection. In: : . Paper presented at NARST 2015, Annual International Conference. 11 - 14 april, 2015, Chicago, USA.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Novel Computer Application for Teaching Evolutionary Mechanisms: Visual Analogies of Randomness and Natural Selection
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Keywords
evolution, education, threshold concepts, visualization
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117155 (URN)
Conference
NARST 2015, Annual International Conference. 11 - 14 april, 2015, Chicago, USA
Projects
EvoVis
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5344
Available from: 2015-04-20 Created: 2015-04-20 Last updated: 2016-05-04
Bohlin, G., Göransson, A. C. & Tibell, L. A. E. (2015). Diverse use of threshold concepts - A content analysis of online dynamic visualizations describing evolution.. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA 2015, 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association. 31 Aug - 4 Sept. Helsinki, Finland..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diverse use of threshold concepts - A content analysis of online dynamic visualizations describing evolution.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is an abundance of dynamic visualizations (animations, videos and simulations) that claim to explain evolution available on the Internet. The present study explores what aspects of evolution that are represented in these potential learning tools. A criteria catalogue covering 40 operationalized variables was used as a content analysis grid in the analysis of 71 dynamic visualizations. The concepts, derived from research literature, were operationalized into variables sorted into four different categories: (a) content-specific concepts (such as limited resources or inherited variation), (b) threshold concepts (core concepts that transform and integrate understanding within a subject), (c) alternative conceptions (such as teleological explanations or anthropomorphism), and (d) model organism. The results indicate that some concepts are dominantly communicated while others are seldom or never included in online visualizations. Regarding the proposed threshold concepts, evolutionary events happening on small time- and spatial scales, such as subcellular processes, were seldom observed. Rather, the focus was on events happening at a population level in time scales spanning from years and longer. This echoes with an observed lack of explanations regarding randomly occurring mutations providing the basis for variation. Implications include that there are components of evolution that would benefit from being addressed with an increased focus in biology teaching and science education research. The results may also serve as a useful toolkit in the design of new educational material.

Keywords
Evolution, Threshold concepts, Dynamic visualizations
National Category
Didactics Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121370 (URN)
Conference
ESERA 2015, 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association. 31 Aug - 4 Sept. Helsinki, Finland.
Projects
EvoVis
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5344
Available from: 2015-09-15 Created: 2015-09-15 Last updated: 2016-05-04
Göransson, A., Orraryd, D. & Tibell, L. (2015). Searching for threshold concepts in evolution by using an open response instrument. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA 2015 11th biannual Conference of the European Science Education Research Association. 31 august - 4 september, 2015, Helsinki, Finland..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Searching for threshold concepts in evolution by using an open response instrument
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Despite decades of research evolution remains a challenge to teachers and learners. Student reasoning about evolutionary processes tend to lack important key concepts and exhibits a range of well documented alternative conceptions. New research in the domain of conceptual change has generated the notion of threshold concepts. Threshold concepts focus on abstract concepts thought to underlie difficult content in a discipline. The hope is that this research will contribute to better teaching practises as well as understanding of what makes certain discipline content difficult. Earlier research has revealed candidate threshold concepts underlying understanding of evolution. Our aim of this study was to pilot ways to assess if and which threshold concept student use in response to different items as well if different contexts facilitates integration of threshold concepts in explanations. We used a published evolution test instrument to assess the presence of evolution key concepts, threshold concepts. The test instrument was piloted on 113 Swedish upper secondary and university students. Analysis revealed the presence of evolution key concepts as well as threshold concepts and alternative conceptions. The context of the question seem to affect what threshold concepts are used by students. We also found indications of a relation between evolution key concepts and threshold concepts usage. Implications for future research as well as teaching are briefly discussed.

Keywords
threshold concepts, evolution, conceptual understanding
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122569 (URN)
Conference
ESERA 2015 11th biannual Conference of the European Science Education Research Association. 31 august - 4 september, 2015, Helsinki, Finland.
