Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-14-2020


Hall, L. R. T. 2020. Development and Implementation of a Biochemistry Argumentation Task to Promote Scientific Literacy Among Undergraduate Students. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Lukas Hall 2020.


Science education reform efforts at the postsecondary level have been lacking regardless of meaningful reform at the K-12 level. Of these reforms, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) serve to reframe effective science teaching and learning as three-dimensional (3D). That is, 3D instruction integrates core disciplinary ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and science practices to support students’ science learning. There have been calls to extend this 3D model to the postsecondary level. The purpose of this study was to design, implement, and evaluate a 3D task in a university-level biochemistry course. The task was implemented as a homework assignment to 107 students in an upper-level biochemistry course. Students’ responses were analyzed using an altered form of Toulmin’s Argument Pattern (TAP) to understand the effects of varying levels of scaffolding in questions. Results showed that students made roughly the same number of claims as they did evidence statements, but varied in the amount of reasoning they use to support their argument depending on the question type.