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Abstract

Many undergraduate institutions are reforming their courses to increase student engagement. A critical challenge in these efforts is to engage the academic community beyond the instructors in the process of change. At our university, we embraced this challenge by creating a volunteer community of faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates to design the discussion curricula for a new introductory biology sequence. We report on this process of curriculum development using a case study approach and describe how the community created the new curriculum and how they perceived the outcomes of the process. Our findings indicate that this curriculum design approach was embraced by the community as a valuable process and produced a set of courses with a satisfying and shared vision for student learning. We compare our community curriculum design process to those others have used, and conclude that this process is widely applicable across disciplines and institutions to design new curricula.

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