Visionlearning: An Introduction

by Anthony Carpi, Ph.D., Jessica E. Zimmer


Visionlearning is a new educational resource for teaching and learning science and mathematics. The Visionlearning website provides peer-reviewed teaching modules in our library, and an online course management system called MyClassroom specifically designed for teachers. Written by educators specifically for educators and students, Visionlearning teaching modules avoids the weaknesses of traditional textbooks by offering concise, focused materials that integrate interactive exercises, news stories, biographies and other key resources to excite students about learning. While traditional textbooks have been called a mile wide and an inch thick because they provide pages of irrelevant material but little quality content, Visionlearning users have described our resources as both "more focused and to-the-point than a [text]book while also being more detailed than a book." This contradiction in terms is possible because our unique and tested learning module design provides concise, text-based lessons within an environment of categorized hyperlinks to additional readings.

Every learning module available at Visionlearning has been carefully crafted by a staff of professional educators to ensure that the lesson is accurate, concise and clearly presented. This approach helps students focus on the core concepts without the distractions of callout boxes and irrelevant material. Each of our lessons are integrated with pop-up glossary terms, to allow students quick review of unfamiliar definitions. Interactive animations are included with many lessons to allow learners to manipulate variables and experiment with outcomes, emphasizing the process of scientific discovery.

The design of our modules has been developed through extensive testing with real students. Unlike other resources that are often developed in a vacuum, our modules have been tested in real classrooms and have been shown to be a more effective learning tool than traditional textbooks. In these studies, students using the Visionlearning modules scored higher on a standardized quiz than students using a traditional textbook. In addition, students consistently gave the Visionlearning materials higher satisfaction ratings than the traditional book. What better way to have your students actually complete their course readings than to give them materials that they like and that have been shown to help them. As a result of this success, Visionlearning has earned the support of the National Science Foundation and our modules are extensively recommended by the National Science Teacher's Association SciLinks service.

Supported by:
This is a small logo for the National Science Foundation.
The National Science Foundation

While scientific advances and science education are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary in nature, traditional textbooks fail to accommodate any variation from disciplinary teaching. Visionlearning resources are created specifically with an interdisciplinary approach to teaching in mind. In our MyClassroom area, teachers can combine any of our learning modules in any order to create a unique learning environment for their class. In this way, our resources adapt to your curriculum rather than forcing you to follow a chapter order decided upon by someone else. Teachers can also extensively customize modules in the MyClassroom area, adding notes, hyperlinks, homework assignments and more. To learn more about this unique feature visit our Using MyClassroom description.

Those of us who teach science understand that it is one of the most dynamic and exciting subjects taught in school, unfortunately it is difficult to find reading materials that convey this excitement. Our innovative materials are designed to teach students about the excitement of scientific inquiry, not simply the process of memorizing scientific concepts.

If you find science education as exciting as we do, we hope that our resources will help you convey this enthusiasm to your students. At the request of teachers and students, we have recently begun to offer companion workbooks for convenience. If you would like to learn more about this feature, please contact us. Please let us know if there is any way we can improve our site, we always appreciate hearing from our users.