QB@CC: An Interdisciplinary Network of Faculty Supporting the Development of Pedagogical Content Knowledge

IUSE Award 1919613 – RCN-UBE: Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges (QB@CC)


As biology becomes an increasingly quantitative and computational discipline, biology educators are tasked with developing quantitative pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), the skill of drawing on disciplinary knowledge and experience to address foreseeable learning challenges. Biology faculty are adept at applying quantitative practices relevant in their own work, but often lack the PCK to teach these skills effectively when students struggle to master the wide range of quantitative skills in an introductory biology course.

A different challenge faces mathematics faculty teaching courses for life sciences students. While mathematics faculty have a deep understanding of their own field, they are often less familiar with the practices and content of other scientific disciplines.

Quantitative Biology at Community College (QB@CC)

QB@CC is a growing community of biology, mathematics, and statistics faculty from two-year colleges across the country. The QB@CC network brings together teams of biology and mathematics faculty, who work together to develop interdisciplinary modules appropriate for mathematics or biology courses and provides professional development for two-year faculty to increase their PCK in quantitative biology.

In 2020, the network launched with 15 mathematics faculty and 14 biology faculty from 14 community colleges, subsequently expanding to 48 members, representing 23 community colleges from 16 states and one Canadian province.

Faculty Mentoring Networks (FMNs) are offered to support adoption of QB@CC modules. FMNs provide a structured, sustained, online peer community to support faculty as they implement QB@CC modules in their classrooms. FMNs are led by QB@CC module developers that participate in a peer community of FMN mentors in which staff from BioQUEST and QUBES provide technical and pedagogical guidelines for running effective professional development experiences.

Learn more about QB@CC

Visit QB@CC to learn more about this initiative, access modules, and join the network: https://qubeshub.org/community/groups/qbcc


Collaborators

QUBES

The Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education (QUBES – NSF award #: 1446258, 1446269, 1446284) project is an NSF IUSE award launched in 2014 to support a community of biology and mathematics educators by providing professional development activities and increasing access to, and adoption of, good quantitative biology education resources. QUBES has collaborated with over 100 partners to provide resources and professional development to a community of over 9000 biology and mathematics faculty.

BioQUEST

BioQUEST is a biology education reform community promoting transformative practices for over 35 years and serving as the collaborative cyberinfrastructure provided by QUBES.