The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Bio 2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists
tion of life science majors are demanding, but the committee believes that significant change is realizable within this decade if these recommendations are acted upon. Reform will require concerted action by faculty, administrators, professional societies and other educational organizations, foundations, industry, and government. The process begins with faculty and administrators. The committee urges each academic institution to critically review how it educates its future biologists. Departmental retreats are a good setting for an initial examination of current educational objectives, practices, and outcomes. The circle should eventually be broadened by inviting faculty from different departments to come together with administrators and discuss aspirations and goals for the coming decade. The resources needed to effect these changes must be clearly defined and a realistic path must be charted to complete the planning stage. University administrators will need to actively support faculty development and remove barriers to interdisciplinary teaching, a key aspect of enhancing undergraduate education. Departments and colleges must find new ways to help individual faculty and academic departments innovate and reward their efforts in creating, assessing, and sustaining new educational programs. For example, faculty interested in adapting teaching approaches for their own use or in creating new teaching materials should have lighter than normal requirements for teaching, research, or service while actively engaged in such projects. Also, travel funds earmarked especially for faculty development or education meetings should be provided to enable faculty to participate in meetings that enhance their teaching capabilities. These funds must be targeted toward faculty who are specifically seeking to build and sustain high-quality programs that can be assessed and demonstrated as effective.
Many professional societies already play important roles in furthering innovation and promoting higher educational standards. They can play a heightened role in the future by actively promoting the importance of undergraduate education and faculty development, as well as continuing to serve as a meeting ground for the sharing of educational programs, technologies, and teaching materials. They can also aid the process by finding ways to highlight and publish creative educational endeavors and accomplishments through society-specific channels much in the same way that they highlight and publish new research. Annual summer workshops on undergraduate biology education would also be an effective means to evaluate educational innovation and identify best practices; further faculty development; and create new modules, books, laboratory guides, and other materials needed to effect the changes recommended in this report.