Project Goals

  • Increased scientific literacy/graphicacy in undergraduate biology
  • Integrated educational research throughout the development of educational visualizations in an iterative process
  • Enhanced discourse among the research communities (greater dissemination and knowledge mobilization efforts)
  • Identification of design parameters that are critical in the development of more pedagogically impactful visualizations in biology, but likely also in neighboring fields (such as chemistry, engineering)
  • Improved quality of visual stimuli used in research thus providing a richer context for relevant research questions (i.e. ones that reflect the complexity of ‘real-world’ projects).


Research in progress.


  • Establishing a network that, by examining a shared challenge, will connect distinct disciplines, foster innovative research, and the co-creation of new knowledge
  • Identifying areas of instruction that are not well served with existing curricula, in particular, ones that would benefit from biovisualization.
  • Developing high quality stimuli for use in educational research
  • Developing assessment protocols that are better suited to measuring the efficacy of complex visual stimuli for student learning
  • Translating educational research findings into meaningful guidelines for practitioners

Visualizations, Interactive Simulations, and Animations for Biology Learning & Instruction


Project summary

Multimedia learning resources (illustrations, animations, interactives) are a common feature in today’s undergraduate science classrooms. Instructors rely upon them for teaching and students seek them out in support of their studies. Despite the popularity of these visual resources, little is known about the efficacy of multimedia in supporting learning in undergraduate biology.  A primary goal of the VISABLI RCN-UBE is to address an acknowledged gap between the communities responsible for the design and evaluation of scientific visualizations, and those who use the materials in teaching.


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