Welcome to CourseSource, an open-access journal of peer-reviewed teaching resources for undergraduate biology and physics

We publish articles that are organized around courses in both biological and physics disciplines, and aligned with learning goals established by professional societies representing those disciplines. Please let us know what you think as you explore the articles and other information in the journal. We welcome your comments, questions, and/or suggestions. You can also follow us @CourseSource on Twitter to receive notifications about newly published articles and announcements! Learn more about CourseSource.

Please note that we are in the process of hiring a new Managing Editor and may be slow to respond to email inquiries and monitor the submission site between May-July. We encourage you to continue submitting your amazing work! Thank you for your patience as we go through this staffing transition.

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While traditional didactic coursework is important for learning about the scientific aspects of HIV/AIDS, it is difficult to convey social aspects of the epidemic. Due to effective drug therapies, an HIV diagnosis is now considered a chronic lifelong health condition if medication is taken properly and on time. Despite scientific advances, stigma and discrimination are still directed against people living with HIV/AIDS in part due to misinformation about the current state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This mock drug therapy lesson was designed to allow students to experience how easy or difficult it is to adhere to drug therapy. The goal of this experience is to enhance understanding of HIV drug therapies and highlight the challenges faced by people living with HIV. In this activity students are assigned to one of three drug regimens that have been used to treat HIV/AIDS throughout history. Over six days, students take Tic Tac® mints or Kool-Aid® drink mix as replacements for medication and record their adherence, taking the “medication” properly and on time. Students then complete a reflective written assignment to report adherence and discuss challenges of the activity. In the following class period on HIV drug treatments, students engage in small group and class discussion about their experiences. Adherence data from the activity is examined during class to discuss the challenges of medication adherence. This lesson increased student learning of HIV drug therapies and medication adherence while successfully highlighting some of the social aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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drug resistance, Retrovirus, Viral replication
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Role of Crop Genetic Diversity on Pathogen Impact: The Tale of Two Pathogens

Elizabeth (EB) Wlezien, Nick T. Peters, Roger Wise, Nancy Boury*

Version: 1.0

Published on 06.2022

Introductory genetics courses are part of the core curriculum in many different fields, including plant breeding, animal science, biology, microbiology, and natural resource management. Concepts involving genes, inheritance, evolution, and genome editing are foundational to both modern biology and agriculture. Understanding these concepts is not only important for training scientists but also for citizens who will make personal health and consumer decisions. For this learning to happen, however, we need to use evidence-based education practices to bring our teaching of the biological and agricultural sciences into the 21st century. This case study uses historical plant pathogen epidemics, such as the Irish potato famine, to guide student learning about how genes are passed from one generation to the next, the advantages and disadvantages of different farming strategies, and how the interactions between a disease-causing organism, its host, and the environment lead to epidemics. In learning about plant disease outbreaks, students also learn basic genetics and crop breeding concepts. This case study also provides teachers with instructions on how to evaluate host, microbe, and environmental data with the students and also guides student groups as they design and discuss plans to optimize yield while minimizing the risk of crop loss due to disease.

Primary image: Field images of Southern Corn Leaf Blight (SCLB) and Potato Late Blight (PLB) Outbreaks.

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plant pathology, genetic diversity, Disease Triangle, Modes of Reproduction

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CourseSource is hiring!

June 4, 2022

This post doctoral associate position is a unique job opportunity merging two projects that involve developing, managing, and evaluating resources for teaching at the college level. The successful candidate will work directly with Dr. Jennifer Knight (Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder; Editor in Chief, CourseSource). Please see the University of Colorado Boulder job link for the complete job post and to apply.

The successful candidate will: 

Apply for the 2022 BIOME Institute! 
Apply for the 2022 BIOME Institute! 

April 14, 2022

Apply for the 2022 BIOME Institute!

Summer session: July 18 - 29, 2022 (first week synchronous, second week asynchronous)
Fall working groups: September 5 - November 18, 2022

BioQUEST is thrilled to announce the 2022 BIOME Institute, a fantastic virtual professional development opportunity for STEM educators to engage with a community of peers to address an educational challenge--with the goal of improving student outcomes. This year’s theme is “Sparking IDEAS: Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable, and Accessible Communities in STEM Classrooms.” 

The BIOME is a special opportunity to join a fantastic community of educators committed to STEM education reform.

Find more details here, and we hope to see you. Early bird deadline is April 17, with a final deadline of May 10.