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ERIC Number: EJ822685
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1536-7509
A Hierarchical Biology Concept Framework: A Tool for Course Design
Khodor, Julia; Halme, Dina Gould; Walker, Graham C.
Cell Biology Education, v3 n2 p111-121 Sum 2004
A typical undergraduate biology curriculum covers a very large number of concepts and details. We describe the development of a Biology Concept Framework (BCF) as a possible way to organize this material to enhance teaching and learning. Our BCF is hierarchical, places details in context, nests related concepts, and articulates concepts that are inherently obvious to experts but often difficult for novices to grasp. Our BCF is also cross-referenced, highlighting interconnections between concepts. We have found our BCF to be a versatile tool for design, evaluation, and revision of course goals and materials. There has been a call for creating Biology Concept Inventories, multiple-choice exams that test important biology concepts, analogous to those in physics, astronomy, and chemistry. We argue that the community of researchers and educators must first reach consensus about not only what concepts are important to test, but also how the concepts should be organized and how that organization might influence teaching and learning. We think that our BCF can serve as a catalyst for community-wide discussion on organizing the vast number of concepts in biology, as a model for others to formulate their own BCFs and as a contribution toward the creation of a comprehensive BCF. (Contains 4 tables.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; E-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A