The BioCore Guide: A Grassroots Approach to Curriculum Development Abstract

Over the last five to ten years there has been a national movement in biology education to move away from teaching college students more and more content and instead focus on teaching core principles and concepts. One of the documents that came out of this effort is called Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education. Vision and Change outlined five core concepts that are intended to guide undergraduate biology education. We have taken these general recommendations and created a Vision and Change BioCore Guideā€”a set of general principles and specific statements that expand upon the core concepts, creating a framework that biology departments can use to align their curriculi with the goals of Vision and Change. We used a grassroots approach to generate the BioCore Guide, beginning with faculty ideas as the basis for an iterative process that incorporated feedback from over 240 biologists and biology educators at a diverse range of academic institutions throughout the U.S. The final validation step in this process demonstrated strong national consensus, with over 90% of respondents agreeing with the importance and scientific accuracy of the statements. It is our hope that the BioCore Guide will serve as an agent of change for biology departments as we move towards transforming undergraduate biology education.