Effects ofcognitive task analysis-based direct instruction on skill development and student retentionin the biological sciences

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association

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Using a double-blind design, this study tested the hypothesis that the lack of explicit procedural instruction in scientific problem solving is a major factor in low STEM retention and underachievement. Participants were 316 undergraduates enrolled in an introductory level biology course with lecture and laboratory components. Students who received explicit instruction derived from cognitive task analysis (CTA) acquired relevant skills more effectively performed better on course assessments, and were more likely to complete the course than students in the comparison group receiving instruction representing current best practice.

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