Projects
EvoVis
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5344
Available from: 2015-11-09 Created: 2015-11-09 Last updated: 2016-05-04
Göransson, A., Stenlund, J. & Tibell, L. (2014). An interactive visualization for communicating troublesome concepts of natural selection.. In: : . Paper presented at FND 2014, Forskning i naturvetenskapernas didaktik - Modeller och representationer i naturvetenskaplig forskning, 5-6 november, Karlstad.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An interactive visualization for communicating troublesome concepts of natural selection.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Troublesome concepts such as randomness, probability and temporal scale have been suggested as important for understanding evolution. I e earlier research has shown that learners often fail to grasp the random component of natural selection and tend to conceptualize adaptation as directed or driven by the needs of the organism. There is some evidence in the literature that interventions targeting randomness in evolution might contribute to better understanding of natural selection. Since external representations such as visualizations has the potential help learners grasp difficult concepts in science, we designed an interactive visualization that focus on some of the troublesome concepts of evolution. The aim of the present pilot study was to explore possible effects of the application on students reasoning as part of a guided group exercise. In particular, we were interested in whether the aspects focused on in the application were discussed and if the students were able to transfer the symbolism in the application to the process of natural selection. The empirical data (recorded interviews and written answers) were collected during a biology course for primary teachers (n=14) and subjected to qualitative content analysis. We found that students’ engagement with the task and in the discussions was high. The transcripts revelead frequent analogies between the visualization and examples from evolution. Accumulated and gradual change over time  also was a recurrent theme. Thus, our preliminary results add support to reports suggesting that using interactive visualizations in combination with pre-worked tasks and peer-discussion can facilitate students’ cognitive development of troublesome concepts.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112497 (URN)
Conference
FND 2014, Forskning i naturvetenskapernas didaktik - Modeller och representationer i naturvetenskaplig forskning, 5-6 november, Karlstad
Projects
EvoVis
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5344
Available from: 2014-11-28 Created: 2014-11-28 Last updated: 2016-05-04
Bohlin, G., Göransson, A. C. & Tibell, L. A. E. (2014). Evolution on the set – A conceptual characterization of online dynamic visualizations.. In: : . Paper presented at FND 2014, Forskning i naturvetenskapernas didaktik - Modeller och representationer i naturvetenskaplig undervisning. 5-6 November, Karlstad, Sweden..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolution on the set – A conceptual characterization of online dynamic visualizations.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Despite its recognized importance, the theory of evolution presents severe problems to learners. A common approach in science education research involves the division of evolution in conceptual constructs, lately also including the role of threshold concepts. These are seminal ideas that open up new ways of thinking about and interpreting previously known processes. For understanding of evolution, threshold concepts consist of, for example, randomness, probability and wide-stretched spatio-temporal scales. An abundance of dynamic visualizations (animations, videos and simulations), attempting to explain evolution, are available on the Internet. The aim with our study was to map what aspects of evolution that are represented in these visualizations. A criteria catalogue covering 42 operationalized variables was used as a content analysis grid in the analysis of a sample selection including 71 dynamic visualizations. The variables include evolution content concepts (such as limited resources and differential survival) and proposed threshold concepts (such as explicit mentioning of factors influenced by randomness or level of organization in space and time, including connections between submicro- and macro aspects). Furthermore, it includes common alternative conceptions (such as anthropomorphism or that evolution is driven by need). Two raters conducted the analysis with an overlapping reliability sample covering 23 visualizations. Intercoder reliability was calculated using Krippendorff’s alpha. The results indicate that some concepts are dominantly communicated while others are seldom or never included in online visualizations. Regarding the proposed threshold concepts, evolutionary events happening on small time- and spatial scales, such as subcellular processes, were seldom observed. Rather, the focus was on events happening at a population level in time scales spanning from years and longer. Implications include that there are components of evolution that would benefit from being addressed more explicit. The results may also serve as a useful toolkit in the design of new educational material.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112116 (URN)
Conference
FND 2014, Forskning i naturvetenskapernas didaktik - Modeller och representationer i naturvetenskaplig undervisning. 5-6 November, Karlstad, Sweden.
Projects
EvoVis
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-5344
Available from: 2014-11-14 Created: 2014-11-14 Last updated: 2016-05-04
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