Our Content

New Features

We've introduced several new features, designed to support your learning or teaching experience. With a focus on interactive engagement, and comprehensive resources, our latest updates empower students and educators to engage in exploring STEM.

Visual Annotations to Support the Use of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with our Educational Modules

Our new annotation feature allows teachers and students to see the connections between our educational modules and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our latest update introduces color-coded annotations, allowing users to easily visualize and navigate content related to the three dimensions of the NGSS within each module. This innovative feature can be toggled on and off within the right sidebar of each module, providing a customizable learning experience tailored to individual needs.

Understanding the Color Code:

To make the annotations easily distinguishable, we have assigned distinct colors to each NGSS dimension that match the published color scheme:

NGSS dimension colors
Color Dimension

Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) Highlighted in blue, DCIs are the fundamental concepts in each scientific discipline. More Info

Crosscutting Concepts (CCs) Highlighted in green, CCs illuminate the overarching themes and concepts that span the disciplines. These concepts encourage users to make connections and recognize patterns across various scientific contexts. More Info

Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) Highlighted in orange, SEPs focus on the practices that scientists and engineers use to investigate questions and solve problems. More Info

Turning on the highlighting shows how the three dimensions are intertwined in the real process of science.

Teach with This: Enhancing Student Learning with Expert Guidance

We are excited to introduce a new addition to our modules - the "Teach with This" tab. Designed specifically for teachers, this feature provides recommendations on how to effectively utilize the module to support student learning. With a comprehensive set of resources and strategies at your fingertips, you can maximize the potential of each module and create an engaging learning experience for your students.

The "Teach with This" tab is your go-to resource for expert guidance on how to make the most of our educational modules. This feature empowers teachers by providing insights, tips, and suggested activities that align with the module's content, ensuring a seamless integration of the material into your curriculum.

How to Access the "Teach with This" Tab:

Accessing the "Teach with This" tab is simple and intuitive. Follow these steps to unlock a world of valuable teaching resources:

  1. Navigate to the educational module of your choice.
  2. Look for the "Teach with This" tab, located alongside other module resources.
  3. Click on the tab to reveal recommendations, and strategies for enhancing student learning.

Share a Direct Link to Your Classroom

A new feature on our website's Classroom page will simplify the way teachers and students connect and access our educational resources. With our latest update, teachers now have the power to share a direct link with their students that provides seamless access to the Classroom.

If you already have a classroom, the link has already been generated. Simply navigate to the Overview page for your classroom and copy the link provided to share with your students. If you do not yet have a classroom, you can create one by assembling a custom collection of our modules. More information about the classroom can be found here.

Core reading

On each module page, you will find a text-and-image-based reading. These lessons are written by professional scientists and educators who ensure that they are accurate and concise to avoid overloading students with extraneous information. At the top of each lesson is a pre-reader, which contains questions to stimulate prior knowledge on the topic, a general overview of what the module will cover, and some definitions of terms users should understand before reading. A table of contents provides an outline of the entire module.

As a special benefit to bilingual students and Spanish language learners, every lesson is available in Spanish as well as English. Simply click on the red button at the top of the module page to switch back and forth.

  • Audio recordings of the module can be streamed while on the page. These audio files help aural learners, struggling readers, and language learners by modeling intonation, inflection, and pronunciation of difficult terms and names. Audio is also provided in both English and Spanish.

  • Glossary terms in the lesson are hyperlinked to a pop-up glossary to allow easy access to unfamiliar definitions. Hovering over the term provides a quick, on-screen definition. Clicking the term opens a lightbox with additional information (including an audio pronunciation), and the glossary page for the term provides even more.

  • Comprehension Checkpoints are questions placed in strategic spots throughout each module to promote good reading techniques. These checkpoints ask the reader a specific question related to the content immediately preceding, helping them to stop and think about what they have just read. Immediate feedback helps them know if they need to re-read, or if they have understood a concept correctly.

Because interaction helps to focus students' attention, most of our lessons contain interactive learning tools embedded within the body of the lesson. These animations help illustrate points and concepts addressed in the reading.

Additional module features

In addition to the core lesson material, each Visionlearning module contains a module-specific quiz and a resources section.

We recognize that assessment is an integral aspect of teaching. For that reason, each quiz contains between 7 and 10 items addressing the student learning objectives for the module. Our quiz items are written with Bloom's Taxonomy in mind and labeled accordingly. In addition to being able to see which level of Bloom's taxomony the quiz item is testing, educators are also able to view the results of a quiz for each individual student enrolled in their MyClassroom.

Included in the Resources section are sets of carefully reviewed external hyperlinks to provide complementary learning material. These resources serve to add historical and societal perspectives and provide options for further exploring the content and research in the module. The categories of links used on our modules have been developed after careful consideration of the National Science Education Standards and after extensive discussion with students and teachers regarding the type of content that is most helpful for learning science.

Learn about our Classroom, our free course management system.