Biology: How Life Works & LaunchPad for Biology
BIOLOGY: HOW LIFE WORKS has been a revolutionary force for both instructors and students in the majors biology course. It was the first truly comprehensive set of integrated tools for introductory biology, seamlessly incorporating powerful text, media, and assessment to create the best pedagogical experience for students.
THE VISUAL PROGRAM The already impressive visual program has been greatly improved and expanded. The powerful Visual Synthesis tools have been reimagined, allowing for more flexibility for both students and instructors. A new Tour Mode allows for learning
objective–driven tours of the material. We’ve also added deep-linking from the eText to encourage the student to jump immediately from the
reading experience into a more interactive visual representation of the content. Instructors can also create customized tours to use for engaging in-class presentation and active learning opportunities. And finally, new animations have been added to the library, including a new 3D animation to support the animal form and function chapters.
A FOCUS ON SCIENTIFIC SKILLS The third edition has an increased focus on helping students develop the skills they will need to be successful scientists. We’ve designed skills learning experiences not separate from the core content, but aligned to it. New Skills Primers are self-paced tutorials that guide students to learn, practice, and use skills like data visualization, experimental design, working with numbers, and more. New How Do We Know Activities are digital extensions of the application-based learning tool found in the text, and focus on further developing students’ scientific inquiry skills.
THE HUB The best teaching resources in the world aren’t of use if instructors can’t find them. The HUB provides a one-stop destination for valuable teaching and learning resources, including all of our wellvetted in-class activities.
IMPROVED ORGANIZATION OF TOPICS We implemented several organizational changes based on extensive user feedback with the goal of creating an improved narrative for students and a more flexible teaching framework for instructors.
A new chapter on Animal Form, Function, and Evolutionary History leads off the animal anatomy and physiology chapters to provide a whole-body view of structure and function and to provide better context for the more specific systems in following chapters. The ecology coverage has been enriched and reorganized for a more seamless flow. A new chapter on Ecosystem Ecology combines ecosystem concepts formerly housed in separate chapters to present a more cohesive view of the flow of matter and energy in ecosystems. All of these changes and improvements represent the next step in the evolution of Biology: How Life Works. We think we have created the best learning resource for introductory biology students, and we think instructors will find joy in the improvements they can make in their classes with these materials.
DEAR STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS,
A new edition of How Life Works provides an opportunity for us to continue to innovate. It gives us a chance not just to update and organize, but also to rethink and reimagine the resources we develop to support teaching and learning in introductory biology. Many of our revisions are based on what we’ve heard from you—the growing community of students and instructors who use How Life Works. From the start, we have written How Life Works to be a streamlined text that focuses on concepts and skills relevant to introductory biology. We take an integrated approach that aims to connect concepts and processes, so students can see their interrelationships. Instead of presenting vast amounts of content, we organize our presentation around a few key core concepts. And we recognize that the text, media, and assessment have to work together to provide a rich and meaningful learning experience for students. Our digital platform is designed to provide maximum flexibility and ease of use. With each edition, we keep these ideas front and center.
The third edition continues and expands on this approach. We are particularly excited about new resources that help to develop skills that students will encounter in introductory biology and beyond, including how to ask questions, develop hypotheses, interpret data, read graphs, use quantitative reasoning, and apply statistical and evolutionary thinking. In short, our new resources emphasize the skills that enable students to think like scientists.
Every chapter includes at least one How Do We Know Figure, which takes the time to describe how the scientific communitycame to know a piece of information, process, or concept presented in the text. These were so well received in the first and second editions that we decided to connect them to How Do We Know Activities that ask students to answer questions and explore the figure actively and in depth. In addition, we have revised and expanded the Primers that we developed in earlier editions so that they focus on skills and include media and assessment. In this way, they are interactive and serve as short tutorials on fundamental skills.
We also took a fresh look at the chapters on animal anatomy and physiology. A new case focuses on the exciting field of biologyinspired design. This interdisciplinary field taps into biology, engineering, and material science to build tools and devices inspired by all types of organisms, including animals. In addition, a new chapter on animal form, function, and evolution provides a way to orient students to main concepts before delving into detail in the subsequent chapters. Finally, we have new media and assessment that work closely with this section.
In response to thoughtful feedback from instructors, we reorganized our coverage of ecological systems. We now bring together in a single chapter an integrated discussion of flow of matter and energy in ecosystems. This new arrangement allows us to move seamlessly from organisms to populations to species interactions to interactions with the physical environment to global ecology, ending with a discussion of the impact of human activities on the biosphere. The pace of change in biology is matched by our ever-growing understanding of how students learn, drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and education. We think about ways to create a classroom that is active, inclusive, and evidence-based. We ask ourselves questions as we work to make our material more studentfocused. Can we replace a short lecture with an activity in which students construct their own knowledge? What are some common misconceptions that students might encounter along the way? Do all students feel supported and encouraged?
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||December 31, 2020|