Vision & Change (V&C) in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action proposed a new vision for effective undergraduate life science education. Vision & Change called on educators to use evidence-based practices to emphasize experiential learning, authentic research experiences, and active learning approaches for providing undergraduates with the engagement and passion necessary to remain in STEM disciplines and pursue careers in STEM fields. The report has been influential in the undergraduate life science education community over the last decade, yet few studies have been undertaken to determine the extent to which V&C concepts and competencies have penetrated the community of biology educators. This project will leverage the Promoting Active Learning and Mentoring (PALM) Network (NSF Award #1624200), to study the penetrance of V&C concepts and competencies across the network and the professional societies involved in the PALM project.

The project team will utilize a mixed methods approach to support combining the strength of quantitative surveys that reach all PALM participants with qualitative semi-structured interviews to further probe participants’ motivations, implementation, and dissemination of Vision & Change principles in more detail. The project aims to: 1) determine to what extent Vision & Change principles motivated mentors or mentees to join PALM; 2) characterize perceptions of Vision & Change among instructors and educators involved in the PALM Network, and determine the impact of this network and mentorship on perceptions, implementation, and dissemination of Vision & Change principles within departments; and 3) examine the impact of the PALM Network on its associated professional societies and assess how Vision & Change has influenced these societies’ engagement with undergraduate biology education. While this work is instructor-focused, its impact will be multiplied by the number of undergraduate students taught by these instructors. The project team will disseminate protocols, surveys, training materials, and results on a centralized website (QUBES), at scientific conferences, and by open-access publications. The products created and shared will document the current reach of V&C and have the potential to extend V&C to an even greater number of educators.