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Abstract

Success in undergraduate biology courses relies upon a firm grounding in chemical principles. We sought to raise students’ awareness of the connection between these two disciplines and to improve their understanding of each by carrying out a pilot project that integrated the curricula of Principles of Chemistry II (CHEM1212K) and Principles of Biology I (BIOL1107K) during the Fall 2016 semester. The study involved two course pairs: one section of each course delivered in the traditional non-integrated manner and a second pair of sections that were integrated across the chemistry and biology disciplines in both the scope and sequence of the content delivery. Both integrated and non-integrated sections were taught by the same instructors, who have expertise in both chemistry and biology to ensure a full understanding of both courses’ content. Attitudinal surveys administered at the beginning and end of the semester showed that students in the integrated BIOL/CHEM section of our pilot study appreciated the delivery of an integrated curriculum and improved their awareness of the connections between the two disciplines. End-of-course assessments of topic mastery demonstrated improvements in the integrated students’ capacity to understand and apply both biology and chemistry topics compared to students in the non-integrated sections.

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