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Increased structure and active learning reduce the achievement gap in introductory biology.

Increased structure and active learning reduce the achievement gap in introductory biology.

To date, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs that close the achievement gap between students from disadvantaged versus nondisadvantaged educational backgrounds have required extensive extramural funding. We show that a highly structured course design, based on daily and weekly practice with problem-solving, data analysis, and other higher-order cognitive skills, improved the performance of all students in a college-level introductory biology class and reduced the achievement gap between disadvantaged and nondisadvantaged students—without increased expenditures.

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