Title

Learning Evolution by Collaboration

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2021

Abstract

Collaboration can be an effective means of learning, but is it effective in domains where collaborators rely on conceptually distinct forms of reasoning? We explored this question in the domain of evolution, where many students construe evolution as the uniform transformation of all members of a population rather than the selective survival and reproduction of a subset. College undergraduates (n = 174) completed an assessment of their evolutionary reasoning by themselves (pretest) and with a partner (dyad test); some (n = 44) also completed an assessment several months later (posttest). Higher-scoring partners pulled up lower-scoring partners to achieve a dyad score equivalent to the higher-scoring partner's pretest score. Lower-scoring partners retained a score boost when working alone at posttest. These findings indicate that students who hold different views of evolution are able to collaborate effectively, and such collaboration yields long-term learning gains for partners with lower levels of understanding.

DOI

10.1093/biosci/biab089

Publication Title

BioScience

Volume Number

71

Issue Number

10

First Page

1091

Last Page

1102

ISSN

00063568

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