Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version

Summer 2020


CBE—Life Sciences Education • 19:es1, 1–9, Summer 2020



2020 J. L. Branchaw et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education

2020 The American Society for Cell Biology.


The Vision and Change report called for the biology community to mobilize around teaching the core concepts of biology. This essay describes a collection of resources developed by several different groups that can be used to respond to the report’s call to transform undergraduate education at both the individual course and departmental levels. First, we present two frameworks that help articulate the Vision and Change core concepts, the BioCore Guide and the Conceptual Elements (CE) Framework, which can be used in mapping the core concepts onto existing curricula and designing new curricula that teach the biology core concepts. Second, we describe how the BioCore Guide and the CE Framework can be used alongside the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education curricular rubric as a way for departments to self-assess their teaching of the core concepts. Finally, we highlight three sets of instruments that can be used to directly assess student learning of the core concepts: the Biology Card Sorting Task, the Biology Core Concept Instruments, and the Biology—Measuring Achievement and Progression in Science instruments. Approaches to using these resources independently and synergistically are discussed.

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