Visionlearning creates and provides high-quality, accessible, educational content in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at the introductory undergraduate level. Our free materials, targeted to both students and educators, make available peer-reviewed, bilingual content (English-Spanish) that not only explores specific STEM concepts, but examines how we have come to understand them, the people who have contributed to our understanding, and the ongoing research that builds our scientific knowledge. By utilizing the Internet and new media, and incorporating both the history of science and process of discovery in all of our learning modules, we aim to improve student understanding of science, promote multi- and inter-disciplinary teaching, and provide a community foundation for those interested in improving STEM education.
Visionlearning's primary goal is to improve STEM education at the undergraduate level - though we recognize that our users come from a wide range of grade levels and settings. Within that primary goal, Visionlearning seeks to:
- Provide concise, freely available, peer-reviewed STEM content in English and Spanish.
- Connect the content of science to the process of discovery.
- Place science in the context of individual, cultural, and societal settings.
- Provide content that is accessible to undergraduate students of varying skill levels and abilities.
- Provide flexible, customizable content that is multi-disciplinary and can address multiple learning styles.
- Foster an understanding of scientific communication.
- Fully utilize the capabilities of the Internet and new media to deliver content and communicate with our users.
- Build an active community of users.
- Assess the effectiveness of all materials offered to the public.
- Become self-sustaining so that the site remains available and free.
There are three core ways in which Visionlearning works to accomplish these goals:
- We provide the Visionlearning website, which contains a series of modules, loosely comparable to textbook chapters, focused on specific STEM concepts. Each module has been written by a professional educator or scientist and peer-reviewed for accuracy. They are concise so that students and educators get the information they need quickly, and include features to aid in reading comprehension and knowledge retention. In addition, the modules present concepts within the history of their development and the ongoing process of science to provide the context that supports learning. For more information on how the modules are constructed and what they contain, read Teaching and Learning in Science.
- We support educators by offering teaching materials, training, and workshops. On our website, an online course management system (Classroom) gives educators a space to group course content and learning modules, as well as interact with their students and evaluate their understanding of concepts through online quizzes.
- We promote community building in STEM education through our Visionlearning blog and Facebook space that allow us to make the general public aware of useful and interesting advances in science, as well as offer a place for conversation on a multitude of related topics.
In addition to the core lesson material, each Visionlearning module contains a module-specific quiz and a resources section.