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CBE NEXUS abstract

Page history last edited by Joe Redish 7 years, 8 months ago

Competency-based Reforms
of the Undergraduate Biology Curriculum:
Integrating the
 Physical and Biological Sciences 


Katerina V. Thompson, Jean A. Chmielewski, Michael S. Gaines,
Christine A. Hrycyna, and William R. LaCourse



The NEXUS project, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is a direct response to the Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians report, which urged a shift in premedical student preparation from a narrow list of specific coursework to a more flexible curriculum that helps students develop broad scientific competencies. A consortium of four universities is working to create, pilot, and assess modular, competency-based curricular units that require students to use higher order cognitive skills and reason across traditional disciplinary boundaries. All projects focus to some extent on interweaving the biological and the physical sciences: The University of Maryland, College Park is creating an introductory physics for life sciences course reformed in both content and pedagogy; Purdue University is revising the introductory chemistry sequence; The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is developing inquiry-based learning modules that apply mathematical and statistical modeling to biological processes; The University of Miami is developing multi-disciplinary case studies in which students grapple with authentic clinical problems. Teaching modules developed during this initial phase will be tested on multiple partner campuses in preparation for eventual broad dissemination. The project seeks to test the potential for productive collaboration across both disciplinary and institutional boundaries to effect curriculum reform.


(Submitted to CBE)

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