Fostered by reports such as BIO 2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action and, most recently, Engaged to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, changes in the way colleges and universities are approaching their undergraduate STEM courses can be observed nation wide. Change has come in the form of initiatives dedicated to advancing evidence-based science education practices, research-based undergraduate courses and programs like the National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education in Biology that aim to provide educators with the tools and strategies needed to transform their classrooms into best practices based ones. These efforts have spawned a growing number of educators and administrators interested in transforming their STEM classrooms and departments into student-centered, evidence-based, more effective learning environments that will produce the next generation of scientists.
One stumbling block in the process of this transformation, however, is the substantial time and energy commitment that an educator must make in order to learn and produce evidence-based curricula. In response to this need, and recommended in the Vision and Change report, an effort was undertaken to create a peer-reviewed, open access journal of student-centered biology education resources.
CourseSource is an open-access journal of peer-reviewed teaching resources for college biological science courses. A key feature of CourseSource is the alignment of our articles with learning goals and objectives that were developed by the associated professional societies.
CourseSource provides authors with the opportunity to publish teaching materials in a high-quality format that documents their scholarly teaching efforts, accomplishments and innovations. To our knowledge, CourseSource is the only online journal that exclusively publishes biology teaching materials that:
- Incorporate student-centered, evidence-based pedagogy.
- Focus on professional society-developed learning goals and objectives.
- Are organized and formatted to enable replicability and adaptation for other classrooms.
- Do not require data supporting the efficacy of the specific materials themselves, since they are based on evidence-based practices that are fully supported by research.