A Biology Curriculum of GBSs

Goal Based Scenarios are useful for scientific subjects as well as liberal arts subjects. Let's take biology as an example. Bill Purves, Professor of Biology at Harvey Mudd College, reconsidered the biology curriculum from a GBS perspective. He developed GBS missions that would cover the entire set of skills he feels are most important for a college biology major to have at graduation. Suprisingly, he needed only three GBSs to do the job:

• Biology GBS 1: Feed the world. Develop a proposal to cope with the world food crisis along with an explanation of why your proposal would be effective.

• Biology GBS 2: Pick one of the following patients. Figure out what caused his or her disease. (The student is given five patients suffering from different diseases, including a nutritional deficiency, a venereal disease, a microbial infection which is not a venereal disease, a hereditary disease, and one caused by an environmental hazard such as a radionuclide or toxic substance.)

• Biology GBS 3: Develop a mutant bacterial strain capable of producing human insulin in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of a diabetic person.

Considering that college students usually need to sit through twenty or so separate, usually unintegrated, courses in their majors, the notion that three GBSs can cover the required ground is heartening. Considering that these GBSs sound like so much fun is downright rousing.

Next Story GBSs Tie Together Different Subjects

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