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ERIC Number: EJ898123
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Using the Principles of "BIO2010" to Develop an Introductory, Interdisciplinary Course for Biology Students
Matthews, Kelly E.; Adams, Peter; Goos, Merrilyn
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v9 n3 p290-297 Fall 2010
Modern biological sciences require practitioners to have increasing levels of knowledge, competence, and skills in mathematics and programming. A recent review of the science curriculum at the University of Queensland, a large, research-intensive institution in Australia, resulted in the development of a more quantitatively rigorous undergraduate program. Inspired by the National Research Council's "BIO2010" report, a new interdisciplinary first-year course (SCIE1000) was created, incorporating mathematics and computer programming in the context of modern science. In this study, the perceptions of biological science students enrolled in SCIE1000 in 2008 and 2009 are measured. Analysis indicates that, as a result of taking SCIE1000, biological science students gained a positive appreciation of the importance of mathematics in their discipline. However, the data revealed that SCIE1000 did not contribute positively to gains in appreciation for computing and only slightly influenced students' motivation to enroll in upper-level quantitative-based courses. Further comparisons between 2008 and 2009 demonstrated the positive effect of using genuine, real-world contexts to enhance student perceptions toward the relevance of mathematics. The results support the recommendation from "BIO2010" that mathematics should be introduced to biology students in first-year courses using real-world examples, while challenging the benefits of introducing programming in first-year courses. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures, and 3 footnotes.)
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; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia