The field of undergraduate biology education has been a leader in STEM education change initiatives. Below are a variety of curricular, assessment and teaching resources for biology faculty members and administration.

Guiding Documents

The documents below support course-level and departmental curricular assessment, development, and revision in undergraduate biology.

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology of Education

An initiative spearheaded by multiple funding agencies and organizations to improve undergraduate biology education by broadening participation and enhancing learning. A variety of reports are linked through the site above related to these initiatives.

PULSE Vision and Change Rubrics

Rubrics created to support departments in aligning curricula with the Vision and Change initiative.

Resource Sites for Teaching Materials

These online resources provide instructors with teaching materials that they can implement at the course level.


An open-access journal with peer-reviewed teaching resources that are evidence-based.


Provides a variety of resources on course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), including a collection of CURE lessons that instructors can implement on their campuses.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Biointeractive

Provides a variety of teaching resources for biology instructors such as activities, videos and interactive media.


A site that provides open-access to textbooks, including biology.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science

A peer-reviewed collection of case studies that can be used in the sciences. This group also coordinates institutes that provide professional development on case writing.


A discovery-based undergraduate research course that can be implemented at institutions.

Disciplinary Journals for Teaching and Learning

A variety of journals publish research articles, essays, guides and lessons that can inform undergraduate biology education efforts. A few are noted below.  

The American Biology Teacher


CBE-Life Sciences Education

Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education

Networks, Organizations, Conferences

The organizations mentioned below hold conferences, workshops, or symposia and provide resources at the college level.

American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators

A conference for microbiology and biology educators that is focused on undergraduate education.


A community focused on providing resources around problem-posing, problem-solving and persuasion in biology.

Gordon Conference for Undergraduate Biology Education Research

A conference held every two years with presentations addressing novel and new directions for research in undergraduate biology education.

National Association of Biology Teachers

A group that provides resources and coordinates conferences relevant to biology teaching and learning.

National Science Teachers Association

A group devoted to professional development for science teachers. NSTA also hosts regional and annual meetings for teachers through the college level.

PULSE Community – Partnership for Life Sciences Education

A group with a mission to work directly with departments on transformative efforts in undergraduate biology education.


A network of math and biology educators.

SENCER – Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities

An initiative of the National Center for Science & Civic Engagement that connects science and civic issues. This group provides resources as well as summer institutes for professional development.

Science Case Network

A community interested in case studies and problem-based learning activities for students.

Classroom Observation Tools & Surveys

The following tools can be used to inform teaching practices.

ASPECT: A Survey to Assess Student Perspective of Engagement in an Active-Learning Classroom

This 16-item survey measures student responses to several aspects of an active learning activity including the 1) value of the activity, 2) personal effort, and 3) instructor contribution.

COPUS – Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM

This protocol involves an observer watching a course and noting every two minutes the behaviors of the instructor and students using defined codes. Instructors can view pie charts of the classroom behaviors to inform their practices.

DART: Decibel Analysis for Research in Teaching

A tool that allows instructors to analyze their classroom sound and predict the amount of time spent on lecture (Single Voice), Pair Discussion (Multiple Voice), and Clicker or Question Thinking (No Voice). Instructors upload an audio file of their classroom teaching to the software online to obtain the results.

Owens, Seidel, Wong et al. 2017. Classroom Sound Can Be Used to Classify Teaching Practices in College Science Courses. PNAS. vol. 114 no. 12, p. 3085–3090

Grant Opportunities

The following agencies fund biology education initiatives.

National Science Foundation

NSF offers several funding mechanisms focused on STEM education, such as, but not limited to:

IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education)

RCN-UBE (Research Coordination Networks in Undergraduate Biology Education)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

HHMI Inclusive Excellence