What is the Learn Through Research Performance Continuum?

The EFF Learn Through Research Performance Continuum is:

A developmental description of performance on the standard . . .

The EFF standard Learn Through Research is one of the four interrelated and sometimes overlapping EFF standards that are categorized as "Lifelong learning skills." Defined generally as the act of posing questions or making predictions and then gathering and analyzing the information necessary to propose answers to those questions or confirm those predictions, the ability to "do" research is broadly acknowledged as an important "learning to learn" skill across many domains of content knowledge and adult roles. Our data has allowed us to describe performance in solving problems and making decisions from Level 1 to Level 3. In the future, research to support the description of other performance levels may be developed.

A multidimensional description of performance on the standard . . .

Performance levels on Learn Through Research are defined by key features called dimensions of performance. They include:

  • the structure and depth of the knowledge base;
  • fluency of performance;
  • independence of performance;
  • range of performance.

These dimensions reflect an understanding that the development of expertise in learning through research requires the interrelated development of

  1. conceptual understanding,
  2. the procedural knowledge of how to apply that conceptual understanding, and
  3. the strategic competence to choose the most appropriate strategies for accomplishing a given task.

A set of benchmarks for the development of proficiency on the
standard . . .

Performance level descriptors define points along the continuum that serve as benchmarks for key stages in development on the standard and for the increasing ability of adults to accomplish important that require the ability to learn through research.

A set of measures based on applied skills and processes . . .

The performance continuum reflects the kinds of applied knowledge and skills adults need to meet real world purposes and goals in their lives as workers, citizens, and family members. A summary of the key research principles underlying this approach can be found in the EFF Research to Practice Notes in the EFF Special Collection at at http://eff.cls.utk.edu/products_services/online_publications.htm.

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