Well we have done it… the AP Biology redesign happened, we taught the new course, and now the exam has come and passed. We have all survived to teach another year (some of us only barely), and will now begin the process of looking back to see what we can do better. I think that if we collaborate this process will be much more valuable!
I will link in the original post my syllabus (if I want to see your syllabus I better be willing to share mine, right?), and plan to update it with a couple of replies that contain some of the example documents I find during this summer’s reflection process. Even though the course is still new, there are some talented people who have already made some valuable documents that can help us all improve.
If anyone has their own thoughts or materials to add please jump into the comments section. Let’s get a dialogue going!
The experienced readers will notice that my syllabus has many sections that look a lot like Paula Donham’s syllabus from 2008. When I took the course over from her two years ago I created my syllabus using hers as a template. The pacing I left general enough to give myself some wiggle room, and found that I was slightly behind schedule (about half a unit at winter break) but that I fairly easily caught back up and finished dead-on pace at the end of the year. A big part of making our fast pace possible is making the students responsible for their first two exposures to new material. They have reading guides and a quiz before we ever touch new material in class. This allows us to focus on application, context, and examples in our class time as well as the many labs we do throughout the year.
I will have more examples up soon, and I hope to see some of you join the conversation and post your syllabus as well. Everyone knows good science requires many data points.