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Bio-MAPS

Biology Measuring Achievement and Progression in Science or Bio-MAPS, is a suite of diagnostic assessments that aim to measure student understanding across a degree program and are aligned with the Vision and Change nationally-validated set of core biology concepts (AAAS, 2011), further elaborated in the BioCore Guide (Brownell et al., 2014). 

Interested in using Bio-MAPS with your courses? Please click here to access the course information survey!

Need to edit your start/end dates for the survey? Visit this form.

About the Bio-MAPS

All of the assessments have been response validated through standard methodologies (e.g., student interviews, expert feedback, and pilot testing at multiple institutions) (NRC, 2011; Bass et al., 2016; Adams and Wieman, 2011).  The questions present a scenario and students respond true or false to a set of statements.  

We recommend that Bio-MAPS assessments are given to students at several time points throughout the undergraduate major: at the beginning, after the introductory course series, and just before graduation.

All of the Bio-MAPS assessments include questions addressing the five Vision and Change core concepts. However, each assessment focuses on a different area of biology. The assessments are:

  • EcoEvo-MAPS (Ecology and Evolution) Summers et al., 2018
  • Molecular Biology Capstone Couch et al., 2017
  • Phys-MAPS (Physiology) Semsar et al., in press
  • GenBio-MAPS (General Biology) Couch et al., submitted

Administering Bio-MAPS

We have set up an automated system for administering the Bio-MAPS, based on work by the Lewandowski Group at the University of Colorado-Boulder*. Any instructor interested in using one of the Bio-MAPS should follow the steps below.

1. To get started, instructors should fill out the Course Information Survey (CIS) available here. The survey includes questions about the course, instructor contact information, which survey the instructor would like to use, and when the instructor would like the survey to open and close.

2. The instructor is sent an email containing a link to the survey, which should be shared with students by the instructor whenever and however they would like.

3. Four days before the survey is set to close, the instructor is sent an email reminder letting them know how many students have completed the survey. If no one has filled it out at that point, the survey deadline is extended by 3 days.

4. After the survey closes, the instructor is sent a report email including the names of students who completed the survey and a summary of their class’s performance.

Bonus: Instructors are able to change the date that they would like a survey to close by completing a separate course date change form available here.

*Wilcox, B. R., Zwickl, B. M., Hobbs, R. D., Aiken, J. M., Welch, N. M., & Lewandowski, H. J. (2016). Alternative model for administration and analysis of research-based assessments. Physical Review Physics Education Research12(1), 010139. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.010139

This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants DUE 1322556, 1323010, and 1322364. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.