Dear Colleague,
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s BioInteractive program, in collaboration with an affiliated group of biology education researchers from 2-year and 4-year institutions, are collecting information about what guides instruction in your introductory biology course. Our hope is to collect a large set of learning objectives from the community and use it in our effort to develop a freely available database of higher-order, machine-gradable questions for introductory biology. 
We are not seeking your broad overall course goals, objectives, or outcomes. For this project we are interested in a very fine-grained level of information: the knowledge and skills you wish students to gain after completing a class day, learning module or activity, and/or that you use to guide specific formative and summative assessment questions. In this project, we refer to these statements as learning objectives. 
If you would like to participate, please complete the brief survey and contribute a minimum of 10 learning objectives that you used the last time you taught an introductory biology course. BioInteractive will send you a small token of appreciation (a $10 gift card) as a way of saying thank you.
Although we need learning objectives for all topics in a typical intro course, a few examples are given below to illustrate the granularity we want. 
Examples of learning objectives
  •  Use the pairing rules and the genetic code to predict the sequences of RNAs and proteins from each strand. 
  •  Given a diagram of 1) an active site and substrate, 2) a transmembrane channel, or 3) interactions that create secondary or tertiary structure, explain why the size, polarity, and charge on specific amino acids matters. 
  •  Label the location of a-helices and b-sheets in a 3-D model of a protein, and analyze how they impact the molecule’s shape.
Examples of what we are NOT looking for: 
  • Describe the fundamental importance of evolution as a unifying concept in biology.
  • Understand the molecular aspects of the storage, expression, and transmission of genetic information.
You can submit your work at the following site:
Please note, you will be asked to upload your learning objectives as a .doc, .docx, or a PDF. We will be accepting entries until 10/15/2019 or we reach 500 submissions.  
Thank you so much for considering!
Best wishes,
Sara Brownell, Melissa Csikari, Scott Freeman, Jenny McFarland, Jenni Momsen, Jeff Schinske, and Heather Seitz
Copyright © 2019 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, All rights reserved.

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