With the increasing complexity and expansion of the biological sciences, there has been a corresponding increase in content in the first-year introductory biology course sequence for majors. In general this has resulted in courses that introduce students to large amounts of material and leave little time for practicing investigative science or skill development. Based on our analysis of data compiled from 742 biology faculty at a variety of institutions across the United States, we verified that there is strong agreement on the content appropriate for introductory biology courses for majors. Therefore, we propose that faculty teaching these courses focus primarily on the topics identified in this study, and redesign their courses to incorporate active learning strategies that emphasize the investigative nature of biology and provide opportunities for skill development.
Gregory, E., Lending, C., Orenstein, A.N. & Ellis, J.P. 2011, "Redesigning Introductory Biology: A Proposal", Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, vol. 12, no. 1.
Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education